Dallas Police Pushing for Verified Response
Police in Dallas are proposing to the city’s council that they no longer automatically respond to burglar alarms at homes and businesses unless they are verified. Under the plan by Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle, alarm companies would have to hire security guards to confirm alarms. Only after confirmation would police respond.
If approved, the move would make Dallas the largest North American city to institute a total verified alarm response policy. Dallas’ 1.19 million population eclipses that of verified response cities Winnipeg, Canada (population 650,000), Milwaukee (596,974), Las Vegas (478,000) and Salt Lake City (181,143).
The Dallas City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed ordinance on Oct. 12.
Kunkle told the Dallas Morning News that false alarms are increasing response time for his officers to legitimate crimes.
“It takes more than 30 minutes for us to respond now,” Kunkle said. “I’m confident that when people actually need Dallas police, we’ll be able to get there under the new system.”
Kunkle presented his proposal to the Dallas Council’s Public Safety Committee on Tuesday. Councilman Mitchell Rasansky was the only member of the eight-person board to express opposition to verified response. The full council consists of 15 members. One of the council members, James Fantroy, owns a security guard company, but hasn’t expressed an opinion on the ordinance.
“I want to get more officers in the streets, but how much is a life worth to us?” Rasansky said during the session according to the News.
Chris Russell, president of the North Texas Alarm Association, told the News, that forcing alarm companies to hire guards will drive up the costs to their customers and intruders may be encouraged if they realize police won’t be the first responders.
“In the past, customers have told us that they want a police response,” Russell said. “They don’t want a response from private security.”
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