Letters to the Editor
... input from forum participants

California Alarm Association - taking us for rubes?

June 11th

Does anyone else find the message below (I assume you all received it since it was broadcast to just about every e-mail address ever associated with LA Neighborhood Councils) just a little presumptuous, even offensive?

It appears that the California Alarm Association, the lobbying association for the burglar alarm industry, is trying to play the Neighborhood Councils for fools.

Here is an unsigned, slanted propaganda piece disguised as a "Public Safety Alert" and call to the "Citizens of the City of Los Angeles" designed to get us all worked up with emotion and mis-information, so the alarm companies can keep raking in their profits by having LAPD officers chasing false alarms whenever a neighbor's cat jumps onto the back porch, instead of working on stopping actual crimes.

Now I don't have anything against a company making a buck, but not when it's at the expense of the public safety of others. If residents pay the alarm companies every month to protect them, shouldn't the alarm companies then be paying the cost of providing that protection?

The alarm companies have been getting something for nothing at the expense of the citizens of LA for far too long, and Bratton, Hahn and Caruso have seen through it and are putting an end to it.

Hopefully they will stick to the new policy as recommended by the Executive Director of the Police Commission, which does incorporate many of the recommendations of the Burglar Alarm Task Force, in spite of the fuss the CAA will surely work hard to kick up.

We need our cops fighting real crimes, not chasing after imaginary ones.

Greg Fitchitt
Vice President
Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council

From California Alarm Association:

-----Original Message-----
From: CAA Headquarters []
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2003 9:03 PM




The City of Los Angeles Burglar Alarm Task Force conducted and in- depth and comprehensive review of the alarm response policy of the Los Angeles Police Department and issued a final report to the City Council in April that recommended an effective alarm response policy that would reduce the calls for police services and maintain the preventive nature of alarm systems. The report was unanimously adopted by two committees and the City Council and forwarded to the Los Angeles Police Commission with a request that they adopt the recommendations.

The Los Angeles Police Commission (LAPC) issued an analysis of the Task Force Report on June 3, 2003. It appears the Commission analysis does not consider fully the Task Force Report, and in fact discards the relevant proposals developed by the citizens and representatives of the Task Force. In general, the LAPC report:

Disregards the findings of the citizen Task Force, the community and City Council Uses discredited information and partial or disinformation to support their original policy Assigns responsibility for internal agency failures to citizens Promotes a verified response policy that is proven to result in increased crime

The LAPC reflects a bias towards citizens who utilize alarm systems to protect their persons and property, and reserves a special, unfounded contempt for the alarm industry. The LAPC report appears to withhold information and present discredited information as facts to support their position. In several cases, the LAPC simply misstates the facts. For example, the LAPC initially based their policy on the fact that two-thirds of the properties they responded to did not have valid alarm permits. The Task Force, through the Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst, found that two-thirds of the properties the LAPD responded to did have valid alarm permits. While the LAPC assigns full responsibility for failures in the alarm management system to the citizens of Los Angeles and/or the alarm industry, the Task Force found that the failure was the fact that the system utilized by the LAPD had inherent in its foundation and its implementation. The inaccuracies and misrepresentations of the LAPC analysis are a disservice to the work of the Task Force.

The model for the LAPD is the Salt Lake City Police Department, which has a burglary rate nearly double that of Los Angeles. The Salt Lake City Police Department issued a memo in May, 2003 that showed that burglaries against alarmed properties rose from 23 in 1999 to 350 in 2002 (they implemented verified response in December, 2000).


The Task Force found that the community, LAPD and alarm industry must work together to make the most effective use of police resources while maintaining and enhancing the crime prevention traits of alarm systems. We urge the Los Angeles Police Commission to adopt the Task Force Report in total which will preserve police resources and enhance the public safety for the citizens of Los Angeles.


The Los Angeles Police Commission should adopt the Task Force Report in whole. Urge them to support the adoption of the Task Force Report which will result in a safer community, a savings of police resources and the promotion of public safety. Citizens can urge adoption by contacting the following:

Mr. Rick Caruso, President
Los Angeles Police Commission
150 North Los Angeles St., Rm 150
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213 / 485-3235
213 / 485-3531
213 / 485-8861 Fax

Mayor James Hahn
City of Los Angeles
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213 / 978-0600
213 / 978-0656 Fax

Chief William Bratton
Los Angeles Police Department
150 North Los Angeles St., Rm 619
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213 / 485-3202


Police Commission Meeting
Tuesday June 17, 2003 9:30 a.m.
City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA