skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 156039 Find in a Library
Title: Private Guard Response to Alarm Activations
Author(s): S Hakim; M A Gaffney
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 23
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report discusses the characteristics, benefits, and barriers related to the use of private security guard forces to response to the activation of alarm systems.
Abstract: Alarm companies are being forced to generate creative solutions to deal with the problem of false alarms, because four-fifths of all localities in the United States have false alarm ordinances in place and many States are beginning to develop licensing requirements. Police agencies are losing the ability to respond effectively to alarms, because each of the 17 million systems activates falsely 1.4 times a year, and 94-98 percent of all police responses to alarms are to false alarms. Private response ensures rapid response, makes alarm calls more credible to the police, can increase the apprehension rate, and is funded by the users. Alarm ownership is a substitute for police patrol services. However, the barrier that most concerns security companies is that of liability. Security guards generally have little education and security training and are poorly paid. Private response has proven effective in some parts of California and New York. To avoid liability problems, some choose to send unarmed response teams. Those considering private responses to alarms should focus on small geographic regions, use unarmed teams, and provide sufficient training.
Main Term(s): Crime prevention planning
Index Term(s): Alarm systems; False alarms; Legal liability; Private police; Residential security
Note: The material for this article was partially withdrawn from a report entitled Commercial Security.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.