Reading Between the Lines of a Study on Verified Response Policies

New Sonitrol-sponsored survey promotes verified response, but leaves many questions unanswered


But back to the survey itself, there are weaknesses when trying to generalize from the information. For one, the "survey" only turns to 20 cities which currently have a verified response policy, which some would say is akin to asking Washington Redskins fans who the best football team is. It also draws criticism in that the report was commissioned by an alarm company that specifically works in the "verified" sector, making the Sonitrol-sponsored "research" nothing more than a marketing venue for its own audio verification technologies.

In addition, SIAC's Martin said he was a bit perplexed that support of verified response would be coming out of the alarm industry. According to Martin, enhanced call verification (ECV) policies are proving that they can reduce dispatches while keeping local business and homeowners happy with police response policies. Martin says that the gains made with ECV have even shocked some of their strongest supporters, with Olympia, Wash., reporting a 70 percent reduction in false alarm dispatch rates -- a number that rivals what many of the Sonitrol-surveyed cities are claiming from verified response policies.

In the end, though, this new survey makes on thing clear: There may not be as much consensus from the alarm industry as originally thought, despite the universal goal of decreasing false alarm dispatches.