False Alarms and Verified Response Protocal
This infomation is in response to questions asked by a local writer who's city is starting to use Verified Response Protocol. This means that local police department will not respond to an alarm unless it has been verified. This helps reduce false alarms but requires residents to upgrade their security system to audio verification systems or get video verification of alarm events before police will be dispatched to the home.
The information provided below is my answer to her questions:
I believe that audio verification alarm systems or video verification of alarm events are definitely a wise choice for home security. If everyone had an audio verification home alarm installed it would certainly help reduce false alarms. This would help our police force to better use their time responding to true alarm events instead of responding to false alarms. Most false alarms are due to user error, so having a system that provides hands free communication with speakerphone connection to your central station when an alarm is received definitely helps reduce false alarms.
However, I do believe that local police departments should respond to all alarms whether the alarm has been verified or not. Local police departments should have patrol officers that are driving through neighborhoods already and responding to alarm events certainly would not be a bad thing. If certain residents are creating excessive false alarms, there should be at some point minor fees to continue having the police department respond to alarm events at their residence. Also having residents register their alarms is helpful for police departments and I believe it's a good thing.
The real question is what should all this cost the resident. Homeowners are already paying taxes, so the question is why should they have to pay for higher level of security system monitoring to have police respond to the alarm? Should there be alarm permit fees and false alarm fees? If so, what's a fair price for this service? I personally do not know the answer to this. Obviously it would take real insight into the city's budget and the true cost of responding to alarm events to figure out what's right. Should the taxes residents pay cover the expense of the police department responding to alarms? Like many things in local government.... it's all about where the money is coming from and who's deciding how it is spent?
The Cost of Upgrading to a Audio Verification Security System
I myself have an audio verification security system with ADT monitoring. I believe that everyone should get audio verification if it's affordable for them. It might add a bit to the initial cost ($99 or less) depending on which system you go with and normally around an extra $5 a month for monitoring. Audio verification using Two-way Voice technology is also great for medical and fire emergencies. For most who understand the added benefits of having an audio verified security system, the minor upgrade in investment cost for your home security is well worth it.