IACP endorses multiple call

Group will urge central stations to adopt policy
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Sunday, December 1, 2002

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The association that represents the nation's high ranking municipal law enforcement officers has adopted a policy to encourage private sector central stations to make multiple verification attempts by phone before dispatching an alarm to police.

At the annual meeting in October, the International Association of Chiefs of Police endorsed a resolution to promote multiple call verification as a way of reducing false alarms, which in some communities has become such a nuisance that law enforcement officials have stopped responding.

"After 9/11, (the IACP) came to us and said we have got to further reduce dispatches," said Stan Martin, national coordinator of the Alarm Industry Research and Education Foundation.

Two companies, Alarm Detection Systems in Aurora, Ill., and ADT, with a segment of their monitored accounts, recently conducted a six to nine month trial of the practice, Martin said. Those companies found that false dispatches were reduced by an additional 35 to 50 percent by making a second or third phone call to a cell phone, designated family member or, in the case of a commercial account, a manager's home.

Martin, who also sits on the IACP's False Alarm Committee, brought it to the IACP, where it was brought to the forefront of the IACP meeting and "fastracked" to a vote of the group's General Assembly.

"The IACP recognizes the significance of that effort and urges alarm dealers to work with law enforcement," he said. "We need to watch the industry and the law enforcement work together at high levels."

With the resolution, the IACP members will begin to see the issue publicized in the organization's journal as well as to the Association of Professional Communication Officers, said Chief Tom Sweeney, chief of police in Glastonbury, Conn., and chairman of the IACP's Public Sector Liaison Committee.

"We could require it in ordinances for the alarm installers that are dealing with central stations that use multiple verification," Sweeney said.

"It's in everybody's interest not to misuse public resources to respond to false alarms, and not to risk the issues, as you see certain jurisdictions walking away from alarm response."