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Working with law enforcement to reduce false alams.

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  • Working with law enforcement to reduce false alams.

    I posted a similar post in the Tech Corner, but wnted to make sure I covered all the bases.

    I am a police officer in a major US city. As of March 1 I will be taking over the false alarm position for my Department.

    The task I have been given is to try to reduce our false alarm response 20% by the end of the year. The goal we have is based primarily on the same problem facing law enforcement nationwide - low staffing. The drain on patrol resources to respond to alarms is huge.

    I am hoping you guys have some ideas - some outside the box thinking - about how to reduce false alarms.

    Prior to 2004 we ticketed home/business owners. Since then we bill the alarm company directly and they pass the costs on to the customer. The downside of this is that the alarm companies can add on "administrative fees" etc and can actually profit from the false alarms - not really an incentive to reduce them.

    Alarm companies pay annual license fees based on how many alarms they have in the city.

    We already have verified response, but coming from patrol, it doesn’t seem to being helping too much as far as reducing false alarms.

    6 false alarms in any 12 month period puts locations on a no response list.

    Private security response is an option to property owners.

    My thought would be having a sliding scale for annual licenses based on false alarm percentage for the company. More false alarms equals higher annual license fee (maybe even the option of denying licenses if they get too high). Sure, the cost will still get passed along, but less expensive service would only be an option for those working at and keeping the false alarm rate low.

    Any other thoughts?

    As a police department, there is not much we can do regarding response - we get the call and we go.

    The primary reason for most false alarms being the end user, I think we need to train them better (since almost every false alarm is their fault). I am thinking of suggesting that the false alarm reduction class we offer to people to get out of paying for their first false alarm becomes mandatory to all alarm users before they get the system (or within 30 days). That way, best practices can be explained early in the process. Since that is not the current practice, there would be one year for current alarm holders to take the class.

    I am already aware of model ordinaces and etc.

    Thanks in advance.
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    -Tom Ridge

  • #2
    You received 22 responses to this topic in the other fourm - even from Dealers and Integrators. No sense in dual posting. I'm locking this thread.
    Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
    Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

    Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference