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Obligation to notify about police response priority 

April 28, 2023
Obligation to notify about police response priority
          Do the service providers that own the customer contract have any obligation to inform new or existing customers of the current status of their local police response priority?  Especially for “Deterrent” vs “Verified” alarms when recently changed/reduced to slow or no site-response.
Lee Jones
Support Services Group
          Lee, I don’t know if this police response issue, false alarm fines or association usefulness is your favorite topic.  Does the alarm company need to let the customer know what police response priority is or if it’s changed?  It’s a good question but hard to answer definitively because I think it depends on the circumstances of the sale and perhaps the relationship of the alarm company and customer.
          Some national alarm company advertises how effective its monitoring service is dispatching police.  I think that company might have a problem if it sells its systems and services in a jurisdiction where it knows there is no or very low police response priority.
          But what about the alarm company who gets a call from a prospective customer who asks for an alarm system?  I doubt many alarm companies explain much about police priority or response time, though they may very well explain that upon receipt of a signal their central station dispatches police within seconds or minutes.
          Maybe the alarm customer doesn’t care about police response; maybe that customer only cares about the local alarm siren or bell or maybe the customer doesn’t use the alarm at all and is happy to have a yard sign and window decals.
          Alarm companies would be foolish to make any representation regarding police response time or priority except to point out that verified signals will get upgraded priority, assuming that’s true.  In fact the All in One agreements specifically provide that the alarm company is not responsible for slow or no police or fire department response.
          Police protection is an expected governmental service.  Response from police to a call for help is expected, though response time is unpredictable.
          I think that if an alarm company [salesman or customer service] is directly asked about police response priority or timing AND THE ALARM COMPANY knows the answer then the information can be conveyed.  No alarm company employee should engage in speculation, conjecture, fanciful theory ideal chatter or gossip.  The alarm does what it does; deter, detect, signal and dispatch when appropriate.  That alone is worth the price of admission.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301