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Sounding the alarm

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Updated: 7/23/2012 5:24 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is changing the way it responds to burglary calls.

Sheriff John Rutherford says they have to cut about $28 million. That means services, programs and jobs are all on the chopping block. So they are making a change in service calls. "We are no longer responding to burglary alarms," said Sheriff John Rutherford.

He says they're going to what he called a verified response alarm system. That means if you have an alarm system that goes off, the company will now have to call and check to see if there is a crime being committed. "Ninety-nine point nine percent of burglary alarms are false and we know that," said Sheriff Rutherford. "We can no longer afford to go to 99.9 percent of alarms that are false."

Alarm companies will now be calling people a lot more often to see if there is a real burglary every time the alarm sounds. If someone hits the "panic" button, JSO says they will still respond immediately.

The sheriff is talking with all alarm companies right now. There's no date yet on when this new policy will take affect. Right now the sheriff's office says if they respond to more than six false alarms at one location, they issue a fine.
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