False alarms put an unnecessary burden on local authorities. To combat this problem, in recent years the Toronto Police Service took action by initiating a policy called Priority Police Response to help reduce the number of false alarms occurring in the city.

In this post, we look at what Priority Police Response means and how an ALARM-i video alarm system provides the verification that authorities need to respond quickly to alarm events at your home or business.

What is Priority Police Response?

Priority Police Response is a relatively new policy in Toronto that requires verified responses for alarms. The new policy was announced on Aug. 13, 2018 by the Toronto Police Service who stated it would be applied to all burglar alarm activations. The Priority Police Response policy went into effect on Sept. 10, 2018.

In other words, alarms must now be verified as true emergencies before help arrives. Acceptable verified response criteria for burglar alarm activations include audio, video, eyewitnesses (either by private security or someone at the scene), or multiple zone activations.

Panic alarm activations are excluded from the above criteria. Verified alarms will be treated by Toronto law enforcement as high-priority calls for police intervention. Solutions, such as ALARM-i, help ensure families stay safer because of the quick ability to determine a false alarm from a true one.

Why did alarm events have to be prioritized in Toronto?

Over the past several decades, the use of alarm systems in the City of Toronto has significantly grown. This has directly impacted local law enforcement because the burden of responding to burglar alarms falls on police. False alarms are costly and take away the police service’s ability to respond quickly to real emergencies.

Additional reasons why false alarms are problematic

False alarms are not only a burden for police, they also become problematic for the people the alarms are designed to protect. In addition to resources being misdirected to false alarms, alarms that frequently go off can:

  • Lead neighbours to ignore alarm systems, making them less effective.
  • Cause users to stop using their alarms, exposing them to the risk of burglary, break-ins and other crimes.
  • Result in high penalty costs with each false alarm that occurs.

It’s to everyone’s advantage to reduce the number of false alarms occurring and ensure the fastest possible response from police.

That’s where ALARM-i comes in …

Why video alarm solutions are faster

Video alarm solutions help to reduce the number of false alarms while expediting response for true emergencies. When an alarm is verified by video, you can be rest assured help will be on the way soon.

ALARM-i is an innovative video alarm solution that offers the visual verification needed to activate Priority Police response.

How it works is once an alarm goes off, the alarm system sends out pre-alarm and real-time video clips to your cellphone and computer. You can then decide if the alarm should be dismissed or have the police called. For added protection, in case you’re away from your devices, ALARM-i’s monitoring center operators also assess the situation and contact authorities.

When ALARM-i verifies an alarm, police will respond under Priority dispatch conditions. Users of ALARM-i can experience up to an 85% quicker response rate and an arrest rate of up to 50%. As a comparison, traditional alarm systems without video evidence only result in about 0.08% arrests. (SOURCE: Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response)

Video verification is a huge deterrent to crime because criminals simply don’t have the time to make off with your valuables and are essentially stopped in their tracks. The ALARM-i response rate is that quick because your verified alarm ensures you receive a Priority Police Response.

With Toronto’s Priority Police Response, people have to be vigilant about preventing false alarms. ALARM-i will ensure you aren’t penalized if a true break-in does occur.

Learn more

To learn more about the ALARM-i Video Alarm Verification solution, call 1-844-317-3348 or request a no-obligation security system consultation.

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Allan Baum
Security Industry veteran with over 30+ years in the industry. Founded family owned and operated Protection Plus in 1994 with his wife and has overseen its growth since. In addition to working with his wife and son, Allan has assigned the role of Chief Canine Officer to his trusted dog Waub, who joins him at the office every day.