Corsicana Police Chief G.M. Cox was pleased with the city council’s decision on his proposed ordinance to allow stiffer penalties for individuals and businesses that continually report false alarms.

It did not take council members long to unanimously approve the new charges.

Cox approached the council with a growing problem within his department.

“Less than one percent of all alarm calls are real,” the chief said.

The chief said a lot of manpower is wasted on each false alarm. Routinely two officers become obligated to respond to the call, which in turn makes an already small department even smaller.

Cox said despite the fact that most alarms were triggered accidentally, it still costs tax-payers money as well as tying up officers.

Currently, only after the fifth alarm are customers charged. After the fifth false alarm, $25 is billed.

Under the new approved ordinance, all customers of security companies, residential or commercial, will receive three free false alarms. For the fourth and fifth false alarm, there will be a $50 fee. On the sixth and seventh false alarm, the penalty jumps to $75 fee. For eight and more false alarms, a $100 fee per alarm will be charged.

Councilwoman Ruby Williams asked Cox if any of the false alarms came from homes in close proximity to the railroad tracks.

Cox responded by saying it has not been an issue and that sensitivity settings on the alarm systems can be modified to avoid this issue.

The chief mentioned some of the reasons for why he proposed the ordinance.

“No. 1, 99 percent of alarms are false. Secondly, most of the time complacency sets in with the officers responding to an alarm since there are so many false alarms. That creates a serious safety issue,” Cox said.

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AJ Narasimhan can be reached via e-mail at ajn@corsicanadailysun.com



CITY MEETING BRIEFS

By AJ Narasimhan/Daily Sun Staff Writer



Atmos Energy rate increase denied

City council members unanimously denied the rate increase by Atmos Energy Tuesday night. City Manager Connie Standridge said it was advised by the city’s legal department to deny the increase.



Plumbing, electrical codes modified

Both the electrical code as well as the international plumbing code were modified at the council meeting Tuesday night. City Inspector Richard Tate relayed to council members the need to modify the city electrical code to match up with state regulations.



Council asks county for help

Council members unanimously approved the city’s request for the county to declare an outdoor watering ban once severe drought conditions are reached and provide assistance with enforcement. Currently the city has no jurisdiction to enforce water restrictions in the county.



Williams celebrates a milestone

Pct. 2 Councilwoman Ruby Williams celebrated one year on the job with the city council Tuesday night. Williams replaced Emmaline Gonzalez in 2005. Mayor C.L “Buster” Brown said he has been “absolutely delighted with Ruby and she is a joy to be around.”

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