The Sunshine State will be brighter for centrals thanks to ECV law

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.--Beginning July 1, Florida will be the first state in the United States to implement an enhanced call verification law requiring central stations to call a second phone number for residential and commercial accounts before contacting police, in an effort to curb the number of false dispatches.
The decision to turn ECV into a state law stemmed from its introduction to alarm industry members three years ago. A group comprising of law enforcement agencies and the Alarm Association of Florida chapters, made up of more than 800 company members, examined national studies and an industry-wide decision was made to make the service mandatory. The policy would potentially free time for police officers to respond to other calls, so with this in mind the Florida Police Chief's Association and Florida Sheriff's Association supported the legislation.
The law had a three-year stint in the state assembly. It was passed in the house and senate two years in a row, but conflicts between house and senate leaders over wording kept killing the bill, said Bob Worthy, acting treasurer and legislative committee chairman for the Florida Alarm Association.
Although many dealers and central stations offered this service, "law now takes the liability away from someone making that decision," Worthy said.
Worthy said, thanks to the law, industry members will look at Florida's approach as a model for tackling the false dispatch problem in their own states. "Working with public safety furthers our partnership to show that we are serious about getting this taken care of," he said.

For an interview with a Florida central station about the ECV law, see the August issue of Security Systems News.