Salt Lake Voters Not Happy with Verified Response

Almost two-thirds of Salt Lake City's registered voters aren't in favor of the town's six-year-old verified response policy.

The Alarm Industry Research & Education Foundation (AIREF) recently sponsored a survey on that topic. The survey, which was conducted by Bisconti Research, surveyed a random sample of the town's registered voters, and found that while 65 percent disapproved, only 28 percent had a favorable opinion of the ordinance.

The survey, which had 515 respondents according to Ann Bisconti, also reported that Salt Lake City residents might need to brush up on their ordinance knowledge. Bisconti Research reported that only 20 percent of those surveyed were even aware of the 2000 ordinance that required verification before police response.

The AIREF, of course, hoped to make the survey a bit political (with perhaps a wink at Dallas, which recently went to verified response as well). The last question of the survey asked whether the voter would be more likely to support a candidate who rejected the ordinance (60 percent would) versus one who did not. The survey took another dig at the Dallas-Salt Lake City connection. In the process of turning to verified response in their city, Dallas officials paid Salt Lake City officials (including Shanna Werner, the SLC alarm coordinator) to come and promote and explain the ordinance. The AIREF/Bisconti survey asked Salt Lake City's voters if they approved of their government officials promoting the ordinance to other cities. Some 62 percent said they did not approve of their officials promoting the ordinance elsewhere.

The survey, nonetheless, may be a good tool inside the alarm industry, but it's difficult to say what effect it might have upon elected officials and police departments around the nation. After all, Dallas Morning News columnist James Ragland noted (in his Monday column) that "This is an industry survey, which invited anticipated skepticism from police."

The full data and original questionnaire for the SIAC/Bisconti Research study is online at

Correction: Earlier editions of this story indicated that the AIREF survey was underwritten by SIAC. In fact, the AIREF is an organization founded by the NBFAA.