Three months in, police say Tucson alarm policy working

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Thursday, January 1, 2004

TUCSON, Ariz. - According to police here, the city’s alarm response policy has been a success, with false alarm responses dropping 48 percent in the more than three months since it was enacted.

The new policy, adopted in early September, calls for police response to an alarm only if someone on the premises can verify a need for response or if an alarm triggers in more than one zone of the house.

Last year, Tucson Police responded to more than 25,000 alarms, 95 percent of which turned out to be false. This made up about 90 percent of the department’s total calls. As such, it used to take officers 30 minutes to an hour to respond to calls.

Tucson Police Capt. John Leavitt said the time the city has saved has allowed officers to respond to real emergencies, thanks in large part to cooperation from alarm companies, which initially criticized the city’s verified response policy.

“Police are electing to respond quickly when there’s good information from the alarm company,” he said.

According to KOLD-TV in Tucson, police responded within two minutes to a recent attempted burglary at a gun shop.