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Wednesday, Feb 8, 2023

LABJ FORUM: Sounding the Alarm

LABJ FORUM: Sounding the Alarm

Claiming that more than 90 percent of burglar alarm calls are false, the L.A. Police Commission has voted to institute a policy where police officers will ignore alarms unless they can be verified by a property owner or a security company. The vote has sparked outrage by some homeowners and businesspeople but an attempt by the city council to overturn the policy failed. So the Business Journal asks:

Do you think the LAPD should respond to all burglar alarms?

Andrea Waters


Great Labels

It was wrong for them to make a blanket announcement like that. It gives criminals free reign. An alternative could be that the police respond to alarms on a random basis, so that criminal elements will not know when they’re responding and when they’re not. Or police can continue to respond and impose fines for false alarms to generate revenue and cover the cost of officers. Steep fines if necessary. That will give business owners an incentive to be more careful about false alarms.

Michael Ross

Managing Principal, Los Angeles Office, HGA Architects

I think they should. I have an alarm, and if someone sets it off accidentally, we can turn it off and call the alarm company to let them know it was a false alarm. But if no contact is made with the owner, police should respond. If I’m away on business in San Diego, I expect them to check out my house if the alarm goes off. I think we’re all counting on the police to serve and protect us.

Scott Pansky

General Manager

Allison & Partners

I think the LAPD should respond. It is important to have this for our families’ protection and to protect our businesses. If the police choose not to respond to all alarms, then there should be a better monitoring system in place to determine whether a police officer should be sent. Alarm companies could work together with our neighborhood watch programs.

Mark Miller

President and Co-Owner

Eden FX

I do. I don’t know about how the verification side of it will actually work, but I think they should continue to respond. My alarm system both at home and in my business is set up so that it’s never a false alarm. If it goes off, there’s a good reason for it.

Martin Pichinson

Founder and Principal

Sherwood Partners

If people want the police to show up each time the alarm goes off, this should be charged as an additional service. Every alarm company should have an agreement form with their subscriber permitting them to forward all alarms to the police. There is a cost for the police to show up and people need to pay for such additional services as it is a privilege.

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