Madison, Wisc., Backtracks on Verified Response Decision

Just when it was a done deal that Madison, Wisc., was enacting a verified response policy, the town throws a curveball.

City officials voted last week to turn to a verified response policy to curb what leaders saw as an inordinant amount of false burglar alarm calls. But community outrage following the passage of the verified response ordinance may be changing that. According to a report from the Wisconsin State Journal, influential city leaders including the city council president and the mayor aren't ready for the heat of a full residential and commercial verified response policy.

According to the newspaper, the City Council's President Austin King, said that he would attempt to ammend the ordinance such that homes will still get standard police response, while businesses would go to verified response. The paper also reported that Mayor Dave Cieslewicz came out in support of King's proposed amendment, and that Madison Police Chief Noble Wray also thought the amendment could work with his department's needs.

According to numbers provided by the police chief, 83.5 percent of all false alarms receive thus far in 2006 have come from busineses, with only 11.6 percent coming from homes.

City Council President Austin King also noted that the issue of homeowners verifying their own alarms could raise safety issues, since not all alarm owners would elect to use a private security response company for verification.