Spokane, Washington's false alarm ordinance has come under scrutiny following recent crime events that were met with delayed response because the alarm owner was delinquent in paying previous false alarm fees. The ordinance called the False Alarm Reduction Program was enacted in 2007 in an effort to reduce the high rate of false alarms. In 2014 out of the 4100 burglar alarms sounded, only 127 or 3% were considered valid according to the Spokane police.
The fees that Spokane collects offset the cost of sending vehicles and personnel to false alarms. Burglar alarms users pay fines for each false alarm that prompts a visit from the police $85 for residences and $165 for businesses. In 2014, the city collected $292,086 through this system.
There was a burglary in August 2015 at a convenience store during which the intruders triggered an alarm around 5:30 AM. The officers did not dispatch to the location until after 2 PM because the owner had an outstanding false alarm fine. Naturally the owner was very upset that the police took so long to respond to the burglary. The store had been closed. It was estimated that the burglars spent approximately 30 minutes looting his business. When the owner arrived he reviewed the video surveillance footage. One man entered through the ceiling and let the other individual in through the exterior door. The two men were wearing masks and stole dozens of rolls of lottery tickets, cash and a large tin of spare change.
Stealth Monitoring live video surveillance service enables our trained operators to see suspicious activity in progress and take immediate action. This often results in faster police response times with a higher priority level, since it's not a false alarm but a verified crime in progress. Many police departments nationwide have publicly shared their frustration and inefficiencies chasing false alarms. Stealth also improves the situational awareness of the responding officers who can communicate with our operators and receive live incident information, such as number of suspects, make/model/color of vehicles, potential weapons, and trespasser locations.
This shopping center and convenience store were not clients of Stealth Monitoring. Stealth proactive live surveillance can detect and deter crime in Spokane and Seattle, Washington and other cities in the U.S. while reducing security guard and other expenses. A Stealth operator could have seen unusual activity, activated an audible warning to deter the thieves, and called the local police.
Posted in: Crime Prevention