Cities raise alarm over proposed alarm changes

Feb 11, 2014, 5:00 AM | Updated: 2:08 pm

PHOENIX — When you order a home security system you expect the alarm installers to be honest and trustworthy, but some are worried a bill at the state legislature could make it tougher to tell.

“It’s a public safety issue for us,” said Dale Weibusch with the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.

His group, which represents more than 90 communities across the state, is opposed to House Bill 2564. The bill would eliminate a list of crimes — including burglary, kidnapping and sexual assault — that would prohibit a person from becoming certified to install alarm systems in Arizona.

Under the current system, a person needs to apply and undergo a criminal background check in order to gain state certification, but HB 2564 would no longer require those checks.

Instead, the bill calls for the State Board of Technical Registration to deny an application for certification if a controlling person of an alarm business or an alarm agent “lacks good moral character.” The bill states a lack of good moral character may be established by evidence of past criminal activity, but it lists no convictions as the current law does, including robbery, child molestation and homicide.

“Most people would understand that you don’t want those folks coming into your home, understanding the layout of your home, installing your alarm equipment,” Weibusch said.

A few years ago, he added, cities teamed up with alarm companies to get legislators to pass the current law, which went into effect last October. He said he doesn’t understand why there’s a push to change it.

KTAR requested an interview with the bill sponsor, House Majority Leader David Gowan (R- Sierra Vista), but he was unavailable. We requested an explanation from the House Republican Communications Staff, but did not hear back.

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Cities raise alarm over proposed alarm changes