False Alarm Reduction Program
Posted on 05/01/2019
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City of Renton SealCITY OF RENTON

April 24, 2019

City of Renton Kicks Off a New False Alarm Reduction Program

Alarm users who have a monitored alarm systems can now start registering with CryWolf!

Being dispatched to repeat false alarms has long been a frustration for both police and dispatch personnel alike. In an effort to combat this misuse of city resources, the City of Renton introduced a False Alarm Reduction Program many years ago. Over time, the ordinance attached to this program became obsolete and the city needed to discontinue the program. After a few years of research, it was recognized the city needed a more cost-effective option to offer the public which lead us to partner with a private company to manage these efforts. CryWolf False Alarm Solutions was selected to manage the city’s False Alarm Reduction Program.

CryWolf will assist the city in reducing the time and effort required to process false alarms and will also simplify management of the program, freeing up police personnel to concentrate on more important job responsibilities. 

Understanding how police respond to alarms may help clear up confusion as to why having a program like this is so important:

  • Renton Police respond to an average of 10 false alarms per day; equating to 3,650 a year. 

  • Responding officers need to assume alarm trips are a legitimate burglary-in-progress (until they find out otherwise) and they will respond accordingly. Since a burglary-in-progress is considered a high-priority call, at least two officers are dispatched. Once both officers are on scene, they may spend a minimum of 20-30 minutes at the scene before determining the call is false (or unfounded); costing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.  

  • Dating back several years to before the initial false alarm program was introduced, numerous efforts were made to educate the public on the importance of having an alarm system that operated effectively so false trips were not so numerous. After those efforts failed to produce results, the city initiated a false alarm reduction program that motivated users to minimize false alarms via a monetary fine process. This got the attention of alarm users and the number of false alarms reduced over time. But since the suspension of that initial program, and with the increase in alarm installations in the city, false alarms have again started increasing in number necessitating the need for a new and improved alarm management system. The Renton Police Department services a large city and it’s the department's responsibility to ensure those resources are handled responsibly and equitably.  

The elements cited above are just a few of the reasons why this new program is necessary. It's incumbent upon the City of Renton to manage services responsibly and providing a modernized false alarm reduction program is key in helping us do that.

Starting May 1, there will be a 90-day grace period for fines on false alarms. Beginning August 2, false alarm activations will start being formally recorded by CryWolf and the processing of that information will begin.

Alarm users who have monitored alarm systems will pay a one-time registration fee of $25 when they register their alarm system, but the required annual renewals are free. 

For additional information and details on the city’s new False Alarm Reduction Program, please open on the tabs below.  

If you have questions about the registration process or the program itself, please contact CryWolf directly at (855) 664-4524, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PST) or visit their website.

If you have additional questions about this program (separate from how the program operates or how to register), feel free to reach out to Cmdr. Jeff Hardin, (425) 430-7686.

The city understands there will be some bugs to work out as we move forward with this new program, so we appreciate your patience and understanding.

REMEMBER: Alarm Users (who have a monitored alarm system) can start registering their alarms beginning May 1.

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About the City of Renton

The City of Renton, Washington, with a population of 104,100 (2018), is located on the southeast shore of Lake Washington, just south of Seattle. Renton's strong economic base, diverse marketplace and favorable business climate have attracted the attention of nationally recognized companies that are providing employees and their families an outstanding quality of life. Renton is the home of Boeing, PACCAR, IKEA, the Seattle Seahawks, and the eternal resting place of Jimi Hendrix. More information can be found on our website, news releases, or Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor pages.


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