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.