One of the most pressing issues facing monitoring companies, law enforcement, end users and the security industry at-large is the need for decreasing false alarm dispatches while increasing emergency response times in true emergencies.
Providing reliable, trusted and video- and audio-verified information to first responders is clearly the path the industry needs to cultivate; it results in better information, better response decisions and better outcomes on every level.
The Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response (PPVAR) was formed in 2012. Back then, video and audio verification was not being widely adopted. PPVAR’s primary initiative was and still is to provide a better product to law enforcement and monitoring center customers. Its mission is to promote and educate both the security industry and public safety officials on the benefits of verified alarms and encourage a policy of higher priority response for those alarms that are video- and audio-verified. The ultimate goal? To reduce false alarms and increase apprehension rates for intrusion alarm customers.
PPVAR has put many impressive initiatives in place. Among them, providing educational resources to dealers on how to effectively reach out to their local law enforcement agencies and encourage them to adopt a Priority Response policy that gives higher priority to those alarms that are video-verified. White papers, sample scripts for scheduling preliminary informational meetings with law enforcement and educational PowerPoint presentations are all available to dealers on PPVAR’s website (www.ppvar.org). The organization is also doing industry outreach by speaking at various industry events and trade shows to encourage video verification as a strong business model. PPVAR is also collaborating with the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) to rework ordinances.
The PPVAR site even instructs on how police departments can adopt a new policy with higher priority for video alarms and create a new alarm code in the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) software of their dispatch centers at a higher priority response level for alarms with video that confirm the presence of an intruder or other emergency situation.
PPVAR encourages participating police departments to make a formal announcement of its Priority Response policy to their community.
Additionally, PPVAR is cultivating relationships within the insurance industry and looking at ways the insurance companies can provide deeper discounts or better coverage for people who use a verification model. It not only reduces false alarms but also delivers a higher capture/apprehension rate, as it provides real-time information to police, which makes for safer communities. Facilitating deeper discounts and better coverage for subscribers behooves hosting monitoring companies seeking to better serve their customers.
To assist monitoring companies transitioning to a video- and audio-verified model, PPVAR provides operator training on how to monitor and dispatch these alarms and ultimately deliver to law enforcement and subscribers a better product and end result.
Larry Folsom is an active board member of PPVAR, and president and co-founder of I-View Now, a video-verification solutions provider.