Connecticut City Considers Adoption of Non-Response Policy

New Britain, Conn.

In reaction to its false alarm dilemma, New Britain city
officials announced that they are considering the
elimination of police response to electronic burglar
alarms. This proposal was made after a document entitled
Response to Alarms, A Public Policy Analysis was
reviewed by the mayor and common council. David
Wilson
, president of the Connecticut Burglar and
Fire Alarm Association (CBFAA)
, along with Cecil
Hogan
, president of the National Burglar and Fire
Alarm Association (NBFAA)
, presented to the city a
written response regarding the report and newly proposed
policy.

In their letter, Wilson and Hogan express disappointment that alarm users and the security industry were not consulted regarding this matter until after non-response was proposed. They also discuss flaws in the report. For example, the study, which illustrates the impact that service fees have had on false alarms in Montgomery County, Md., omitted some important information, according to Wilson and Hogan. The letter states, “While you included a detailed account of how [the program] works (i.e. charts of fines, city codes), you did not mention the results it yielded—a full 41.9-percent reduction in false alarms since enforcement of the False Alarm Reduction program began in March 1995. This, coupled with a 117-percent increase in the number of registered alarm users over the same time period.”

Wilson and Hogan say thateliminating police response to alarms is not a reasonable solution. Both men offered to assist the city with future presentations or discussions of the topic.

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