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New technology could reduce number of false alarms in Sudbury


A recent report released by Greater Sudbury Police said 93 per cent of security calls they respond to are false alarms.

While police are looking for solutions, CTV News spoke with local security agencies to find out how new technology is reducing those numbers to better allocate police resources.

Theft, break and enters and other criminal activity occurs all the time, but in 2021 the local police spent more than 1,100 hours investigating what turned out to be false alarms.

However, security companies say technology has changed so much over the last few years that there should be far fewer of those calls.

“In the newer systems that are out there, even the motion detectors have a video component built in so you can turn around and you can actually verify right there whether it is somebody who has actually entered or just the cat knocking something off the shelf,” said Mike Pagnutti, president of Northern Security.

Although the new technology is promising when it comes to call reduction, Pagnutti said he understands the frustration of police responding to so many false alarms.

“It is very time consuming for the officers to be coming out if it a false alarm,” he said.

“(That’s) where having them verified is kind of good for everybody. It gives them the opportunity to check and make sure and it saves a lot of the resources.”

In 2001, police started charging companies a fee when they responded to false alarms. But it hasn’t made much of a difference, said Staff Sgt. Sandy Dicaire.

“The imposition of fees did cause some deterrence and provided some cost recovery, however, once again, there was very little change in the number of false alarms,” Dicaire said.

To deal with the issue, police will only respond to security alarms when certain benchmarks are met.

“Once alarms have been verified by either audio, video, eye witnesses on scene or at least two different sensors,” she said.

“This is the method we’re now going to be following.”

Dicaire said the hope is that the new policy combined with the new technology will improve the situation. Top Stories

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