False Alarm Update: Milwaukee Makes Hiring Guards Mandatory for Alarm Companies


Milwaukee’s legislative body has unanimously approved a
measure that forces alarm companies to send trained
security guards to check on burglar alarms before police
respond. The Milwaukee Common Council voted 14-0 for the
change, which is considered an offshoot of the verified
response put into effect by Milwaukee Police Chief Nannette

Under that policy, put into effect HREF=t_ci_newsView.cfm?nid=1877>last September, an
alarm company must have a burglar alarm verified before
police will respond.

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, alarm
companies argued before the council that a requirement to
hire security guards would increase their costs, which they
would have to pass on to customers.

Ald. Tony Zielinski, an opponent of the new alarm policy,
attempted to add language to the bill that would put the
council on record in favor of sending police instead of
guards. However, his amendment was voted down 10-4.

In other false alarm news …

LOS ANGELES: A report by the Los Angeles Police
Commission shows there has been no change in the percentage
of false alarm calls police respond to since a revamped
burglar alarm policy designed to prevent false alarms began
at the start of 2004. However, there has been a reduction
in the total number of alarms police respond to.

According to the Daily Breeze, the report says 97
percent of the alarm calls LAPD officers responded to in
2004 were false – no change from the 97 percent they
responded to in 2003.

Los Angeles police nid=1423>started a temporary policy on Jan. 1, 2004
where officers no longer responded to burglar alarm calls
at addresses with more than two false alarms in a year
unless they were verified by someone at that location. That
policy was made
permanent by the Los Angeles City Council last
and a $115 fine for a first false alarm was

The report says, however, that the number of alarms police
responded to overall went down from 9,000 per month in 2003
to 6,000 per month in 2004. The total number of alarm calls
that police responded to dropped from 109,295 calls in 2003
to 79,882 in 2004.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif.: A proposal by the police department of Simi Valley, Calif., to institute verified response was the subject of a March 30 community meeting held to discuss false burglar alarms.
According to the Ventura County Star, Simi Valley Police Chief Mark Layhew told those gathered that Simi Valley’s version of a verified response policy is a “living document” and will incorporate community concerns by the time it is presented before the city’s council on May 2.
Mayhew said that as it stands now, the policy for the city located near Los Angeles would require and alarm to be confirmed by alarm companies, motion detectors, audio sensors, video feed or telephone.
Representatives from the California Alarm Association (CAA) suggested as an alternative enhanced call verification where alarm companies call several predesignated people before calling police, as well as trying to concentrate on some of the worst false alarm offenders.

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