In early 2010, the Wheat Ridge City Council endorsed a Verified Alarm Response policy, giving the Wheat Ridge Police Department officers more discretion when responding to property intrusion alarms. Police are being challenged with finding ways to remain efficient while still providing exceptional service to the community.
A three-year study of intrusion alarms in Wheat Ridge revealed that 98% are false. The Verified Alarm Response policy saves taxpayers' dollars. Studies also show there is no increase in crime in communities that have adopted this cost-savings approach.
The under the new policy, which is effective November 1, 2010, police response is required when the alarm company or another source can provide information that verifies criminal activity is likely occurring at the site of the alarm. This information can be provided by a secondary alarm, such as a motion detector or heat sensor alarm; interior closed circuit TV or audio devices monitored by the alarm company; or actual witness reports of suspected criminal activity. An officer's knowledge of recent crime patterns in the area will also heighten the need for police response to the alarm site.
When criminal activity is not confirmed, a police response is not required, unless additional information becomes available. Police officers in the field will continue to be advised of each alarm report and will respond as call load and other circumstances allow.
The policy does not change the Police Department's current commitment to respond immediately to all hold-up, robbery, and panic alarms. The policy only applies to burglar and perimeter alarms that are designed to protect property. Alarms designed to insure people's safety will remain a high priority.
The Verified Alarm Response policy allows police officers in the field to make better decisions when responding to burglary alarms. Valuable police resources can then be managed more effectively and with greater impact to the needs of our community.