More false alarms, more police work: Dickinson law enforcement notice uptick in security system useDickinson law enforcement has noticed more security systems in the city, and that means a “drastic” increase in workload with more than 2 1/2 times the false alarms compared to last year, officials said.
Dickinson law enforcement has noticed more security systems in the city, and that means a “drastic” increase in workload with more than 2 1/2 times the false alarms compared to last year, officials said.
From January through April 2011, the Dickinson Police Department responded to 53 business and residential alarms, according to a report. DPD reported 136 calls were made this year through the end of April. All were false alarms.
It can take one to two minutes to respond to an alarm, Capt. David Wilkie said Thursday. DPD responded to 32 calls this month, and checking on the houses took anywhere from 30 seconds to 20 minutes.
“If we get a residential alarm, we need to respond to it, because every alarm is a potential burglary,” he said. “Could we be using that time better? Yes, but we can’t because we are bond to.”
Residents may ask police to search the house while others do not, which plays a part in how long an officer spends on a call.
Faulty equipment or an error from the key holder is usually the cause of a false alarm, Police Chief Dustin Dassinger said. If an alarm is not disengaged by the homeowner, the security company contacts local police. DPD charges $50 per false alarm.
There was a time between November and February that every business that had an open door was a burglary, Wilkie said, adding DPD had 17 on its books. Before that, many businesses that had open doors were just that: people who left their doors open.
Dickinson-based Consolidated Telcom started advertising security systems four months ago as a request from customers, Public Relations Manager Rhonda Dukart said. It has sold approximately 115 alarms, and it gets at least one call a day about installing an alarm.
Greg and Tonya Jung of Dickinson got their system from Provo, Utah-based Vivint Inc. two months ago. He has not had any false alarms from malfunctions, though he has set off the alarm a couple times, he said.
“I forgot to disarm it, but that was my own fault,” he said.
It gives Tonya Jung peace of mind in case of a burglary or fire.
“If we’re gone, it’s nice to know it would alert them,” Tonya Jung said. “It’s very reasonable.”
Aside from protection, a homeowner who invests in a system could get an insurance cut, Wilkie said.
“We have three dogs, and the last thing we want is for our house to burn down with our three dogs in it and nobody knows until it is burnt to the ground already,” he said.