Pierce County, WA, is another success story for the model ordinance. Five full years after implementing the security industry’s laundry list of provisions to improve alarm management practices has led to long-term sustained reductions of unnecessary and unwanted alarms. It is one more piece of evidence that a thoughtful ordinance, implemented AND enforced, shows strong positive results for the local community.
The following statistics are provided by the county (the statistics compare the year 2007 to 2012; 2007 is the year before the ordinance was implemented):
Billable Burglary alarm calls – Reduction of 88.3%
Billable Robbery/Panic alarm calls – Reduction of 29.2%
Total Billable alarm calls – Reduction of 82.4%
Canceled Burglary alarm calls – Reduction of 85.6%
Canceled Robbery/Panic alarm calls – Increase of 37.0%
Total Canceled alarm calls (all types) – Reduction of 78.0%
Total of All alarm calls – (no matter what type) – Reduction of 54.2%
These five years of proof provide powerful evidence that supports what we’ve long-advocated: An effective ordinance that includes the best proven practices in the North America.
Many other factors contributed to the success of the last 5 years: The expertise and help of a contracted business with many employees specializing in supporting the administration of an alarm ordinance; specialized software provided by the contracted business, along with access to three web sites for alarm users, alarm companies, and Alarm Program officials; help from LESA (Law Enforcement Support Agency – Tacoma/Pierce County’s 911 center) Dispatch which agreed to be the “gatekeeper” when alarm companies call by asking questions and not dispatching if the ordinance requirements have not been met; the development of working relationships with alarm companies; the leadership and education provided by the Alarm Coordinator; and the support of Sheriff’s Department Supervisors.
The list of contributing factors to the success of this program tells us several big things: Work together towards solutions, communicate and ask questions when you meet with local officials to find out which practices work best for them, be flexible in terms of implementation, and enforce the law. Each community across North America is unique. The more we walk in partnership with leaders in these cities, counties and towns, the more we’ll see Pierce County copy cats. That will be good for everyone.