L.A. Alarm Policy Pushed Back


The verified or nonresponse alarm policy in Los Angeles did not go into effect July 15 as expected. A scheduling issue has pushed it back another week for a final decision, city officials said.

The item will be discussed at the police commission’s July 22 meeting, said Tami Cantania, public information director for the police commission. At that time, the commission will decide whether or not it will consider making any changes to the new policy or implemented it as is.

Discussing the policy July 22 goes beyond the 30-day extension the commission granted June 17 at the mayor’s request to not implement the policy until the city can further study the new law and come up with a compromise. Catania said going beyond the extension is not an important factor. “[The policy] is set to be implemented on the 22nd.”

Currently, “we have the exact same policy. We are responding to all alarms at this point,” Catania said. Officials said the police department is still in the process of training its officers on the new policy.

The policy item was not considered for the July 15 meeting because LAPC President Rick Caruso would not be present. “The reasoning was that we wanted to have all our commissioners here, and one is not present,” Catania said

The police commission June 17 modified the new policy by requiring the broadcast of all burglar alarm calls, giving officers the discretion to respond or not. Under the policy, approved in January, police will not respond to alarms unless a person or security company first verifies that a burglary at a premise has occurred.

Members of the Los Angeles City Council asked the commission June 17 to include a three strikes rule that would enable alarm owners to have three false alarms before police stop responding. The commission said it supports the measure but did not incorporate it into the policy.

The measure is one of many proposed by a city-formed task force group and supported by the alarm industry, which argues that implementing a no response policy jeopardizes the public safety of Los Angeles residents and business owners with alarm systems.

Meanwhile, the California Alarm Association (CAA) said the alarm industry is in ongoing contact with the mayor’s office, and continues to support the adoption of the recommendations by the task force group, which includes the three strikes rule. “The primary issue is the ability of the LAPD to accommodate a reasonable alarm response policy,” CAA stated in a letter to the industry.

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