Rockwood considering false alarm ordinance

By: Hilary Magacs Email
By: Hilary Magacs Email

ROCKWOOD, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Kayla Pressley said Subway's alarm system occasionally goes off while they're closed:

"I've had the alarms go off and then the alarm company would call us and say, 'Would you like us to have the cops come out and check the premises or would you like to?' And I'll just have the cops come out because if it's 11 o'clock at night, nobody really wants to get out of bed for a false alarm," said Pressley.

Rockwood Police don't want to waste time with false alarms either. Chief Danny Wright said at times, they'll respond to 7 or 8 false alarms in a row.

"We'll respond and we'll have no responsible party and no information regarding any responsible party who can come and secure the residence and let us in, or anyone to call and notify," said Wright.

It's one of the reasons City Council passed the first reading of an ordinance that would require anyone with a business, home or medical alarm system to register it with the city and pay a $12 registration fee.

"I kind of think it's silly, when you're already paying for the system anyway," said Lisa Hackler, who is against the proposed ordinance.

But Chief Wright said registering will ensure officers know who to call if the alarm goes off - and says the law might encourage people to fix broken alarm systems. He said after several false alarms, people would be fined.

"We have built into the ordinance that you get three false alarms. On the fourth, fifth and sixth, there is a civil fine. It's not a criminal penalty, it's a civil fine that is $25," said Wright.

-which some find upsetting.

"It's not the company's fault that the alarms are going off," said Hackler.

City Council will hold a final vote at its next meeting on February 24.

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