Arlington, Texas, Council To Consider Verified Response


City Council members for the city of Arlington, Texas, are considering a police proposal to end automatic response to burglar alarms. Some 40 citizens addressed Mayor Elzie Odom and the council May 23 to speak out against verified response. Odom says, “We haven’t made a decision. We’ll keep seeking solutions. We’ve been assured by the chief and the alarm association that they will work together.” Recommended by Police Chief Theron Bowman, verified response would end the practice of sending officers to each alarm that sounds, instead, only automatically sending officers out for panic, duress and holdup alarms activated by individuals in homes or businesses. Many residents attended the meeting as a result of a direct-mail campaign by area alarm companies. Some indicated a willingness to pay for police response in exchange for peace of mind. The police department estimates false alarm response cost $3.7 million in 2001. That translates to nearly 49 members of the 191-officer police force working full time on false alarm response. Most residents are highly critical of the proposal and only one area alarm company has come out in support, Sonitrol.

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