Verified response proposal unlikely to come to Delaware

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Tuesday, April 1, 2003

DOVER, Del. - Recently, the topic of verified response has been a hot one in the alarm industry, with many communities looking to follow the lead of the Los Angeles Police Commission and adopt a verified response policy for burglar alarms.

While most of those efforts had been limited to individual communities, the state of Delaware had been considering legislation that would move all police in the state to a verified response policy.

The bill, which was introduced in February 2002, is similar to a policy under discussion in Los Angeles, where police would only respond to an alarm call if the alarm company verified it.

However, a member of the task force working on this legislation reports that it is unlikely that the state will adopt a verified response policy, which can be seen as a victory for the alarm industry.

“Verified response is not going to happen in Delaware and that’s good news for the industry,” said Joe Gallagher, secretary of the Delaware Alarm Association, and a member of the task force.

Gallagher said the task force, which has been meeting since October, is on the verge of developing a series of recommendations designed to supplant the verified response legislation proposed by State Rep. Robert Gilligan last year.

According to Gallagher, the task force is likely to recommend legislation similar to model legislation developed by the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association. Under that legislation, alarm users receive a set number of “free” false alarms before being subject to a graduated series of fines.

Merlin Guilbeau, NBFAA executive director, said that the NBFAA model, which he calls a “starting point” for communities to develop ordinances of their own has been very successful in the past, and he expects it will work in Delaware as well.

“I think out of that will come a really good ordinance that will reduce false alarms,” said Guilbeau.