Boulder PD adds verification measures

Sunday, August 1, 2004

BOULDER - Identifying the important role security companies play in the community, the Boulder Police Department implemented last month a non-response policy for habitual false alarm offenders that can be reversed through education and system upgrades.

The police department enacted a non-response policy for homes and businesses that cause three false alarms within a six-month period.

The non-response program began in June, and by the end of the month police cited nine locations - both homes and businesses - with non-response. In fact, by mid-month, three businesses reached the three false alarm limit.

“We never got around to being in the collections business,” said Molly Bernard, commander of the Boulder Police Department, as she explained how the city’s effort to penalize habitual false alarm offenders has failed in the past.

She said the city never directed enough resources to support its false alarm ordinance and collect the fees associated with it.

Alarm owners cited under the new non-response policy were sent a certified letter. Non-response will begin once delivery confirmation is received, a measure to ensure alarm owners are aware of the action.

The police department said it would respond to calls again at those locations once the alarm owner could prove he had taken a class on proper alarm operation or upgraded faulty equipment.

“The whole key is we’re still getting response,” said Larry Halpern, president of the Colorado Burglar & Fire Alarm Association and president of local alarm company Safe Systems.

The association has closely worked with the police department on developing measures to reduce false alarms and strongly supports its efforts, Halpern said.