The Police Department averages 15 false alarms per day, with each alarm requiring a two officer response and averaging 30 minutes in duration. A significant portion of the alarm process for both residential and business alarms within the City of Independence is handled by the communications unit within the Police Department. This process includes the application review, data entry, monitoring and tracking of false alarms. This process has been handled by one dispatcher for several years, who also has the responsibility of training a majority of the new dispatchers in addition to dispatching. The consistent staffing shortages within the communications unit have left the alarm monitoring and billing responsibilities as a low priority.
The proposed false alarm reduction program will remove the responsibility of the alarm program from the communications unit staff of the police department and shift it to a third party vendor who will be able to more effectively manage the program. The proposed false alarm reduction program will encompass a three pronged approach consisting of the selection of an alarm management company, updating the current ordinance regarding alarms and establishing an alarm user education program.
The success of the Alarm Reduction program will be based on public education and awareness to modify behavior and drive accountability. To assist in this process, city staff issued an RFP for third party alarm administrative services. Public Safety Corporation was selected as the most qualified with a document history of success in lowering false alarm calls through actively engaging in community awareness programs.
The go-live date for this program will be June 1, 2018 to allow for a through public education awareness campaign during implementation. Built into the program are opportunities for alarm users to educate themselves about their existing alarm systems and forgiveness of fee programs for those wanting to correct false alarm incidents.
At no time will any medical calls for service be denied under this program.