TORONTO — Toronto Police Services (TPS) is considering no longer responding to alarm calls due to the overwhelming number of false alarms.
TPS says that officers are wasting valuable time and resources by responding to false alarms. In 2012, Toronto police responded to 20,000 residential and business alarm calls, with only 300 of them being legitimate, Toronto Star reports.
Now, an internal TPS steering committee is looking for ways to cut costs to reduce the drain on resources and put more officers on the frontline.
However, J.F. Champagne, executive director of the Canadian Alarm and Security Association (CANASA), believes that stopping police response will make it easier for petty thieves to break into homes and businesses.
Additionally, Champagne said that here has been a “sharp decrease” in the number of false alarms over the years, especially since security companies like ADT don’t rely on TPS because they operate their own guard response services.
Furthermore, Champagne says that since increasing its dispatch response fee to $130 in 2010, Toronto police have recovered the full cost of sending officers to false alarm calls since implementing the charge.
Champagne calculates that the department recovered roughly $2.5 million in 2012 for false alarms.
Representatives for TPS have encouraged individuals to voice their concerns over the potential new policy, as the steering committee contemplates whether officers will stop responding to alarm calls.