Denison council discusses proposal to limit false alarm responses

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DENISON, TX -- The city council will discuss a proposal Monday night aimed at reducing the number of false alarms police respond to from monitored building alarm systems.

Police responded to more than 1,000 false alarms in 2012, which they estimate cost around $40,000, according to the city.

The current suggested proposal would impose a fine on a residence or business that has more than four false alarms in a year.

It would also require a permit to have a monitored alarm system.

David Wilburn, owner of Gray's Credit Jewelers, takes security seriously.

"In my business I have to have an alarm system," he said.

The last time his alarm went off was a couple years ago, when someone broke a window.

"The company is pretty good if a battery is getting weak, or something like that. And they come out or we can replace that ourselves," he said.

But he doesn't think the city should impose a fine for false alarms.

"Really that's something that's beyond our control. Sometimes there's a problem with an alarm company," he said. "Other times it is a problem, so they have to come out and check. But I'd hate to see us be charged for something like that."

Justin Barrett, with American Armament Company in downtown Denison, said he understands the need for an ordinance.

"I don't think it's a great idea, I think it's just a way to scare small businesses into investing in better security systems. But I think it's necessary," he said.

Both businesses say they'll still keep their alarm systems.

"I'd have to have an alarm system, regardless of what decision is made," Wilburn said.

If the council finds the idea favorable Monday night, they'll draft a more detailed ordinance in the coming weeks, along with an amount for the fine.

They would then have to approve the ordinance at a future council meeting.

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