Municipality vs. industry?
Who should administer the county's permit renewal process?
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky.--Alarm companies doing business in Lexington-Fayette County have been pushing for change lately. Ordinance No. 56-2005 has been on the books for four years now, but according to some, is in dire need of revision.
According to KBFAA area director Jeremy Bates, of Sonitrol Lexington, there are a number of issues with the ordinance, but of primary concern is the industry’s required involvement in administration of the municipality’s license renewal process. “We are not interested in removing the responsibility of obtaining the initial permit, just the responsibility for renewing ... We’re obviously wanting to relieve ourselves of that burden,” Bates said.
SIAC executive director Stan Martin said there was a blurring of responsibility. “This is kind of like sending Ford Motor Company the registration and speeding ticket fines. Certainly, the industry has accepted helping the police department - because we’re there in contact with people - with the initial permit application, the initial registration fee, and helping to process that piece of it,” Martin said. “In a partnership, we’re willing to help. But clearly we need to draw the line when it comes to collecting fees.”
Security industry consultant Lee A. Jones of San Clemente-based Support Services Group feels the Lexington ordinance is indicative of a trend of law enforcement giving back responsibility where it is due. “One of the pieces of the [SIAC] model ordinance is permits; permits for each alarm site. And the alarm industry off-loaded that responsibility to the local police department to administer,” Jones said.
Calls and emails to Sergeant James Decker, who heads the Lexington-Fayette Urban County False Alarm Reduction Unit, were not returned by press time.
Bates said area industry representatives and county law enforcement and government officials met once before press time to discuss potential changes to the ordinance. Bates said there were many more meetings to come. “We’re not being combative with the police,” Bates said. “We’re trying to work hand-in-hand to create these changes.”