Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
Tom Leppert, Dallas' new mayor, won his first major policy battle by overturning an interesting policy with a dull name: "verified response."
Under verified response, Dallas police officers wouldn't automatically respond when a business's burglar alarm sounded. Rather, they were instructed to wait for confirmation from the owners that a crime had taken place.
Dallas adopted this policy 21 months ago, but Leppert argued that it placed an unfair burden on business owners. The city council agreed, by an 11-4 vote, in spite of support for verified response from Police Chief David Kunkle.
Kunkle's case was that responding to all alarms, 97 percent of which are false, in fact places an unfair burden on police. He also pointed out that business burglaries have dropped slightly since Dallas implemented verified response.
I can see both sides of this debate, but I do have to wonder why police would have a different standard for businesses than vehicles. If police ever were to respond to a car alarm, that would be news.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.