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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 150516 Find in a Library
Title: False Alarm Perspectives: A Solution-Oriented Resource
Author(s): P E Ohlhausen
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 69
Sponsoring Agency: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Alexandria, VA 22314
National Burglar and Fire Alarm Assoc
Washington, DC 20036
Sale Source: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
44 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study provides an overview of the false-alarm problems, examines relevant State laws, assesses what local ordinances have achieved, examines pertinent court decisions, discusses the theory and practice of private response to alarms, and provides a list of publications and organizations that may help agencies that are attempting to address the false-alarm problem.
Abstract: Unnecessary calls for police service due to false burglar alarms have become a significant problem. Although burglar alarms are useful deterrents to crime, the amount of time and money police spend in responding to the 7 million to 15 million or more false-alarm calls every year has become intolerable to many law enforcement agencies. Projected growth in the use of alarms portends a worsening problem. False alarms are caused primarily by technological, installation, and user errors. Solutions currently being tried or proposed include alarm verification, user training, installer training, local ordinances, State law, fines, permits, and nonresponse by police. Other means to address the problem include a private response, time-of-day differentiation, standards, codes, repair or upgrading requirements, better equipment, and dispatch cancellation. Court decisions have raised the issue as to whether particular false-alarm ordinances are clearly written, whether they are fair, and who must pay the fines they levy. Other court cases have examined false alarms as the proximate cause of injury to responding police officers. One section of this report lists organizations, publications, articles, and other resources relevant to persons who are seeking to reduce false alarms. The appendix contains a description of the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association's Fast Start Program, the false alarm ordinances of Multnomah County (Portland) and Uwchlan Township, and the CANASA model ordinance. Subject index
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): False alarms; Police resource allocation; Science and Technology
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