Some businesses question false alarm monitoring company in Warner Robins

Cry Wolf registration raises questions

Warner Robins Police are asking businesses to register as soon as possible with the Cry Wolf company to monitor and try to cut down on false alarm calls.

But some businesses are concerned with the company and a third party having their information.

After more than a year and some controversy, the system is being implemented.  

In July of last year, the WRPD stopped the agreement over concerns from the public about the company's so called ‘intrusive questions.’  

Centerville Gun and Pawn shop owner Patrick Young says he got some of those questions sent to him.

“It was personal information concerning the business. It might have been, you know, income or inventory, stuff like that that you don't -- 'cause, you know, if you give it to the wrong person, then you're a target,” Young said.

Police Chief Brett Evans says one of the new agreements with the company is to stop the questions, and if they do ask questions, they'll be approved by the WRPD.  

The company will monitor false alarm calls from businesses. After the 3rd one, there will be a $50 fine. After that, the fine goes up in $25 increments capping at $300.  

Young says he has no problem with using a fining system to curb false alarms, as long as the questions don’t come back. He also said businesses like his appreciate the double-checking since they wouldn’t want anyone stealing weapons.

“From a fiscal standpoint you're wasting resources, and they are already stretched thin so they need to spend their time doing more dedicated things,” Young said behind the counter at his pawn shop.

Evans says responding to false alarm calls uses as many hours as two full-time officers work in a year.

Allen Tatman of Forget Me Not Florist does not have a problem with the fining system either, but is worried about the outside company.

“I'm concerned about giving information to a third party concerning my alarm system and its operations and what they'll do with that information, especially if they're profiteering from it,’ Tatman said.

Tatman also expressed concern that sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between a false alarm and an actual working alarm if the criminal got spooked and left the scene before police arrived. 

Both Tatman and Young also said the City should get some of the fine money, but Evans says the fine money goes to Cry Wolf as a part of the contract.

Tatman says not only should the fine money go to Warner Robins, he’s not sure they need a third party to monitor false alarms anyway. He said he thinks current 911 operations should be able to do it.

However, he said he understood the need for the fining system if problem businesses aren’t taking care of their alarms.

The fine for not registering your business is $100 for each false alarm call, starting with the first.

To register your business, you can call 855 905-0606, according to the Warner Robins Police Department.

Residences will have to register in January of 2018.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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