Pueblo considering ECV

Local alarm companies dissatisfied
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

PUEBLO, Colo.—The Security Industry Alarm Coalition is facing opposition from local alarm companies in its work with municipal authorities here to create and adopt an acceptable ordinance that includes fines for false alarms and an enhanced call verification (ECV) policy.

"The reason I'm fighting this is because this is a unique ordinance. They want every one to register. They want everyone to pay on a yearly basis—even do-it-yourselfers because they want that money," Dave Anderson, owner of local alarm company Automated Security, told Security Systems News. "And they want duplicate information for their own files, even though our central station already has it …  Have you ever heard of a police department getting hacked?"

Carla Sikes is assistant city attorney for the City of Pueblo. Sikes said the next few city council meetings would decide the fate of the ordinance.

Sikes told SSN in early October that the goal was to have it on the next council meeting October 11 for its initial reading. "Then it'll come up for public hearing and final vote at the next meeting October 24," she said. It is during that meeting that local alarm company owners and end users will be allowed to voice their concerns for consideration.

"What's exceptional about this is how cooperative the police have been … Basically what's been going on up to this time are the four meetings they've had with the industry and the public, and it was a chance for everybody to speak out and the police department made some considerable changes," SIAC director Ron Walters told SSN. "Residential registrations went from $24 to $12, they weren't going to give any free false alarms, but now they're giving one free false response. Originally the fines started out pretty steep, but now they're quite reasonable at $25 for the second response, $50 on the third, on the fourth it's $75 and after the fourth the police can institute discretionary suspension of response on a case-by-case basis."

"We're not blazing new ground here," Pueblo Police Chief Luis Velez said in published reports. "We've been working with [SIAC] on what works in other communities."

Anderson insisted the ordinance would end up punishing reputable businesses for a problem that doesn't exist.

"Per capita, we're the highest crime rate in the state. One in five homes gets burglarized every year. But the false alarm problem isn't that bad," Anderson said. "We're kind of a unique little town here in the prairie where all the door knockers and the trunk slammers come in every spring and camp out and cause all these false alarms. It's not the good half-dozen local companies."