Madison Latest City to Consider Verified Response


A city ordinance has been proposed in Madison, Wis., where police won’t respond to commercial and residential burglar alarms unless they receive verification from a person that there is evidence of an intrusion or other crime at the alarm site. If approved, Madison – the capital city of Wisconsin and home to the University of Wisconsin – would become the second city in the state to adopt verified response.

Milwaukee has had verified response since September 2004.

The proposal, set forth by the Madison Police Department, was presented to the Madison Common Council on April 18. The council then referred the proposal to its Public Safety Review Board.

Madison has had a false alarm fine structure in place since 1983 according to The Wisconsin State Journal, where alarm owners are fined as much as $100 for an eighth false alarm within a year.

In addition to verified response, the new ordinance would increase the false alarm fine to $100 to $250 for each violation. The exact amount is still to be determined by the council.

Also included in the ordinance is language requiring alarm companies to train alarm users after a system is installed.

David Koenig, co-owner of Madison’s Capital Lock Inc., told the State Journal that verified response in Madison will do more to help increase crime, not prevent it.

“I believe over time, it will cause more burglaries to occur,” Koenig said. “It’s going to cost people more money for their security and it’s going to lead to a decrease in public security.”

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