At the Monday evening Gillette City Council Workshop Session, the council and staff had a discussion about a possible ordinance dealing with residential and business security systems. Gillette Police Chief Jim Hloucal told council members that the need for an ordinance stems from a recent increase in alarm calls. Police Lieutenant Chuck Deaton said in 2009, the police department responded to 42 calls where alarms had been activated. In 2012, that number jumped to 502 calls. In addition to the 502 residential calls in 2012, there were also 666 calls from business alarms, but in 2012 only 2 calls were true alarms. Deaton says spending that amount of time responding to false alarms compromises good resources.
"We send a minimum of two officers to each alarm call and they can average about thirty minutes for each call; so we would like to be able to manage that time better to be more proactive in the community."---Deaton
Chief Hloucal told council members that the amount of time the department spent responding to false alarms in 2012 was comparable to having one officer spend the entire year doing nothing else. The council is being asked to consider some measures that would spur individuals into taking steps to dramatically decrease the amount of time officers spend occupied with false alarms.
"The ordinance would include a requirement to register each alarm so we have an updated list of what owners should respond to check out the business or residence. There would also include a few requirements for repeated false alarms."---Deaton
When discussing repeated false alarms to a specific address, Chief Hloucal said 33 businesses accounted for 52% of the calls in 2012, and 33 residences accounted for 72% of the false alarms. Requirements being considered in regards to repeated false alarms could include having the alarm system checked by a licensed service technician or charging administrative fees. Last night's workshop was just for a discussion on the topic; City Administrator Carter Napier said that the council should begin voting on the potential ordinance as early as the council's first meeting in February.