CINCINNATI: Cincinnati officials are cracking down on businesses with unpaid fees for responses to false alarms and threatening that police will stop responding to alarms at places that owe the most unless the owners pay up.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports police have issued $3.8 million in false alarm fees since 2011, and nearly $1.5 million of that hasnít been paid by businesses. A memo to city council this week from City Manager Harry Black says that in August, police will stop responding to alarms at businesses with more than $500 in outstanding fees until those costs are paid.

Black says alarms can be helpful in crime-fighting, but the city has to balance that with deterring abuse of false alarms that divert police from other work and cost taxpayers.