Frequent false alarms are plaguing police officers in Old Fort

At this week’s meeting of the Old Fort Board of Aldermen, Mayor Rick Hensley reviewed the city of Marion’s ordinance for false alarms, one he thought Old Fort should adopt.

“I think it is a very good ordinance,” he said. “Penalties for excessive false alarms will be a $50 fee for the fourth alarm, and subsequent false alarms after that for a calendar year.”

He and Aldermen Melvin Lytle, who is also the town’s police chief, said there have been an increase in false alarms and it could be a safety issue if it not addressed.

“We have had a lot of false alarms and when our police department has to respond, they have to make sure it’s not a false alarm and go out and investigate. I don’t know why we have been having a lot of them lately, but we have,” said Hensley.

The board approved adding Marion’s false alarm ordinance unanimously.

In other business, Old Fort police were give the OK for the purchase of a new vehicle.

The town accepted three bids on a 2017 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor Sport Utility vehicle to replace School Resource Officer’s Steven Corn’s current Explorer.

“We have been subsidized by the county for the resource officer and this would be the vehicle he would be using,” said Hensley. “It’s either we get another vehicle or we spend a bunch of money to repair the one we have.”

A motion was made to accept the bid by Asheville Ford for $29,658.39. The board approved the motion unanimously. Aldermen Melvin Lytle, who is also the town’s chief of police, recused himself from the vote.

The next board meeting is set for Monday, Sept. 12 at 5:30 p.m.

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