City of Independence hires outside company to reduce false break-in alarms

Jim Cunningham
July 05, 2018 - 5:41 am

The Independence Police Department is implementing a program designed to substantially reduce the number of costly, time-wasting false alarms.

The police department responds to an average of 15 false alarms per day, with each alarm requiring a two-officer response. Each call lasts an average of 30 minutes. More than 80 percent of false alarms are caused by user error, according to the city's website.

The new Independence False Alarm Reduction program will remove the responsibility from the communications unit staff of the police department and shift it to a third party vendor. Other communities have had great success with the company, CryWolf, said Officer John Syme.

"We've found that we've been inefficient in being able to run the alarm program here in Independence," Syme said. "It's been a side job of our dispatchers, and they have more important things to do."

Dispatchers' time is better used when they are available on the radio, communicating with firefighters and police officers, Syme said.

Cities using CryWolf have reduced the number of false alarms by as much as 70 percent in the first year. All alarm users in the City of Independence are required to register.

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