Chapter 3 – Emergency Procedures

Emergency Procedures  

Alarms are a means of notifying the local law-enforcement agency that a serious crime may be in progress when the use of a telephone is impractical or impossible.  Despite the frequency of false alarms, verified alarms represent a threat to citizens and law-enforcement officers and therefore require an organized, cautious response.

A device or series of devices including, but not limited to, systems interconnected with radio frequency signals and which are designed to emit or transmit an audible, visual, or electronic signal upon activation.

  1. Dispatch learns of activated alarms through several means.  Most are transmitted directly to dispatch by automatic dialing devices from homes or businesses which transmit a message to non-emergency lines.
  2. Citizens may observe or hear an alarm and personally report it.
  3. Officers may discover and report alarms during their patrols.  Dispatch shall classify alarms as follows:

a. Unknown alarm.

b. Financial institution burglary or robbery alarms.

c. Commercial burglary or robbery alarms.

d. Domestic violence alarm.

e. Residential burglary or panic alarms.

f. School alarm.

False-alarm coordinator is the employee responsible for monitoring compliance with the false alarm reductions.

For all alarms, dispatchers shall assign officers to respond according to nature of the alarm.  If the alarm company advises that they have confirmed with the protected premises that a crime has occurred, the dispatcher shall treat the event as a robbery or burglary and contact law enforcement accordingly.

The dispatcher shall immediately begin and maintain telephone contact with the business (if during working hours) or home until the responding police officer advises the dispatcher that the alarm was false.  In case of a robbery alarm, the dispatcher shall not contact the business to verify the alarm until police officers are in position near the premises and the primary officer or supervisor has directed the dispatcher to make the call.  If a verified alarm, dispatchers shall obtain a description of the suspects, whether suspects are still at or near the scene, or their direction and mode of travel, time elapsed, and a description of an escape vehicle

When an alarm signal is received, a central station dispatcher will dispatch security to the scene or immediately contact police to the location. Upon arrival at an alarm incident, security officers will confirm that a burglary or robbery has occurred, and they will write a report. If security officers find that the alarm was activated in the absence of suspicious activity or due to user error, the false alarm reduction unit of the police department requires them to leave on the premises a written notice that specifies the date and time of the alarm response, the officer’s name and business telephone number, and a copy of the summary of the alarm ordinance.

Business Alarms

If the business is closed, the central station dispatcher shall immediately notify the owner or other person on the call list.

If security officers discover physical signs of a break-in, they shall assume that a suspect or suspects may be inside the business.  Security Officers shall consider the possibility that hostages have been taken.  If appropriate, Security Officers shall notify the police to summon a canine unit.

Residential Alarms

Central Station Dispatchers receive residential alarms will dispatch Security Officers to a residence and try to contact the owner or person left in charge of the residence.

If security officers discover signs of a forced entry, then they shall contact dispatch and they will contact the police.

Some residential alarms may be panic or domestic violence alarms.  These alarms require the same expeditious and cautious approach as other types.  If a domestic violence alarm, a central station dispatcher shall contact the police to a domestic violence call.

False alarms

If responding police officers determine the situation to be a false alarm, they shall so advise the dispatcher by telephone or radio.

The false-alarm coordinator shall confer with businesses showing repeated false alarms in order to curb the problem.  The coordinator shall review false alarm calls periodically to recommend revocation of permits if necessary.  The coordinator shall initiate all correspondence with businesses as required by the ordinance.

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