Alarm Ordinance Watch

SSN Staff  - 
Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Thanks to communication with the alarm industry, including Chris Russell, president of the North Texas Alarm Association, city officials here are backing away from a plan to institute verified response. The Star-Telegram reported that a Sept. 28 meeting of the City Council saw Mayor Ken Shetter present feedback from constituents, "questioning the wisdom and integrity of the ordinance." A new plan for dealing with the false-alarm problem will be presented Oct. 26, at the next council meeting, and Shetter expected it to call for "more community education, higher permit fees, and fewer allowable false alarms before an alarm subscriber is fined." In Burleson, 14 percent of homes and 23 percent of businesses have alarm systems. In the past year, 99 percent of alarms have been false.

The Corsicana Daily Sun reported that the City Council approved in early October a new ordinance to allow stiffer penalties for owners of systems issuing repeated false alarms, something Police Chief G.M. Cox has been requesting. Cox reported that 99 percent of all alarms are false. In response, the Council, headed by Mayor Buster Brown, reduced the number of free false alarms from four to three, increased the initial fine from $25 to $50, and instituted an increasing fine scale, whereby the penalty goes to $75 on the sixth alarm, $100 on the eighth in a year.

Thanks to a Rock County Board vote in late September, the false-alarm fee will be doubled in Rock County as of Jan. 1, 2007, the Beloit Daily News reported. It is the first time fees have been increased "in at least 10 years." Sheriff Eric Runaas told the paper that the increase was necessary because of increased gas prices and officer wages.