Pierce County, WA continues its consistent year-after-year reduction in calls for police dispatch to burglar alarms, based on recently released statistics. Their alarm coordinator, Diana McInelly, has been with the program since the 1990s, and governs it with a reasoned hand. Having educated and dedicated professionals like Diana running alarm management programs at the local level is one of the keys to success.
Beyond that, we also want to thank our SIAC staff member for the Pacific Northwest, Ron Haner, for his involvement in helping to get key provisions enacted, and staying on top of the process, both when provisions were initially being proposed, and following up over the years. Ron looks into the county’s statistics and has some strong numbers for the program to share.
The statistical pattern since 1997 shows a consistent decline in calls for police dispatch. That means unnecessary alarm activations are being reduced or the calls that go to police are being weeded out by two-call (enhanced call) verification. Regardless, the nice result is police make fewer trips to homes or businesses to check on alarms, and have more time to devote their resources on their top priorities. That’s a good thing, in our opinion.
Year-to-date numbers show 559 dispatches for burglar alarms. That is a 91 percent reduction from pre-ordinance numbers and puts the county on track for 1,118 for the year. To put that number in perspective, in 2007, there were 6,625 burglar dispatches. That’s a reduction in annual dispatches of over 5,500 in 8 years. Though the decrease in dispatches over the years fluctuates a bit on a month-by-month basis, in general the trend is one of a declining number of dispatch calls.
Good alarm ordinances lead to positive results like these in Pierce County. In addition, commitment to the alarm management program at the local level by people like Diana McInelly is a huge asset in making the system work the way it should. Finally, we’re also proud to say that when you have a SIAC staff person engaged who stays on top of the issues, and is available to troubleshoot, like Ron Haner, the alarm program has three major pillars for the stool to remain sturdy. SIAC salutes you all.