Letters to the Editor
... input from forum participants


Working an LAPD Front Desk and fielding alarm response requests

Jan. 27th

Hi Bill,

After being involved in many levels of community policing as an active Block Captain, C-PAB member, and a Harbor Division Volunteer, I felt it important to comment on the Verified Alarm Response Issue.

I have personally answered calls for service from Alarm Companies requesting police for various types of "Code 30 Ringers."

In addition to having the Alarm Companies call the wrong number for response, (they are calling the front desk, rather than the communication section that handles alarm response) and after being told the correct number each time, they have continued to call the desk on numerous occasions, which is also wasting valuable response time.

After more than four years (or over 2500 hours of "working" the Harbor front desk) I have yet to have been involved in a call that resulted in a "good" alarm response, where there was an actual suspect. Most of the time the unit arrives to find no sign of forced entry, and the call is disposed of as a false alarm.

On the flip side, many times good information from a neighbor who sees a suspicious person has resulted in a call going out as a "prowler suspect there now" (which is a Code Two high call) and in many cases the suspect is arrested.

I feel that the Alarm Companies should be held accountable for the false alarms, and they should insure that their customer has obtained the alarm permit from the city.

If the amount of false alarms could be reduce by providing better service, and better consumer training, perhaps we could put a dent in the problem.

Having one more thing dumped back on our officers is adding to the difficulty of responding to real calls for police service.

Perhaps the proposed alarm response policy change was too radical for the business and residential community to accept, but I fully understand and support the Police Commission's position.

Once again LAPD is trying to make the best use of resources, and the public at large is not willing to support them.

So, let's hope this issue puts some pressure on the Alarm Companies to improve the quality of the products and service they offer, and perhaps finally put the correct phone number in their system for LAPD --> (213) 847-0813

Thank you,

Harbor Area Volunteer 416