El Paso Rethinks False Alarm Policy

El Paso, Texas, Chief of Police Richard Wiles has sought additional fines for alarm systems creating false alarms, according to reports in the El Paso Times.

According to Wiles, the EPPD is responding to nearly 2,000 alarm notifications each month, most of which are false, he says.

The report from the El Paso Times listed 31,590 alarm calls in 2004, with only 299 of those listed as "valid alarm calls." The town's police department currently is responding to all alarms.

Without surprise, Wiles is therefore proposing that the city change its policy. Wiles' proposal would be that the city not respond to any alarms that don't have a permit on file with the city, or if the alarm has been the source of a high number of nuisance alarms.

The city currently requires a one-time, $15 registration of an alarm system, but the chief's proposal would require an annual permit renewal, and would push alarm companies toward verification before alerting police.