Seattle credits new policy with reduction in false alarms

The Seattle Police Department is crediting the enforcement of a new alarm policy with a 26 percent reduction in unnecessary dispatches so far this year versus what they experienced in 2008.

The new Enhanced Call Verification (ECV) policy, which went into effect in January, not only requires companies and alarm users be licensed and registered with the city, but also that monitoring centers place two verification calls to customers prior to alerting police. According to a statement issued by the Security Industry Alarm Coalition, Seattle has seen a 62 percent reduction in false alarm calls since it began updating its alarm ordinances in 1999.

“Seattle is an excellent example of the positive effects that come from enforcing a cooperative alarm ordinance between law enforcement and the alarm industry,” said Washington Burglar & Fire Alarm Association Alarm Response Manager Ron Haner. “The statistics from Seattle prove that if a jurisdiction takes the time and effort to enforce their alarm ordinance in cooperation with the local alarm industry, they will see the desired reductions.”