False Alarm Update: Second California City Considers Total Verified Response


The city council in the Southern California city of Simi
Valley will be considering whether to enact a verified
alarm response policy, joining Fremont, Calif., with
verified response policies in the state. Police in the
Ventura County city, about 40 miles northwest of Los
Angeles, say that 98 percent of the 3,805 alarm calls it
received last year were false and the new policy is needed
for the department to better deal with real emergencies.

Under the new policy, burglar alarms will need to be
verified by a video feed, an eyewitness or a private
security guard before police will respond, according to the
Ventura County Star. The Simi Valley City Council
will hear the new ordinance on April 4 and may vote on its

“Our whole goal is to provide a better service to the
community as a whole,” Sgt. Stephanie Shannon, Simi Valley
Police spokeswoman, told the Star. “A minimum of two
officers are taken away from legitimate-type calls to
handle these false alarms.”

Simi Valley, with a population of around 117,000, would be
the second California city to switch to a total verified
response policy.  Fremont will nid=2129>become to first total verified response city in
California on March 20
. Los Angeles police HREF=t_ci_newsView.cfm?nid=1871>do not immediatly respond
to a burglar alarm at an alarm customer with more than two
false alarms in a year
unless it is verified at the
source, but will still dispatch the call to all units who
can respond at their discretion.

In other false alarm news …

OLYMPIA, Wash.: A law passed last July that allows
for no free false alarms and alarm registration goes into
effect in April in the state capital of Washington.

Under the new alarm ordinance, which takes effect April 1,
alarm owners will be required to register their systems to
expect an automatic police response. Alarms at unregistered
locations will require verification at the source before
police respond. Residential customers will pay $25 to
register, while commercial and government customers pay

Alarm companies will be responsible for registering their
customers with the police and collecting the registration

The new law also includes fines for every false alarm – $60
for each false burglar alarm and $200 for each false panic

LUBBOCK, Texas:The police chief in Lubbock, Texas,
says an alarm ordinance that levies a permit fee for
excessive false alarms has cut such false dispatches 44
percent since it went into effect in 2001.

Police Chief Claude Jones told KCBD-TV there were 13,805
false alarms in 2004 compared to 25,000 before the new
ordinance took effect in 2000.

Under the ordinance, alarm owners are forced to pay a $50
fee for an alarm permit after more than three false alarms
in a calendar year.

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