How Police Respond to Security Alarms: Why Video Verification Matters

Law enforcement officials explain “priority response” and the importance of professional security monitoring with video verification.

Households and businesses can expect better response times if they have professional security monitoring with video verification.
Julie Jacobson · May 7, 2015

Increasingly, local authorities are levying steep fines for false alarms, or they’re simply not responding to security events when there is no eye witness or video verification.

This reality of over-burdened police forces was made clear during a discussion at the recent International Security Conference (ISC) West 2015, where law-enforcement officials explained how alarm calls are prioritized.

“When we get a call that the operator tells us there’s video associated with a video alarm, we treat that with the same priority that we treat a crime in progress,” said Chief Chris Vinson, chair of the Texas Police Chiefs Alarm Committee. “The calls that truly do merit a higher response, those get pushed to the top. Those get the response they need to actually make arrests. And that’s what we’re all going for.”

Today’s DIY alarm systems – even those that offer professional monitoring—for the most part do not deliver video verification to central stations.

As self-monitored DIY systems wreak havoc on emergency response services, we could very well imagine a time when police stop sending crews to alarms called in by consumers of such systems.

If you need help selling consumers on the importance of professionally monitored systems with video verification, show them this clip.

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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at

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  Article Topics

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