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San Jose, California, Drops Verified Response Program After Spike in Burglaries

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San Jose, California, Drops Verified Response Program After Spike in Burglaries

Frisco, Texas (January 15, 2018) – San Jose, California, has become the 11th U.S. city to drop the controversial alarm management practice known as “verified response.”  Under this program, police do not respond to residential or business burglar alarms unless someone has verified a crime has taken place or is in progress. The Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) promotes a model alarm ordinance to reduce false alarms that is endorsed by leading police associations, and has been widely adopted nationwide.

The decision to drop verified response in San Jose came as property crime increased by about three percent, fueled by a projected 17 percent increase in burglaries in more than 4,500 cases.

Some San Jose residents blamed verified response for the increase in burglaries. Neighborhood association president Elizabeth Estensen said, “There is more brazen activity going on. Word got out that police were limited and are not going to come out to certain calls.”  Police have stated the number of burglaries may be under reported because of a “lackluster” response to burglaries.

“San Jose is just the latest example of why verified response is either never considered or rejected by the vast majority of the nation’s 18,000 law enforcement agencies,” said Stan Martin, SIAC Executive Director. “Comments from citizens in San Jose demonstrate that the policy undermines confidence in local public safety agencies and their ability to protect the community.

“We know officers in San Jose are working hard to serve the community,” said Martin. “We are pleased to see that elected officials recognize that the department needs additional resources to do its job.

“Verified response undermines the widely accepted and successful strategy of community policing, in which law enforcement and residents work together to identify and solve problems such as false alarms,” said Martin. “Eighty five percent of alarm systems generate no calls in any given year so police can work directly with citizens to deal with the issue.

“Sandy Springs, Georgia, is the only city we are aware of that plans to implement this troubling policy,” said Martin. “Sandy Springs residents have only a few months to let their city council know that verified response hasn’t worked in 11 other cities and has not been embraced by major police organizations such as the National Sheriffs’ Association or International Association of Chiefs of Police. San Jose instituted the policy due to a severe staffing shortage, an issue that is not present in Sandy Springs.

“Electronic alarms protect homes, schools, places of worship and businesses,” said Martin. “Response to alarms by trained armed police officers are part of the proven deterrence factor alarms provide. Verified response is an outdated concept that undermines the public’s faith in the police department’s ability to protect property and lives,” added Martin.


01/19/2019

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