Murray residents voice concern about security after officer-involved shooting

Posted at 10:35 PM, Aug 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-11 07:48:14-04

MURRAY, Utah -- Residents living around Southwood Park, where Sunday's officer-involved shooting took place, say they are concerned when they aren't home, and the security alarm goes off, how long will it take for police to arrive, if they arrive at all.

"We just as well put a sign up on the front end and back end of town that says, 'Hey Burglars are Welcome,' because we don't answer burglar alarms," said resident Kirk Jensen.

Jensen pays $50 a month for a top-notch security system.

He said it works great if he's home and has an intruder. However, Jensen's concern is when he's not home and has an intruder. Murray City has a non-response policy.

"The police department will respond to all panic alarms, direst alarms and hold up alarms and any other alarms besides that we don't automatically respond to them," said Officer Kenny Bass with the Murray City Police Department.

Instead the security company is notified and it is up to them to send a local representative to the home or business and check out the alarm to see if police are needed.

"I once tested the system so I could find out how long it took and I put it on the clock and it was 37 minutes," Jensen said.

Police say non-response policies help cut down the amount of time officers waste on false alarms. Salt Lake City has the same policy in place.

Residents say this way of thinking sends a poor message.

"The word around town to the burglars is, 'hey Murray is an open town,' if you get into the house the burglar alarm goes off, get in the house, get what you want, and get out, and there is no response," Jensen said.

Residents living in the Southwood Park neighborhood say crime has been on the rise in the past six months.

"I know of two home invasion burglaries, physically went in, kicked in doors, stole many valuables and possessions out of the home," said resident Grant Lundberg.

Lundberg has signed up more than 100 residents to the app Nextdoor. It's a social media neighborhood watch.

"It can give you responses in real time just like a Twitter or a Facebook so that if you do see a suspicious car or circumstance you can post it immediately and make everybody aware of what to look out for," Lundberg said.

Lundberg said police don't have the time or resources to patrol every street, every day. It's up to the residents to take charge.

"In today's world if you're not right next door to somebody you're usually not talking to them and this helps bridge that gap," Lundberg said.

Bass said police are notified of all alarms that go off, and if there are no other more serious matters taking place at that time officers can and will respond, but it's not a requirement, it's a case by case basis.