A Compromise in Dallas over Verified Response?

The Dallas Morning News has reported that the verified response alarm ordinance proposal the city had been considering has moved ahead. Now on the table is a proposal to divide how the city responds to residential burglar alarms versus commercial/business alarms.

In the new proposal from the city manager, the police would continue to respond to alarms that were called in from homes, however burglar alarms from businesses would have to be verified before police would respond.

The proposal wouldn't let owners of residential burglar alarm systems off the hook for false alarms. Besides being permitted, the fine structure would be increased for residential systems' false alarms, and permits could be revoked if the residence is the site of more than eight false alerts in a year.

City officials are calling the new proposal a compromise, though many in the industry wonder what's been compromised -- the security of businesses?

In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, North Texas Alarm Association President Chris Russell said he was not pleased with the new proposal.

"I don't see anything involving not responding to alarm systems a good idea," said Russell. "I can't tell you how disappointed I am with this."

Details of the proposed "compromise" include the allowance, for residential alarm customers, of three false alarm in 12 months without fines. Fines are then set at $50 per instance for the fourth and fifth false alarm, $75 for numbers six and seven, $100 for eighth and additional false alarms. The proposal requires enhanced call verification, where monitoring companies attempt to reach the alarm system owner/manager twice before contacting police.