Don’t Oversell Law Enforcement Response Times

Don’t oversell law enforcement response times to alarm. We can’t stress this point enough.

Members of the alarm industry must work closely with law enforcement officials across North America. That means we are in regular contact with hundreds of different officials on an annual basis, and reliant on sustaining good relationships with them. There are times that SIAC staff have seen or heard of security companies speaking for the ability of law enforcement to respond to alarm activations. It is not our job to speak for law enforcement.

police car

Response times vary by city. It is best to only give a general range or stay conservative with a “high” minute response time, and remind customers about the deterrent effect of alarms. The bad guy doesn’t know whether the police are around the corner or 30 minutes away. The point security companies should emphasize is the reduction in opportunity for a criminal to break in.

It’s not a smart business decision to raise customers’ expectations in areas outside your control. It’s better to go the other way – stay very conservative when explaining police response times.

Years ago, part of my standard training included a statement to stick in the salesperson’s mind, and put this issue in perspective, “Every time you make a presentation to a customer, imagine there is a hidden camera recording everything you say. How would thousands of viewers, or your company management, respond if segments of your presentation played on the local TV nightly news?”

You’d want to sound good. And you’d want to be caught saying the right thing. This has happened many times across the country, so please keep it in mind during your next presentation.

BY: Stan Martin

About justwrite15

Dave's column has run in multiple small town newspapers across the U.S., in Nebraska, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Texas,where Dave has been able to entice personal friends and editors to run his social commentary. His column has also been picked up by It has appeared in newspapers since 1998, and began in response to one of the school shootings so depressingly familiar in America. His commentary has morphed into a weekly offering of humor, insights and advice on how to find sanity in an insane world.
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2 Responses to Don’t Oversell Law Enforcement Response Times

  1. This only too true. Watching commercials from the major national alarm companies would lead one to believe that the police were waiting at the corner to respond with sirens blaring and lights flashing. The future is in neighborhood participation and camera verification assistance. Police response without these factors is whistling in the dark.


  2. justwrite15 says:

    Good points, Russ. Thanks for writing.

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