Uniondale Senior Antoinette Glacken Socked With ‘False Alarm’ Fees Following Hurricane Irene
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An elderly Long Island Woman who lost power during Hurricane Irene is getting a one-two punch.
Retiree Antoinette Glacken is fighting mad, ever since Irene blew though Uniondale, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported. During the blackout, Glacken was unable to deactivate her home alarm system and the keypad transmitted a signal summoning police.
“The police officer came, and the next day, I got the summons. I got a summons for $200,” Glacken told McLogan.
Glacken has paid for her private home security system for more than a decade and she claims she and her neighbors were never informed about an additional ‘public’ charge: A $100 mandatory county permit, with another $100 alarm fee to be paid every two years, McLogan reported.
“Since I didn’t pay it fast enough, I got another summons claiming that since I didn’t pay the first hundred, they were jacking me up another hundred…where it came to $300,” Glacken said. “How much do I have to pull out to have my home protected?”
If she doesn’t comply, police won’t answer an alarm signal from her home without independent corroboration that it’s indeed an emergency, McLogan reported.
“No response mode” [for] my address unless I pay this violation,” Glacken said.
Nassau Police told McLogan that private security companies were to have informed all residents by now of the 2007 law mandating the fees, necessary, they said, because 99 percent of home alarms are false.
“You are diverting the police department or the fire dept from responding to true calls, and thousands of these calls go out a year, that are bogus calls, nuisance calls,” Det. Lt. Kevin Smith said.
Glacken has written county leaders asking for relief for struggling senior citizens trying to feel safe alone in their homes. “Senior citizens are being clobbered. I mean how much are they going to nail us?”
Glacken may yet win a small victory, according to McLogan. Police are offering to waive her late fee and the county executive will ask the hardship review board to consider exempting seniors from paying for permits.
Under current Nassau County law, homeowners with permits are not fined for the first four alarms.
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