Council Approves Verified Response for Commercial Properties Only

Today the City Council approved verified response for commercial (not residential) properties.

Because 97% of all alarms are false, starting in February, the police will no longer respond automatically when a commercial burglar alarm goes off. The business will first have to confirm that there is a crime taking place. The ordinance will not apply to residential properties.

I voted in favor of this version of verified response primariliy because our Chief of Police explained that it would help him get 20 more officers on the street instead of chasing false alarms. We’ve got a real shortage of police (which we must fix), but instead of using them to patrol our neighborhoods, we’ve got them out there chasing alarms that are false 97% of the time.

We hired the Chief to be our top strategist on how to improve the safety of our city. He has to use his experience and best judgment to make resource allocation decisions. And Chief Kunkle has overseen a 17% reduction in homicides this year and a 5% decrease in overall crime. When he supports an initiative to get more cops on the street, I think we need to listen.

VOTE: Passed 8:5 (AH voting yes, DH absent, JF conflicted)