Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, January 21, 2021

If you live in Fremont, California, you can go ahead and cancel your security system alarm service. Not because crime has dropped dramatically in this San Francisco Bay city, but because the Fremont Police Department has decided to stop responding to alarm calls that don’t have accompanying confirmation, a move that would save the strapped department time, resources, and some $600,000 a year from not checking false calls.

The cops are putting the onus on the security companies to report “verified responses”:

As the alarm and/or monitoring company, it will be your responsibility to verify the alarm is actually making notification of a problem or crime in progress. Verified Response can include sound/video of a crime in progress, an eyewitness that can confirm there is a problem, or private security that can go to the scene and verify there is a crime in progress or a crime has been committed.

But really, are the security companies going to bother with this? It’ll increase their operating costs in a big way, which they’ll have to pass on to their customers. Insurance incentives will make it hard for people and businesses to drop their alarm systems altogether, but at some point, it’ll make more sense to just put in a dummy alarm system that’s designed to just make noise without the monitoring.

I can’t help but think that this is yet another step toward the establishment of private security services as clearinghouses for police response:

In other words, the implication is that the cops will respond more quickly-or even will respond, period-when an authorized security firm makes the call. The further implication is that such a call is given greater weight than one from Mr. Joe Average, who doesn’t have a security company behind him. I’ve always wondered if this would start a trend, where overworked and understaffed police departments would answer calls only made via security firms.

So far, this is largely confined to California (although the Fremont Police cite similar policies instituted in Milwaukee, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas), but I can see it spreading. It’s cooking up a dangerous situation.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 01/21/2005 07:59:40 PM
Category: Political, Society | Permalink |

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  1. Alarming developments
    From the official press release: Effective February 18, 2005, the Fremont [California] Police Department will institute a program of “Verified Response” to all alarm calls with the exception of panic,…

    Trackback by dustbury.com — 01/23/2005 @ 12:55:01 PM

  2. […] ders of this blog know about Fremont: It’s the city that made headlines recently for instituting a policy where the police will not respond to […]

    Pingback by WHY FREMONT PD CAN’T RESPOND TO ALARMS (BUT IS SO SEXY) Population Statistic — 01/29/2005 @ 10:51:53 AM

  3. Cities that adopt policies such as the one pending in Fremont have either not looked at, or choose to ignore the results in cities that have previously adopted similar policies.

    In Salt Lake City Utah burglaries went up over 20% in the first two years.

    In Arvada Colorado they went up almost 25% in the first two years.

    In Eugene Oregon the first year of the policy netted almost 15% in increased breakins.

    These increases are in spite of the entire country reporting the lowest crime rates in 30 years. The increases that are reported by these cities are even 10 fold those being reported in the Western Region of the US.

    Information provided by the Salt Lake City Police to their elected body indicacted that victimization of homes and businesses that employ security systems was up by 1,000%.

    These numbers are not invented. Anyone can visit the FBI’s web site at www.fbi.gov and review the stats in the “Unifiorm Crime Reports”.

    When the alarm industry attempts to quote this data they are poo-pooed by the media and authorities who choose to believe the police.

    You make reference to the alarm industry niot fighting these policies as they will make more money. In SLC the industry continues to fight today after three years. Why? Because the crime is so out of control they don’t want to live there either.

    With over 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the US why are fewer than 20 using any form of restricted response to alarms?

    To the citizens of Fermont. Speak out NOW. The media and public officials don’t want you to know the real facts. They prefer to allow the Chief to implement a policy, which he has full authority to do, without any public input. There is no requirement for publice hearings, or for the elected body to even give their approval.

    The alarm industry is fighting the policy in Fremont and every other city. Alarms’ real value are their deterrent effect. With the results in the handful of cities with these policies in place it begins to become obvious that they begin to lose that deterence.

    To obtain more information on Fremont and other cities visit www.siacinc.org .

    Here you’ll learn the real truth.

    Comment by Ron Walters — 02/01/2021 @ 02:16:20 PM

  4. I would imagine that part of the uptick you mention is related to the publicization of the new policy, which then emboldens criminals to attempt more breakins, because they know there’s less chance of police intervention.

    You’re right, the main purpose of an alarm is deterrence: It’s designed to discourage crime, not directly stop it. Police response is what stops crime. That being the case, if the cops aren’t going to take part, I don’t see what the need is for a “smart” security system. If the point is to scare off criminals, a dumb system that simply makes noise should suffice.

    My concern is that we don’t get to a point where the police stop responding to the average citizen, and instead only pay attention to someone who’s got a security company behind him/her to “verify”. That would set up a situation where you don’t get police protection unless you’ve got the means to pay for it.

    Comment by CT — 02/01/2021 @ 03:35:51 PM

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