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Detroit Police To Cut Back On Alarm Response

DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit police are making some changes regarding burglar alarms in what appears to be an attempt to keep more officers on the streets.

A memo, obtained by WWJ Newsradio 950, says the Detroit Police Department has reviewed calls for service and found that false alarms have the greatest financial and staffing impact on the department.

According to the memo, sent to alarm companies and signed by Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee, 98 percent of alarms handled by the DPD are false.

Effective Monday, August 22, the police department will no longer respond to burglar alarm calls from monitoring companies unless the alarm company verifies the alarm.

The memo does note that the DPD will continue to respond to human-activated alarms, including hold-up, panic or duress.

WWJ spoke with Guardian Alarm President David Goldstein who said it's not easy to verify alarm calls.

"One way is thorough video verification, which minimal people have, particularly in the home," he said. "Secondly would be having an alarm company go to the premises and verify that there is a need for a Detroit dispatch, which is fine and we're more than willing to do that," adding that this additional service won't be free.

"Fortunately, Guardian Alarm has its own guard company. We run a guard dispatch, not only through our alarms but for physical security around the city of Detroit, and we're capable of doing that. But, unfortunately, with that comes cost," he said.

Goldstein is concerned that this new policy is being implemented next week, saying that doesn't give businesses, homeowners, and alarm companies much time to prepare for the change.

- View a copy of the memo (.pdf format) -

The changes will take effect a little over a week following a 24-hour rash of gun violence in the city, during which 16 people were shot and seven were killed.

WWJ has a call in to Detroit Police for comment.

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