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verified alarm response

Detroit Police Policy on House Alarms (as of Aug. 12, 2011)

The Detroit Police Department no longer responds routinely to house alarms, because 98% of house alarms are false.  Detroit Police officers will respond ONLY to house alarms that can be VERIFIED as not being false alarms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Verify an Alarm Signal?

  • Alarm companies can verify alarms, but only if the house alarm sends enough information. 
  • Patrol companies can verify alarms, if they make a visual inspection to see that there is an intrusion in progress. 
  • Anyone can verify alarms, if they can visually and personally verify that there is an intrusion in progress at a house can call 911 and get police response.

What is a Verified Alarm Signal?

An alarm company must verify that an alarm signal is not a false alarm before DPD will respond. A resident or other person can verify the alarm (see above), or the alarm can be automatically verified if it sends enough information.

DPD recognizes four different ways that an alarm can be automatically verified.

  1. An alarm system sends one signal from a door, window, or other perimeter/exterior sensor AND sends one signal from some sensor inside a house.
  2. An alarm system sends three signals from one or more interior sensors.
  3. An alarm system sends an audio signal that lets a company monitor hear an intruder.
  4. An alarm system sends a visual signal that lets a company monitor see an intruder.

See Detroit Police Department policies and procedures for verified alarm response. 

Will My Alarm Send Verified Alarm Signals?

CASE A: If You Have Audio or Visual Components

If you have audio or video components that are tied into your alarm, then the alarm company can hear or see an intruder. That is a verified alarm signal. This corresponds to numbers 3 and 4 above.

CASE B: If You Have No Audio / Visual
For an alarm without audio or video components, an alarm must send multiple signals of an intrusion to be verified for the DPD. This corresponds to numbers 1 and 2 above

In order to send multiple signals, an alarm system must be set up with multiple zones, with each zone having specific sensors in it. For example, one zone might be for one or more exterior doors, and another zone might be for one or more interior motion detectors.

  • For Number 1 above, an alarm system must have zones with exterior/perimeter sensors and zones with interior sensors.
  • For Number 2 above, the system must be able to send multiple signals from the interior, such as an intruder walking past a motion detector three times, or an intruder triggering sensors three times in different interior zones. 

How do I know if my alarm system set up to provide these multiple signals?

If you're not sure if your alarm will operate to provide multiple signals, call your alarm company for a review of your system.

What If My Alarm Does Not Send Verified Alarm Signals?

IF YOUR SYSTEM CANNOT PROVIDE ENOUGH INFORMATION, then it can be up-graded to do so.

  • You can get an alarm system that has multiple zones.
  • Zones can be set up for the perimeter and for the interior.
  • You can add audio or video components to your alarm system.

TIP: Dusing Security Service will monitor your alarm for free when you are a patrol subscriber. If you need a system upgrade, you may want to investigate having DSS do it and get free alarm monitoring.


If your alarm company calls to tell you your alarm is going off, DO NOT CALL 911 to report a break-in. If the alarm company can verify the alarm, they will call 911. 

If you cannot verify it visually and in person, and if this is a false alarm, then calling 911 is a "false report". Beware! DPD says it will not hesitate to fine homeowners for making false reports. 

Provided by Dusing Security Service

Can the Dusing Security Patrol Verify Alarm Signals?

Yes. Dusing Security Service patrols will respond to any alarm of any subscriber. 

  • DSS patrol does not require a verified alarm signal. They always respond. 
  • The DSS patrolmen working in Boston Edison will respond to the alarms of subscribers and check for intruders. DSS responds very quickly during the hours they are on duty.
  • If there is an intrusion in progress, DSS can verify it and report it to the police as a verified alarm. 
  • If there is not an on-going intrusion, then DPD will not come. The homeowner then should file a crime report by calling the Telephone Crime Reporting Unit at 267-4600.

Boston Edison gets no financial benefits from DSS. We selected DSS as the patrol company for Boston Edison, because residents wanted to have a patrol service. We all get more protection from having more patrol hours. That is the only reason that Boston Edison encourages residents to do business with DSS.

BE SURE that you have given your alarm company the phone number for the DSS patrol (subscribers only). This gives you even more value from your DSS subscription.

ALSO, if there is an intrusion in progress, DSS probably will scare away the intruders. DSS has been responsible for the capture and arrest of over 40 intruders in Boston Edison over the past four years.

To have DSS in Boston Edison as many hours as possible, we need everyone to subscribe. See our patrol page for full details on the patrol and how to subscribe.

DSS works with the Boston Edison Security Committee to schedule patrols at times for maximum effectiveness. Patrols are scheduled during the times of day when Boston Edison residents are most likely to be away from home, especially during work week daytime hours. The Detroit Police Department confirms that these daytime hours are the best hours to have a patrol on duty here.

Can My Neighbors Verify an Alarm?

Yes. A good idea is for groups of neighbors to get together and agree to respond to each other's alarms.

Anyone who responds to an alarm and who can visually and in person see that there is an intruder can call 911 and provide a verified alarm report. DPD will respond.

NOTE: You will have to verify to 911 that 

  • you can see the intrusion going on OR 
  • you strongly suspect that the intruder still is in the house. 

For example, you saw someone go in and have not seen anyone come out, even if you cannot see anyone at the moment.

If the intruders clearly have gone, then DPD will not come. The homeowner then should file a crime report by calling the Telephone Crime Reporting Unit at 267-4600.

Groups of neighbors who agree to respond to each other's alarms are a good way to add security for themselves. This would be a great reason to get to know your neighbors and bring them together for a common purpose. Organize a block club!!

Can Other Security Companies Verify Alarms? 

Some security companies who monitor alarms also will send a patrol car to check out an alarm.

  • Guardian Alarm Company has a roving patrol car that will respond to alarms. This service adds about $8 per month to the alarm monitoring charge.
  • ADT Security Services charges about $3 per month for a similar service.
  • Other companies also may respond for an additional charge. 

If you know of others, please contact the Boston Edison Security Committee with this information so it can be added here. E-mail

NOTE: These companies do not continually patrol in Boston Edison, therefore they do not deter crime by being present many hours a week.

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