CAIRO — Cairo City Council members are becoming increasingly concerned with a series of false alarms, primarily from businesses, that they say are distracting police from their regular duties.

Council members have discussed the abnormally high number of responses to false alarms on police department reports in recent meetings. 

In January alone, the police department responded to 38 separate calls of alarms going off in city businesses. Just shy of 6 percent of all 911 calls the police department responded to that month were business alarms.

Those numbers were even higher in December, when police responded to 46 business alarms.

City Manager Chris Addleton said he talked with interim police chief Giovannie Santos, who said the department has spoken with repeat offenders.

In reviewing the city's code of ordinances, Addleton discovered an existing ordinance that states that the police department can issue citations to repeat offenders.

Addleton said the city isn't holding repeat offenders accountable, but he wants to wait for a full-time police chief to be appointed before any changes are made to the way the department responds to repeated false alarms.

The city manager said he also would like to inform the public of the city's plans to crack down on bothersome alarms when a decision is made on how to move forward.

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