False Alarm Update: Fort Worth, Baltimore, Salem

FORT WORTH, Texas

A few weeks after city leaders in Fort Worth, Texas, backed
off from a verified response plan, a city council committee
has recommended a “no permit, no response” policy for homes
and businesses with electronic alarm systems.

In its Oct. 14 session and in the wake of a large protest
in mail and E-mail, the council sent back for further
review to its public safety committee a proposal for a new
alarm ordinance that included verified response. On Oct.
28, the committee announced a new proposal without a
stipulation that police respond only if an alarm was
verified by an alarm company, a security guard, a resident
or an eyewitness.

In its place, the committee’s new plan would require that
police respond only to homes and businesses that had
purchased an alarm system permit required by the city. The
new proposal will go before the full council in early
November. “We owe it to the people of Fort Worth to revisit
this issue,” Councilman Jim Lane, who heads the Public
Safety Committee, told the Fort Worth Star-
Telegram
. “We’re going to back up and start all over
again. We’ve got a problem and we need to address it.”

In other false alarm news:

BALTIMORE, Md.: Letters have been sent out to
Baltimore residents informing them they need to register
their home alarm systems and pay a fee.

The Baltimore City Council passed a law last year designed
to help reduce the number of false alarms, but the notice
is just going out now. All home alarm system owners are
required to register and pay the $20 fee or face fines or
civil citations.

SALEM, Ore.: A task force has been formed to draft a
proposal that would reduce the number of police responses
to false alarms.

What will be in the proposal still is fluid, task force
chairman and City Councilor Dan Clem told Salem’s
Statesman Journal. However, police in Salem are
calling for a limit on their responses to burglar alarms
only to those accompanied by a second source of
verification, such as a witness or security personnel.

SPARTANBURG, S.C.: Spartanburg county and City
Council members are considering ordinances to require
residents who use an alarm system to pay fines for repeated
false alarms.

A proposal calls for homeowners or businesses to be charged
$50 after a third false alarm. The charge would go to $100
after the sixth false alarm and $200 after the eighth false
alarm in a year. Alarms caused by weather conditions would
not count.

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