posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2007 4:58 PM by klehan

Tennessee Addresses False Alarms with New ECV Law

Tennessee has become the second state in the country to follow a new trend that some herald as a modern solution to redirecting police resources. On May 15, Gov. Phil Bredesen signed a law requiring the entire state to implement Enhanced Call Verification (ECV). 

“What started out as a state law in Florida last year is proving to be a trend for false dispatch reduction across the country," said Glen Mowrey, national law enforcement liaison for the Security Industry Alarm Coalition. "Most agencies have had limited success with other policies in the past, but the proliferation of cell phones has made ECV the best solution for the future." 

The idea behind the law is that alarm monitoring companies can be highly effective in identifying false alarms by simply calling a second phone number when the first call goes unanswered. SIAC claims ECV, combined with the alarm industries best practices, can reduce dispatches by more than 70 percent. Tennessee's law enforcement executives say that will help save their limited resources and allow them to redirect officers to more pressing needs. 

"As public agencies, we are always limited on our resources," said John Lowry, president of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police. "We're excited that our officers will now be able to spend their time more efficiently than responding to too many false burglar alarms." 

"We were already working with municipalities across the state to implement local ECV policies," said Penny Brooks, executive director of the Tennessee Burglar and Fire Alarm Association. "When we heard about Florida's idea to make it a statewide law, it seemed like a no-brainer." 

The new law will improve Tennessee's ECV resolution passed two years ago. The previous law was based on the International Association of Chiefs of Police, as well as the National Sheriffs Association's resolution.