Keller Makes Changes to Reduce False Alarms - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Keller Makes Changes to Reduce False Alarms

City to change fees and require homes, businesses to annually update information



    Keller city officials and police personnel are working to reduce false alarm calls by having residents update information more frequently. (Published Monday, June 18, 2012)

    Keller is making changes to reduce the number of false alarms.

    The police department spends 1,800 man hours answering alarm calls from security systems at homes and businesses that don't pan out, costing the city $120,000.

    Police spokesman David Hanks said officers could spend the time on other things, such as business checks, traffic enforcement or preventative patrols.

    The biggest problem is outdated information, Hanks said. Keller currently is the only city in the Metroplex to not require people with security systems to annually update their information with the city.

    Keller has 2,600 registered home and commercial alarms.

    Officers are forced to spend time finding the right information, including who should be at a particular home or business when they get there.

    "Someone moved in, moved out. [The] business changed hands, [and] the alarm was never updated, so we didn't have a vehicle to provide the officers in the field the necessary information," Hanks said.

    Now the city is requiring people and businesses to annually update and is contracting with a third-party company, PMAM, to do the extra research.

    "They've had great success as far as reducing the number of alarms, false alarms -- sometimes up to 40 percent, Hanks said.

    Keller is also changing its fee structure. Homeowners and businesses with alarms used to pay a one-time $50 fee, but the city is now requiring an annual $25 fee. The change also allows the city to get updated information about a home or business.

    The city has additional fees if a location has more than three false alarms in one year. Four to five per calendar year are charged $50 each, six to seven per calendar year are charged $75, and eight or more in a calendar year are charged $100 each.

    The changes take effect July 1.