MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - In Midland, if you have an alarm system, you're required by city ordinance to have an alarm permit. This assures the city that you understand your alarm system and you have instructions from your alarm installation company, especially when it comes to avoiding a false alarm.
But a new digital program is meant to reduce the number of false alarm activations requiring officers to respond.
Just in 2016, the department received 6,746 alarm calls. 82 percent of those were false alarms, causing strain on officers and taking them away from real emergencies.
Before, residents had to come to the Midland Police Department to pay for their permit or they could pay it by mail. Now, residents can apply for their permit online.
"Really what it comes down to is it really costs the police department resources when we respond to a false alarm call," said Sara Bustilloz with the City of Midland. "Of course they could be responding to something else that's higher priority, when we do hear an alarm, that's considered a burglary in progress. We're going to respond to that above other calls, it's taking up precious resources."
By paying your registration online, the online software will keep track of your permit information which will allow the city to track where they receive repeat calls. This will help the city notify those residents to prevent those repeat calls from happening again.
"It's something a lot of us had happen to us or if we go to a friend's house, but making sure if you have someone house sitting, or checking on your pets, making sure they have that information if they're going to be going into your home so they don't have the police called out," said Bustilloz.
An application for the new program is available online here. The ordinance and fees have not changed. The cost is $20 for residential locations and $25 for commercial locations.The permit must be renewed every year for $15 for residential applications and $20 for commercial ones.
If you have any questions related to the new system you can also call (888) 250-5690 on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.