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Chicago City Council Eyes OK For Electric Security Fences

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Close-up Photo Of An Electric Fence. (Paula Bronstein /Getty Images)

Close-up Photo Of An Electric Fence. (Paula Bronstein /Getty Images)

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They send 7,000-volt jolts every 1.3 seconds. And they would have to be surrounded by non-electric perimeter fences.

UPDATED 12/8/10 1:13 p.m.

CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago City Council is considering a measure that would allow businesses in the city to install non-lethal electric security fences.

The proposal would allow the fences if they don’t border residential or public areas, are surrounded by non-electric perimeter fences and bear posted warnings.

The Chicago Tribune says the fences send 7,000-volt jolts every 1.3 seconds. By comparison, a Taser delivers a 50,000-volt jolt 21 times a second.

The fences are allowed in California, and such Illinois communities as Bolingbrook, Elmhurst, Rockford and Schaumburg. They also are allowed at railroad facilities in Chicago.

Assistant Deputy Fire Commissioner John McNicholas testified against the fence ordinance Tuesday, saying they could impede access to fire scenes.

But Ald. Bernard Stone (50th) said firefighters could be issued master keys to disarm the fences.

The City Council did not take up the proposal during its meeting on Wednesday. Finance Committee Chairman Edward Burke (14th) said the measure was still in committee.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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