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Budget Cuts: San Jose, Detroit Cops Stop Responding to Burglar Alarms


You can usually bank on a call to the police being taken seriously. But in some cities, budget cuts and false alarms are moving police to ignore certain calls and burglar alarm services.

After having to layoff 165 officers last June, the San Jose Police Department is scaling back certain services, reports the San Jose Mercury News:

"The department has already scaled back a number of operations. Since March, for example, police have flown their helicopter only enough to maintain pilot skills, Cavallaro said. Horse-mounted patrols have been reduced. Half as many gang-prevention officers now work with schools, and there are fewer school crossing guards.

And it's about to get worse.

In a memorandum sent this week to Mayor Chuck Reed and the City Council, Cavallaro and Chief Chris Moore outlined how the department will treat lower-priority calls so it can focus officers' efforts on violent crime."

The local CBS station outlines what calls will now be "low priority:"

You can watch the video report below:

Stealing recyclables or illegally selling fruit (as the video report notes) may not seem like a huge danger for your neighborhood, but burglar alarms? So much for the Slomin Shield.

Like San Jose, Detroit police are making service changes to put more cops on the streets, and waste less time and money driving to false alarms.  CBS Detroit explains:

"According to the memo, sent to alarm companies and signed by Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee, 98 percent of alarms handled by the DPD are false.

Effective Monday, August 22, the police department will no longer respond to burglar alarm calls from monitoring companies unless the alarm company verifies the alarm."

Police Cmdr. Todd Bettison told the Detroit City Council in April that the city averages more than 15,000 burglaries a year, but less than 1 percent of the more than 60,000 burglar alarms that sound each year in Detroit are credible.

Violent crime in the motor city has been on furious uptick this year, and the decision to reassess law enforcement operations comes following a weekend where 16 people were shot, and 7 dead, within 24 hours.

In 2003 the Los Angeles police commission voted, 4 to 1, to require that burglar alarms be verified before the police respond if a home or business has had two false alarms in a year.

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