Tulsa Police dealing with false alarms

Monday, February 6th 2006, 1:10 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa’s police chief wants to free up more officers to deal with violent crimes and one way he has suggested is with a verified alarm policy.

It's a growing trend across the country. Basically, a burglar alarm would have to be physically verified by somebody, before the police would respond.

As News on 6 reporter Steve Berg explains, some people find that alarming.

Tulsan John Schnitker got his alarm for peace of mind and the obvious reason. “Is so we would have a relatively rapid response time."

Tulsa Police Chief Dave Been: “you've heard this time and time again, 98 percent of our alarms are false.” The problem, is that police, spend a lot of time on wild goose chases. In fact, the chief says if you add up all the hours, it's equal to another 22 officers per day on the street. “That's 22 more people responding to our priority one through three calls, robberies in progress, homicides, rapes in progress." With a verified alarm policy, somebody would have to see evidence of a break-in, the homeowner, a neighbor, the alarm company, before police would respond. "Those that have alarms put in by reliable companies, that monitor those alarms and are prepared to send out a technician or make the appropriate contact, those people usually like them."

"If that happens, I would probably have to start my own security company to answer my alarms." Bobby Morrison with Advance Alarms, who incidentally put in the chief's burglar alarm, says it's doable but. "The customers just have to pay more per month."

John Schnitker: "I'm like most people; I'd rather not have more dollars coming out of my pocket." Schnitker says he'd rather see more police on the street, which would help everybody. "Obliviously that's something that helps not just the people who can afford to put in a security system.”

Tulsa Police would still respond to a hold-up alarm or panic button or alarms that are physically activated by a person. The verified alarm policy would have to be approved by the mayor and the Tulsa city council.