PARIS — The Oxford County Sheriff’s Office is working on a new policy for answering burglar alarms after hundreds of false alarms cost the county more than 1,000 man hours in 2011.

Chief Deputy Dane Tripp says of the 327 burglar alarms answered by deputies last year, just three were actual break-ins. The rest were alarm errors, homeowner errors or rodents and other animals setting off motion detectors.

That doesn’t count the alarms that state police and local police departments answer.

Tripp tells the Sun Journal it costs time and unnecessary overtime, especially when a deputy has to drive a long distance in the rural county to check an alarm. He says false alarms may also pull officers away from real crimes.

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