In Dallas, Texas, a business or property owner must obtain a permit from the city before installing a burglar alarm. When a fourth or later false alarm occurs at a permitted location, the owner of the burglar alarm system is fined. The amount of the fine rises as the number of false alarms continues to rise.

Dallas police are not supposed to respond to burglar alarms at non-permitted locations. But at City Hall there was little oversight in the permit program for nearly two years. Officers responded to burglar alarms at non-permitted locations and fines were not charged for excessive false alarms during the period; considerable manpower had been expended and the city lost out on fine collections. An estimate of the loss was reported to be $1.6 million.