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Slow or no police response
November 29,  2019
Slow or no police response
            Consider recycling and updating your important messages in your article dated November 24, 2014… ADT Sued In Class Action For Deceptive Business Practices – 
            Update, to specifically include liability related slow or no police response.  
            We believe decades of experiences from thousands of municipalities have now exposed and modernized the basic business models.  One of the threatening issues from recent evolution seems to be the loss of sovereign immunity when police DO respond to calls, from private monitoring firms, to private customer unknown signals; but retain immunity when police do NOT respond…. Lots of incentive to NOT respond.  
            What business are we in if the police are no longer a silent partner?
Lee Jones
Support Services Group
            The All in One agreements are very clear about First Responder response time.  Alarm companies are not responsible for slow or no police response.  
            Lee has focused on this issue of slow or no police response for a long time but I am not aware of any cohesive trend toward reduced police response.  We have had prioritized response for a long time and that isn’t going to change.  I don’t think we need worry about no police response, at least not until our society changes to the point where we can no longer recognize it.
            I am not so sure that there is a loss of sovereign immunity when police do response.  Sovereign immunity attaches when government and its employees are engaged in the performance of police or fire services.  I think what we are seeing over the past several years is a change in the level of tolerance and accepted norm for police behavior.  Political correctness makes it more difficult for police to perform their services.  It’s hard to perform police work when you’re worried that someone is going to scrutinize your performance with a view of finding something wrong, rather than something right.  I think this is what we are the public perceive happening. 
            In today’s NY Law Journal there is a reported case where someone arrested in the middle of a domestic dispute sued and got a jury award of almost 2 million dollars from the police because of excessive force [broken nose seemed like the gist of it].  I suppose Lee would not find it odd that police would be reluctant to respond and take action.  Just like the NYC cops that suffered the water buckets and did nothing.  Just today Mike Blumberg apologized for supporting NYC’s stop and frisk policy as discriminatory.  Times change and what was acceptable yesterday is not acceptable today. 
            That doesn’t mean that government immunity does not attach for no response.  Police lose government immunity when the action of the police go beyond sanctioned performance.  In other words, go too far and you lose governmental immunity.  The concept of “too far” use to be “very far” and now perhaps, in certain places, it’s “not far at all”.  
            One of the most fundamental obligations of government is to protect its people and that means that police response is not going to be eliminated.  However, they can’t be in 2 places at the same time, so they have to prioritize.  That means unverified burglar alarms have to wait.  On the other hand, police and fire response, both governmental functions, could not be sustained in today’s world without the aid of electronic alarm industry.  Believe me, they know it and so do you. 
            Lee, I am all for selling more and better alarm systems; more alarm and security services.  Sell verification, guard service, back-up systems and redundant systems.  Why not?  
            Just remember, your All in One agreement © Kirschenbaum Contracts ™ will provide the contractual protection you need.  But be careful with your promotional material and be sure you don’t promise more than you can deliver. 
            Your subscribers expect your services to coincide with the performance of First Responders.  Remember that.  Slow or no First Responder response reflects on you, at least as far as your subscribers are concerned.  Interestingly enough, First Responders seem to blame you for your subscriber conduct, at least in some places where the AHJ wants to blame the alarm company for false alarms.  
            Your expectation of the relationship with your subscriber is quite different.  Your responsibility ends when the dispatch is made by the monitoring center to the First Responder.  
            No matter what size or color font we write it in the contracts the dichotomy of perception is not going to change.  Be sure to use the All in One agreements and don’t make misrepresentations to your subscribers.  Their perception is important, especially since if they feel taken advantage of you can expect a lawsuit when things don’t live up to their expectation.

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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