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Ask SAM: Do I need to register my alarm system with the police department or sheriff’s office? | Ask SAM

Note: SAM is on vacation, so we are running some classic answers. Please continue to send your questions to asksam@wsjournal.com.

Q: We have installed an alarm system. Do I need to register with the police department or sheriff’s office?

Answer: Winston-Salem has had an alarm ordinance since 2003.

Only addresses within the city limits of Winston-Salem need to be registered with the police department. This includes certain areas of Lewisville, Kernersville and Pfafftown. Citizens unsure of their jurisdiction can find out at http://maps.co.forsyth.nc.us/forsythjs.

Forsyth County does not have a false-alarm ordinance.

Registration is free and can be done online, by phone, by mail or in person at the Public Safety Center. We have created a direct link to the information about the alarm ordinance and how to register at www.tinyurl.com/WSalarmpermits. You can also call the Public Safety Center at (336) 773-7886.

“All alarm companies were also notified of this ordinance going into place,” Jeff Hartzog with the Winston-Salem Police Department, who is one of the department’s false-alarm program coordinators, said when we took up this question before. “The alarm companies are aware it is their responsibility to inform new customers of this ordinance.”

Hartzog said the city’s alarm regulation is comparable to other jurisdictions in North Carolina, including Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, High Point and Durham. In late 2015, the Winston-Salem Police Department conducted a media campaign to remind people about the city ordinance and how to register their alarm systems, said Lt. Tyrone Phelps, a spokesman for the police department.

“Police and Fire expend valuable resources responding to false alarms,” according to the police department’s website. “In an effort to recover a portion of the costs, the City Council…

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