Industry Leader Still Sees Hope Verified Response Can Be Avoided in Ventura


The president of the California Alarm Association (CAA)
says he is still hopeful that a verified response policy
can be avoided in Ventura, Calif., despite a vote by the
city’s council last week to include a form of verified
response in a revised alarm ordinance. CAA President Jon
Sargent says he and other alarm industry leaders will be
meeting with Ventura police and city officials on Nov. 8 to
ask that Ventura model its policy around the enhanced call
verification (ECV) model endorsed by the Security Industry
Alarm Coalition (SIAC).

Sargent says he has spoken with Ventura Mayor Brian
Brennan, who assured Sargent that the final policy wouldn’t
be written without the alarm industry’s involvement.

“The mayor when I spoke with him sounded very positive,”
Sargent says. “We’ve got a chance. I had a really good
feeling from my conversation with the mayor that he wants
to do the right thing for Ventura, which is to work with
the alarm industry.”

The Ventura City Council approved in a HREF=’t_ci_newsView.cfm?nid=2499′ TARGET=’_blank’>unanimous
6-0 vote
on Oct. 4 to include some form of verified
response in a revised alarm policy. However, the actual
language of the revised ordinance still needs to be written
by Ventura’s city attorney, and the council would need to
ratify it. “He’s not going to write anything until we meet
with them,” says Sargent, who says the city is making up
for the fact that he and other California alarm industry
leaders weren’t made aware of the verified response
proposal until an hour before the Ventura Council
considered it.

Alarm industry leaders are hoping to convince Ventura
officials to look to an ECV policy, where police respond to
alarms only after two attempts have been made by the alarm
company to reach the alarm’s owner or someone else on site.

Under the verified response policy pitched by Ventura
police to the City Council at its Oct. 4 meeting, officers
will not respond to a burglar alarm at a home or business
unless a resident, property owner or an alarm company
employee using installed cameras can personally confirm a
break-in occurred. Calls would still be broadcast an
officers would still have the option to respond at their

If the council approves the language of the revised
ordinance, it would go into effect in 30 days.

“It’s a matter of frustration with the police department
that they have a false alarm issue and need to do something
about it. We’re going to have the opportunity to work with
them,” Sargent says. “Once we show them the success stories
like those in Boulder, Colorado, with their dramatic drop
in alarms from ECV, as well as additional information from
SIAC, we will have a chance to reduce false alarms.”

Earlier this year, Boulder reported a 63-percent decrease
in false alarms since implementing an ECV policy.

Also on the horizon in the coming weeks is a proposed HREF=’t_ci_newsView.cfm?nid=2448′ TARGET=’_blank’>verified
response policy in Dallas
. The Dallas City Council is
holding public discussions this week on the proposed policy
where alarm companies would be mandated to hire security
guards to verify alarms.

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