A Dallas woman acted fast after hearing someone try to break into her home.
She pushed the panic button on her security alarm.
The police came, even made an arrest, so why was she charged a false alarm fine?
Jill Frederick lives alone. She's been burglarized twice. So when a stranger banged on her door at 11 p.m., she hit the panic button on her alarm.
"I thought if I wait one more second, then this guy is coming in. I just did the thing I thought would make them respond fastest," she said.
The panic button triggered what police call a "code 3 call." Officers use their lights and sirens. They got there in six minutes. The man was still there and was drunk so they arrested him.
"To me, that's what a panic button is for," said Frederick.
But a few weeks later, Frederick got a $100 fine for a false alarm.
Jill Frederick said she would do the same thing next time. Police told her there wasn't really an offense, since the man didn't actually try to break in.
"I think that's not right and I don't think anyone should have to pay a $100 to have the police come out and arrest somebody," said Frederick.
Dallas police say there's a city ordinance that allows them to fine people who use their panic buttons in non-emergency situations.
"We encourage people to use their panic alarm where there really is an emergency when there is an offense going down when someone is kicking in, coming in or trying to get into the house," said Lt. Chris Aulbaugh from Dallas police.
DPD says instead of pushing the panic button, Frederick should have called 911.
So, you've been victimized twice, a guy bangs on your door in the dead of night and you're supposed to hope the 911 operator sends someone out? And what's this about waiting till the guy is in the house before hitting the panic button in an apartment?
Even if the police got there in six minutes with the panic alarm, this woman could have been dead or seriously injured if she had to wait till he crossed the threshhold before hitting the button.
If a panic button isn't for people in bad areas of town to avoid becoming victims, what is it for?