Village becomes first to require CSAA online course

Thursday, May 19, 2005

SCHAUMBURG, Ill.--The city of Schaumburg approved a measure in late-April that moved false alarm training from the classroom to the Central Station Alarm Association's online training course.
Alarm users in the area with five false alarms within a calendar year are required to complete CSAA's course. The city's false alarm ordinance, which was passed approximately two years ago, previously required end users to complete a classroom-based course taught by city officials.
The difference in price between the two educational classes is $39.95 for Internet training versus $200 for the classroom-based instruction. The decision by the city was influenced by how many resources are freed up through the online course for both end users and the municipality.
Schaumburg, a suburb of Chicago with a population of approximately 80,000, has a long history of dealing with the false alarm problem, explained Schaumburg Police Officer John Nebl.
"The goal is to reduce the number of false alarms; it costs money and helps tie up officers," said Nebl, who said the city recognizes the problem and is willing to listen to ideas on how to solve it. "It was just as simple as letting the village board know and getting their approval."
The city has worked hard to help reduce false alarms in the past years. Nebl cites a long-standing policy that puts police officers in permanent beats within the city, which helps them build relationships with residents and enable discussion on false alarm prevention. Additionally, a city-wide goal to reduce false alarms was initiated a few years ago.
Since 2001, incoming burglary calls have dropped from 9 percent in 2001 to 6.5 percent in 2003. False burglary and robbery alarms have decreased in the past three years to 3,385 in 2004 from 3,764 in 2003 and 4,588 in 2002.
CSAA introduced the online course in March, after almost a year of development. The course covers two subject areas on different types of alarm systems and issues related to false alarms.