The Boulder Police Department reported a significant decrease in the number of alarms police responded to since initiating ECV. In fact, a six-month case study of two major companies implementing Enhanced Call Verification in Boulder, CO has shown consistent reduction in calls for service from alarm activations. The police department is hoping to expand the program to all alarm companies serving the community.
According to Chief Mark Beckner, the department will evaluate the new policy at the end of the year. Longmont police and the Boulder County Sheriff's Office will be keeping an eye on the results. The department reported reductions above 20% each month and a six-month average reduction of 25%.
Beckner says that if the systems significantly cut back on false alarms, he anticipates other county agencies in the state being very interested.
Enhanced Call Verification was developed by the professional alarm industry trade associations and, after testing in several markets, it was endorsed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police as a recommended practice. Enhanced Call Verification involves making a second call to a second telephone number when there is an alarm activation, and, in most cases, the call is to a cell phone.
"We have a long history of working with law enforcement agencies to effectively manage alarm systems," states Ron Walters, who manages municipal affairs for SIAC. "Since, in most cases, 80-90% of your customers are responsible and may never have had an alarm activation that requires police response, the other percentage needs attention. He suggests dealers apply ECV to abusers first for an immediate impact.
"Enhanced Call Verification (ECV) is the most effective program ever developed to reduce police dispatches to invalid alarms," states SIAC Executive Director Stan Martin. "For years, the focus was on the reduction of the percentage of alarms that were deemed false, but the percentage rate was found to not be relevant to gauging the effectiveness of alarm management programs."
When the International Association of Chiefs of Police Private Security Liaison Committee (IACP PSLC) moved the focus to reducing alarm dispatches two years ago, the alarm industry response was the development of ECV. SIAC is now launching a national initiative to encourage alarm companies to adopt ECV into their dispatch protocols and is also urging law enforcement to adopt ECV as a dispatch policy.
SIAC's initiative is to get the word out over the next year. ADT and Brinks already have programs underway and were present at the meeting to show their full support.
For further information, visit the SIAC website at www.SIACinc.org.
BOULDER POLICE DEPARTMENT RECORDS
Number of alarms that Boulder police responded to by month*
COMPARISONS - 2003/2004 January 2003 262 February 2003 254 March 2003 244 April 2003 198 May 2003 215 June 2003 253 July 2003 298 August 2003 225 September 2003 208 October 2003 201 November 2003 175 (-13%) December 2003 141 (-19%) January 2004 201 (-23%) February 2004 173 (-24%) March 2004 192 (-24%) April 2004 154 (-22%) May 2004 166 (-23%) June 2004 186 (-26%)SIX MONTH COMPARISON