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Dayton Police Attribute False Alarm Reduction to Video Verification

Mandee Thomas
Nov 12, 2018 8:04:00 AM

With the overwhelming prevalence of false alarms being reported to police departments and first responders, many cities are instituting punishments and are even increasing fines. In addition, much of the commendation surrounding false alarm reduction is being attributed to legislative ordinances.

The Dayton, Ohio police department, however, believes there is more to it than that. Even with an alarm ordinance in place, authorities are witnessing firsthand how improved and accessible video technology is impacting the decline in false alarm dispatches.

A Look at the Numbers

In the last 15 years, Dayton has actually seen a significant decrease in false alarm calls. Their police department responded to an average of 243 false burglar alarms each month last year. While still a staggeringly high amount, that number is down 6% since 2016 and an astonishing 42% since 2013.

The city of Dayton has an alarm ordinance in place that fines subscribers anywhere from $50-$250 per false alarm, depending on the number of offenses. If a subscriber reaches seven false alarms within a 12-month period, police no longer send dispatch to that location. Because of the ordinance, more than 140 properties have been put on the Dayton police department’s “Do Not Respond” list since 2011. And they’re not the only ones initializing legislation on the false alarm front.

New, Affordable Technology

Even with a fine structure in place, Dayton police Chief Richard Biehl attributes much of the success in false alarm reduction to new, inexpensive IP technology. “Fines have definitely helped, but one of the main reasons false alarms have plummeted is because of improved and more affordable technology,” he said.

Because people can monitor their security cameras remotely, they are able to assess and verify the situation before dispatching the police. If they get the notification and see that it was just their dog or the babysitter tripping the alarm, they can disarm the system—even if they aren’t home at the time.

While IP video monitoring isn’t a brand new technology, it is one that is getting better and more affordable by the year. Where CCTV was once the standard for video surveillance, cloud-based systems are finding their place amongst a wide variety of markets—including the DIY home-installer.

Benefits of Video Verification

Here are some benefits to having an alarm system that is equipped with video verification:

  1. Assurance that authorities are dispatched to "real" alarms
  2. Relief from heavy fines for false alarms
  3. Physical evidence for legal cases or claims for insurance reports
  4. Inability to be placed on a "Do Not Respond" list
  5. Better protected subscribers and property
  6. Faster emergency response due to additional verification

Whether a surveillance systems is self-monitored or overseen by a central station, integrated video verification is a great way to reduce false dispatches. In addition, it helps authorities have a better understanding of the situation they are going into when they respond to a legitimate alarm call.

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