The Summit County Sheriff's Office will continue to respond to burglar alarms for the remainder of 2013.

The Sheriff's Office initially announced they will no longer respond to unverified alarms after March 1.

After meeting with the Utah Alarm Association, the date was pushed back to May 1, to allow alarm companies time to contact their customers and update their call list information.

Following additional meetings with the Utah Alarm Association, the Sheriff's Office recently announced a decision to continue burglar alarm response for the remainder of the year.

"For the rest of 2013, we're going to continue to respond to alarms the way we have been, and then see what the County Council decides to do with us in 2014 and readdress it then," Sheriff's Captain Justin Martinez said.

The decision was, in part, due to the inability for alarm companies to provide response to Summit County residents, Martinez added.

"They don't have response teams up here," he said. "In the Salt Lake Valley, alarm companies have the ability for responders to go to the residences and check them. But they don't have them up here, and it puts them in a more precarious situation than in the valley."

"In the mean time, we are in communications with the Utah Alarm Association and we're trying to come to a solution that at the end of the day is going to benefit the alarm companies, the citizens and the Summit County Sheriff's Office."

While the Sheriff's Office will continue to respond to burglar alarms, verified and unverified, they will now be considered lower priority.


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Ed Bruerton, Utah Alarm Association director, reserved judgment on the decision to continue response, saying it will "depend on how energetic they are going to be about responding. I've seen some places say they are going to respond if they have the time, but they never have the time. If you've got a hold up, a family fight or a wreck or something, those go ahead of alarms."

Bruerton added that despite other calls for service, the Sheriff's Office should try to respond to the alarms.

"Because the burglars don't know if somebody is coming," he said. "They expect somebody is. When the alarm goes off, they assume someone is coming and they get the heck out of there. But if the word gets out that the deputies never come, you've lost that deterrent value."

"But assuming the sheriff is going to make a good faith effort to do what he can with what he's got, that's all we ask," he said.