Detroit is joining the list of cities that no longer is dispatching officers to investigate a burglar alarm unless an occupant or the alarm company has verified an actual break-in, reports the Detroit Free Press. Noting that 98 percent of the alarms that police officers respond to are false, Police Chief Ralph Godbee said police will require a verified response before sending officers to the location of the alarm. The new policy will take effect Monday.
As more and more police departments face limited resources and budget cuts, Godbee said the logical area of reduction appeared to be unproductive calls for service. He said false alarms are an immense drain on the department’s staffing and finances. Citing a U. S. Department of Justice report, the Detroit police said verified response is a reliable practice toward eliminating waste and improving police service. Since 1991, abouty 30 police departments in the U.S. and Canada have adopted the policy, including Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Milwaukee and Madison, Wi., and Fremont, Ca.