Reducing False Alarms Part II: An opportunity for police cost savings without sacrificing service

Did you know?

  • In 2013, 97.99 percent of all residential burglar alarm responses by Cleveland police were false alarms.
  • There are about 36 million security systems installed in business and homes throughout the United States.
  • Industry revenue was reportedly $28.2 billion in 2009.
  • Although false alarm statistics vary by company, nationally, 94-99 percent of all alarms are false.
  • There are no regulations that require an alarm system installer notify the City of Cleveland when and where a residential alarm is placed.
  • Additionally, there are no regulations that require an alarm system vendor contact a property owner to verify an emergency prior to alerting police.
  • A leading alarm company estimates that 70 percent of all false alarms are caused by user error.
  • Cleveland does not bill alarm companies or residents for excessive false alarms.
  •  When uniformed officers responded to false alarms, citizens with legitimate safety needs had to sit and wait.

Is this the best use of police resources?

Now that we’ve identified the challenges, Safety Director Michael McGrath and I will work will Cleveland City Council Safety Chairman Matt Zone and others to develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce the frequency of false alarms.

—- Martin L. Flask, Executive Assistant to the Mayor for Special Projects