Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

What you have here is an old guy. In education for 30 years, started teaching elementary, ended as library and media director of community college. I've enjoyed mountain climbing, sports car rallying, was pipe major of a bagpipe band, played guitar and sang during the folk revival, walking and hiking later in life. Now fairly sedentary. Enjoy reading, esp. mysteries and fantasy, but my reading is pretty eclectic. Enjoy movies, giving Netflix a workout.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Alarm Systems: I just returned home from a meeting at the Burien City Hall. The meeting was about a new ordinance concerning home alarm systems. The police say that 99% of the calls they respond to from home alarm systems monitored by alarm companies end up being false alarms. Our small city has few officers on duty any given shift. Other types of calls get priority and home alarm systems get a pretty low priority. The average response time for an alarm is 47 minutes. The new ordinance will require a "verified response." The next door neighbor isn’t going to check; he couldn’t hear our alarm anyway because it is inside the house. It might scare the burglar off. Most of the people attending the meeting weren’t accepting the fact that officers were wasting their time responding. I learned some things. I accepted what the officer was telling us. I think the alarm companies have sold their customers a bill of goods. They don’t have a direct line to the police station, as many people think. The alarm companies are going to have to contract with security companies. These, in turn, will verify that there has been a break-in and will call the police. In some ways, attending the meeting was two hours wasted and in other ways not.

That’s two times in the last month I’ve been to City Hall. The other time was to push for the City Council’s endorsement of the County’s library bond issue. That’s enough political action for a while. I'll save my political energy for the Big One.


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