False Alarm Ordinance Gets a Review - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


False Alarm Ordinance Gets a Review

Here are the proposed changes:

  1. Extend the number of false alarm calls you can get before you have to pay for a $50 permit
  2. If you do get three false alarms in one year, it doesn't carry over to the next year

But whatever the decision, some say it will not do any good.

"I'm still outraged by this. It ain't over yet," this is what Lubbock citizen Jerry Eubank said last September. This is what he thinks now, "I don't believe it will solve the problem."

He's talking about Lubbock's false alarm ordinance. The city council passed the ordinance November 2001, their solution to reduce the number of false alarms going off at homes and businesses. More than one year later, how's it working?

Well, in 2000, when the ordinance wasn't even in place, police responded to 24,849 false alarm calls. In 2001, still no ordinance in place, police responded to 24,110 false alarm calls. But in 2002, when there was an ordinance for the whole year, the city saw a significant decrease in calls. Without the month of December accounted for, police responded to18,224 false alarm calls.

Good news, yes, but Mayor Marc McDougal says the ordinance hasn't been very user friendly. The current ordinance requires home owners to purchase a $50 permit after three false alarm calls.

"The intent of the ordinance is not to punish people with alarms," said Mayor McDougal on Tuesday.

So, the ordinance is getting a makeover, making it more user friendly.

"Realizing the way the ordinance was written, that you get a certain number of alarms before you have to obtain a permit, it seems rather ludicrous to count an alarm that's more than one year old," said Councilman Tom Martin.

But, Jerry still feels the changes aren't going to work. Bottom line, he thinks the ordinance all together still isn't fair.

"I don't believe, because I have an alarm system, that I should be fined for having an alarm system -- trying to keep down breaking and entering, vandalism," said Jerry.

The city is hoping to have the ordinance re-written and in place by next month. Again, they will discuss these changes Wednesday morning in a work session at city hall.

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