Zip codes causing delays for burglar alarm response times

Posted at 9:16 PM, Sep 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-22 22:28:42-04

When a security alarm goes off, every second counts.

Waco police said they've been noticing that security system companies are calling them about alarms going off, but for addresses not in their city limits.

"We have a huge volume of our calls is based off of alarm calls,” said Sgt. Patrick Swanton, Waco Police Spokesman.

According to Swanton, dispatchers said they have been having issues with delays in the response times to citizen’s homes because the addresses are not in their city limits. They are seeing the problem arise in specific areas, including Hewitt, Woodway, Bellmead and China Spring.

Brad Hardin, owner of local security company Pinnacle Protection, said he has seen that exact problem.

“When our monitoring company pulls up the zip code, it automatically auto populates the responding agency and that [agency] might not be correct,” Hardin said.

Swanton said dispatchers are taking the extra minutes to research which agency is supposed to respond.

“Typically you might get a delay of two or three minutes where we're trying to figure out who the call belongs to,” Swanton said. “And in essence, that could be a huge amount of time in the event of somebody needing emergency assistance.”

"It's very important to have a quick response time from the agency because just as I have kids, you know. If it was my son that was at home, I would want the correct agency to be notified as soon as possible and to be there as quickly as possible,” Hardin said.

The solution to this problem only takes a few extra minutes and seconds.

"If you have an alarm system on your home, make sure you notify the alarm company [that] this is the correct agency that will respond to my home in an emergency,” Swanton said.

Swanton added that if you aren’t sure which agency responds to your address, you can call them and they will find out for you.

Hardin said the alarm companies can add a note for which agency they should contact for your specific address.

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