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SPD Home / Enhanced Call Verification - False Alarm Program

Enhanced call verification

WHAT IS ENHANCED CALL VERIFICATION?

Enhanced Call Verification (ECV) is an attempt to verify whether or not an alarm is false or if there is criminal activity, making it valid. The verification is performed when the alarm company makes a minimum of two calls in an attempt to contact someone associated with the alarm address to verify if police response is needed.
The Seattle Police Department requires ECV on all automated alarm unless there are exigent circumstances. Activated alarms, such as panic, hold-up, or duress alarms, do not require ECV.
Owners of alarm systems can request their alarm company use ECV for activated alarms and to call additional numbers or contacts prior to requesting police dispatch for any alarm activation. This could further reduce your chances of receiving a false alarm fee from your alarm company.

WHAT TYPES OF CALLS ARE AND AREN'T ACCEPTED?

  • The monitoring company calls two numbers and gets no answer at either number. 
    This is proper ECV and the call will be accepted.
  • The monitoring company calls one number, gets subscriber who says dispatch the police. 
    This is proper ECV and the call will be accepted.
  • The monitoring company calls a business and gets a person that does not know the cancellation code.  This is not proper ECV and the call will not be accepted.  The monitoring company needs to make the second call to try to verify the person inside (i.e. Bob, the new employee closing up, answers the phone but doesn’t know the code.  The monitoring company should call the second number and find out if Bob is supposed to be there before calling 911). 
    Once a second call is made, the ECV requirements have been met and the call will be accepted.
  • The monitoring company calls in after making zero or one verification attempts, but there is an exigent reason, sensitive location or other reason to dispatch the call. 
    This is an exception to ECV and the call will be accepted at the discretion of the call-taker.
  • The monitoring company calls in stating they have real time audio or video on a site and their review of the audio/video indicates that a crime is in progress (not just someone on site)
    This is proper ECV and the call will be accepted
  • The monitoring company calls in after making zero or one verification attempts. 
    This is not proper ECV and the call will not be accepted 
  • The monitoring company calls in and says they were refused dispatch because they had not made two calls, but now they have and they are requesting dispatch.
    This is proper ECV and the call will be accepted
  • The monitoring company calls in a robbery/panic/duress alarm but has not made any verification attempts. 
    This is proper ECV and the call will be accepted – robbery/panic/duress calls do not require verification.   
  • The monitoring company calls in a burglary/intrusion alarm but does not have UIN.  The call will not be accepted 
  • The monitoring company calls in a robbery/panic/duress alarm but does not have UIN. 
    This call will be accepted and the False Alarm Unit will follow up with the monitoring company after the fact to get them licensed.
The monitoring company calls in stating they have a note on the file not to call the subscriber first, but to dispatch the police immediately. 
This is not proper ECV and the call will not be accepted – the alarm company needs to talk to their customer and advise them that this is not an option for them.
  


I DON'T BELIEVE MY ALARM COMPANY IS USING ENHANCED CALL VERIFICATION. WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

If you feel the alarm company has made a mistake or has not followed the ordinance, you will need to dispute that with the alarm company. You may attempt to request that they send you a call-log verifying that they used ECV. Please note, your agreement with the alarm company is a private civil contract between you and your alarm company. The Seattle Police Department’s False Alarm Unit will work with both alarm subscribers and alarm companies to ensure that these standards are upheld, but the actual resolution of any billing dispute will be between the alarm company and the subscriber.

 
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SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
Headquarters: 610 5th Avenue,
Seattle, WA 98124-4986
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