Detroit Police Have Given Up on Burglar AlarmsS

The Detroit Police Department has had enough. After pouring so much money and manpower into responding to false alarms, they're finally giving up. Before they come to your door to save you, you had better be able to verify a crime is in progress.

The DPD has every reason to be frustrated. According to Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee, 98% of the alarms they handle turn out to be false. That's way too much forgetting your ID on your way to the gym and setting off the alarm for anyone's liking. So on August 22nd they're requiring all alarm companies to find a way to verify the alarm before they respond. Otherwise they won't bother.

Detroit isn't the first city to do this. About 30 other police departments in the U.S. and Canada have adopted the policy since 1991, writes the Detroit Free Press. Which makes me wonder how burglar alarm systems could get things wrong for so long and for so many people.

One way to verify that a crime is taking place is to, you know, call the police. Generally pretty helpful. Another—most likely for companies or gated communities—is for a security guard to check on the alarm. And a third is for some form of video surveillance to accompany the alarm so that there's no doubt something is amiss. Which is also probably good for large companies. Families not so much.

But does this decision leave any room for burglars to take advantage of people? [CBS Local, Detroit Free Press]

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