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Alarm Response

For many years, the Lakewood Police Department averaged more than 6,000 intrusion alarms per year, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the total annual citizen-generated calls for service. Of those calls, nearly 98 percent were consistently FALSE ALARMS. Each alarm required the response of at least two officers who were then unavailable for other more serious public safety calls.

Alarm Response Policy

 

The Lakewood Police Department handles intrusion alarms efficiently:

Police continue to immediately respond to robbery, panic and medical alarms, but the department has adopted a "verified alarm response" policy for handling other alarms. Some form of verification is required before officers are dispatched. The alarm company can choose to verify an alarm's validity, or police officers will respond if factors lead them to believe the alarm is valid.

The new policy places the responsibility for alarm verification with the companies that market, sell, install and service those alarm systems, and it allows police officers and supervisors to use discretion, common sense and experience to evaluate the need to respond on a case-by-case basis.

Lakewood's verified alarm response policy mirrors similar successful programs implemented across the country. In nearly all cases, the false alarm rate has dropped dramatically, with no increase in burglary incidents.

Police agencies struggle to meet legitimate public safety demands with limited resources, the Police Department has taken a proactive approach to prioritizing calls for service, helping to ensure the safety of the community while providing the highest level of service possible.

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