Calgary police cutting back on alarm response
The Calgary Police Service is revising its alarm service bylaw to change how and when officers respond to alarm calls. The force says the changes will allow CPS to better respond to legitimate public safety concerns.
CPS says police currently respond to approximately 45 alarm calls each day. Of these calls, 96 per cent are deemed by police to be false alarms.
Effective May 15, Calgary 9-1-1 will no longer dispatch alarm calls where only one zone has been activated within a premise. Alarm agencies will also be required to contact two key holders prior to contacting police.
All calls for service involving panic, hold-up or duress alarms, and any verified valid alarm activations will still be attended to by police, says the police service.
The Calgary Police Service will also begin charging a nominal fee for alarm system permits. In addition, recommendations will be presented to City of Calgary Council regarding changes to the false alarm penalty structure associated with recurrent false alarms.
A second of changes to the bylaw will be brought in during the second half of 2016, where Calgary 9-1-1 will no longer dispatch police to locations where:
– there is no valid alarm permit for the premise;
– the permit is suspended;
– the call is within 14 days of an alarm installation;
– the alarm agency is not properly licensed.
Police will also no longer be dispatched to commercial premises during regular business hours.
CPS says changes to the dispatch criteria will make for more efficient use of police resources and will better align Calgary with the models of other police services in major centres across Canada and North America.