Bar owner questions why Calgary police didn’t respond to attempted break-in

A Calgary bar owner is questioning why police didn’t respond to an attempted break-in early Sunday morning.

Kenan Poskovic, the owner of Brickwell Taphouse, said he was woken up just after 4 a.m., by his alarm company calling him to say the sensor at the back door of the bar had been set off.

Poskovic said the monitoring company called police, but within minutes, they called him back saying officers would not be dispatched.

“I was kind of shocked and didn’t know what to do at that point,” said Poskovic.

He decided to drive to his business in order to survey any damage and shut off the alarm.

“I walked through the building by myself,” Poskovic recalled. “I didn’t feel very comfortable doing that at that hour of the night.”

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When he returned in the morning to open, he noticed the damage to the back door.

Upon reviewing the security camera footage, Poskovic saw four people trying desperately to pry open the back door before giving up and taking off.

He said he quickly realized how dangerous the situation could have been.

“I could have been here five minutes earlier and faced them at that hour of the night,” said Poskovic. “What would have happened? Would I drive away? Would I try to scare them?”

The Calgary Police Service confirmed that it did get the call, but that the criteria for dispatching officers wasn’t met.

In 2016, the CPS made changes to when officers would be dispatched to alarm calls.

“Effective May 15, 2016, Calgary 9-1-1 will no longer dispatch alarm calls where only one zone has been activated within a premise. Alarm agencies will also be required to contact two key holders prior to contacting police,” said a CPS news release.

“CPS will attend locations where two or more zones have been activated. Alarm agencies must also attempt to contact two key holders prior to contacting police.”

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The CPS said at the time of the change it was responding to 45 alarm calls a day, and that 96 percent ended up being false alarms.

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Poskovic said that change makes it more dangerous for owners who have to go into their businesses to shut off alarms triggered by a single sensor.

“I would say to [the CPS] that safety comes first, no matter whether the alarm is tripped once or twice or three times,” said Poskovic. “They need to come out and check it out regardless.”

If it happens again Poskovic said his regulars from the bar will have his back.

“A lot of our customers and friends of the business have said that next time, they will come instead of the police just to make sure that I’m not alone.”

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