“I don’t know a better way to free up officers to deal with Homeland Security issues,” said Lee Reese, past president of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police. Reese is referring to enhanced call verification (ECV), which, with the help of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) has been adopted by leaders of the Georgia and Tennessee Associations of Chiefs of Police as part of a cooperative public safety initiative to reduce alarm dispatches.

Companies in states such as Colorado and California have already committed to implementing ECV, and more states will follow, said Stan Martin, executive director of SIAC. Martin said despite the fact that SIAC research has shown that dispatch rates over the past seven years have decreased 64 percent, to less than one law enforcement dispatch per system per year, false alarm rates need to drop even further to free law enforcement employees for more important issues. The SIAC figure is based on reports from alarm companies representing approximately 20 percent of systems monitored nationally.

“This partnership results in solutions that enhance service,” said Lou Dekmar, past president of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police. With help from SIAC and collaborating alarm companies, the two states have found ECV to be an efficient way to maximize police resources, Reese said.

ECV is an alarm management protocol developed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Sherrifs Association and the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association. The protocol requires monitoring centers to make two calls to a customer to determine whether an invalid alarm has occurred — in an effort to reduce dispatches to police.

Criticom International is one monitoring business that is encouraging its dealer base to adopt ECV for its customers, although the company is not making it mandatory for dealers to adopt it at this time, said Robert Few, vice president of operations at Criticom. The company has already implemented ECV in several locations across the country and is continuing to implement the protocol in other areas.

Few said Criticom has supplied its dealers with inserts to provide to customers that would inform them about ECV and what to expect. “This new protocol has been received very well,” Few said. “To help manage alarms more effectively and drive down the number of inadvertent alarms, it is critical we do our part,” he said.