Police Changing How They Respond To Security Alarms

As of July 1st, alarm companies and monitoring agencies were required to comply with the new alarm verification process before requesting a police response from the Niagara Police.

An Alarm Company or Monitoring Service must verify an intrusion alarm using at least one of the following criteria prior to requesting police emergency response:

  1. An Audio Sensors that provide a confirmation of criminal activity by the sounds detected within the premise;
  2. A Video System with the ability to confirm criminal activity through visual images;
  3. Confirmation from an Owner, an authorized person the owner has designated and given a key, an alternate response agency or a witness on scene who can confirm the existence of a suspected criminal act; or
  4. Multiple activation points which the alarm company or monitoring service/system has determined that the manner and sequence of activation indicates that suspected criminal activity is or has taken place.

London has also implemented VARP.  Hamilton, has a $160 fee for responding to “False Alarms” – that is, alarms that they respond to that were deemed to not be a non emergency event.

Panic / Duress or Hold Up Alarms

According to VARP, a report for a panic/duress or hold-up alarm would initiate an emergency response without the need for verification.

Public Call / Alarm Reporting

If a member of the public were to call in an audible alarm without suspicious circumstances the call would be given a low priority and responded to as a noise complaint.

Security Guard Response

This is part of the reason TJC Systems advocates for a private security guard response to any alarm triggerings.  Police can take a long time to respond due to priority calls taking their focus primarily.  A security guard can and usually does respond within under 10 minutes; they can upon arrival verify if an alarm requires police response and can thereby act as the requirement meeting the VARP guidelines and help ensure your emergencies are being handled as such while reducing the likelihood of emergency dispatch responding to a non emergency event aka known as a false alarm.

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