Wash. Police Team With Alarm Company to Fight Crime


Olympia, Wash., police joined forces with Custom Security Systems to succefully put and end to criminal activity that repeatedly targeted a local battery company.

Together, the joint effort allowed the business to increase security efforts without fear of accumulating alarm fees while the sting operation remained in effect.

The burglarized company wanted to install outside beams around the perimeter of the property; however, under normal circumstances, this type of alarm would be high risk in terms of unnecessary alarm trips, says Dick Machlan, manager of the administrative services division for the Olympia Police Department.

“Anytime one of our alarm companies has a particular approach to a problem for one of their customers, we encourage them to get in touch with us so that we might work together within the confines of our existing alarm program to keep everyone safe,” Machlan says.

One month after Custom Security’s agreement, the Olympia Police Department nabbed the suspected burglar.

“When we first looked at our [false] alarm program, the intent we had was to simply recover our cost of responding to unnecessary alarms, but we’ve found that we have been able to cut down on false alarms by close to 80 percent.,” says Machlan. “I really think it’s been our ability to cooperate together with the alarm industry that makes our system work.”

Olympia’s alarm program was first instituted in 2005 and requires that alarm company operators and their customers work together to ensure the proper two-call verification procedure is followed, alarm equipment is in good working order, and customers are trained to use their equipment correctly. All alarm systems are required to be registered with the city in order to receive a police response.

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