Huge False Security Alarm Crisis In Las Cruces

Las Cruces – When used correctly, security or burglar alarm systems offer peace of mind and are an effective tool in protecting property. However, the number of false security alarm calls the Las Cruces Police Department responded to last year far outpaced the legitimate claims and forced officers into conducting more than 6,900 unnecessary investigations.

In 2010 the Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority - the 911 call center - received 6,980 security alarm calls that required a response from Las Cruces Police officers. Of those 6,980 calls, only 72 proved to be legitimate activations of alarms.

All centrally-monitored security or burglar alarm calls require a response from at least one police officer. Conservatively estimating that it takes one officer approximately 15 minutes to respond to and investigate each call to an activated security alarm, the Las Cruces Police Department spent roughly 1,727 hours - or nearly 72 full days - investigating false alarms in 2010.

"The time we waste on false alarm calls would be better spent patrolling our neighborhoods or responding to legitimate emergencies," said Las Cruces Police Chief Richard Williams. "We're all for residents and business owners utilizing security alarms. We're just asking that they use them correctly and do everything they can to help reduce the number of false alarms."

LCPD asks that users of centrally-monitored security alarms:

Learn how to use your burglar or security alarm system and make sure all occupants understand how it works.

Know what to do if you accidentally set off your alarm system.

Keep pets or objects (helium-filled balloons, oscillating fans, etc.) from rooms that utilize motion-activated sensory technology.

Make sure all users know the system's pass-code and how to properly enter it.

Secure all doors and windows prior to activating your alarm system.

Make sure your alarm monitoring company has up-to-date emergency contact names and phone numbers so they can reach you.