The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

August 2, 2008

Man upset over policy after run-in with burglar

(Continued)

PALESTINE —

Instead, Bowman said he thinks the ordinance should be changed to allow an officer to be sent the first time an unregistered business has an alarm call and that officers should have a permit form in their cars to give to business owners like himself, to either sign off that they are now aware of the requirement and plan to register their alarm or to sign that they refuse to do so.

“We sit and watch the news, we read the newspapers and we see our society and our culture fractured before our eyes with the violence and crime. It’s not just here, it’s everywhere,” Bowman said. “The police we have have a terrible job to do. They need our support.

“But this kind of policy of non-responding only erodes the respect and support they need.”

When asked about Bowman’s situation, city manager Dale Brown said that the ordinance had not been written with the intent to keep police from responding to legitimate calls, only to reduce the high number of false alarms caused by setting the alarms to be too sensitive.

In addition, Brown said, the 9-1-1 tape of the conversation between the alarm company representative and the dispatcher apparently contained few details, other than the business’ back door was open.

“The intent is not, obviously, to ignore situations like this when they happen,” Brown said. “It would have helped to have had more information from the alarm company.

“The intent of the alarm ordinance was that police were being called out hundreds of times for no reason.”

Instead, Bowman’s idea for remedying the problem is something to think about, Brown said, as is the possibility of requiring alarm companies to notify customers.

“It’s a very good suggestion,” Brown said. “We’ll look at it.”

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Beth Foley may be contacted via e-mail at bfoley@palestineherald.com

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