Printer Pilferers Head to Prison

A portable classroom at a Lakewood, WA elementary school still has its printer thanks to Lora’s smart dispatch over the weekend. It was 6:15 a.m. on Saturday when Lora received audio activations from the portable building, followed by a door alarm at the north classroom. Lora could hear two males voices and dispatched Lakewood PD to the school. They kept her on the line with the dispatcher. After a few minutes, Lora heard the suspects talking about taking a printer because it looked expensive, and one of them said, “I can’t believe we’re doing this. This is crazy.”

457px-Hp_laserjet_4200dtnsWithin ten minutes, she heard PD arrive and yell at the suspects to get on the ground. At that point, Lora notified the school contact, who later confirmed that both suspects were arrested.

Stealing from anyone is wrong, but stealing office supplies from a school in inexcusable. With budgets already tight and important school programs getting cut, losses from theft and vandalism add to a lack of resources for students. Protecting public and private schools from burglary is a critical part of what we do.

 

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Five Overnight Arrests at Washington Schools

Jessica Five arrests at Washington schools last night took place after audio detection alerted our Verification Center to suspicious activity. First, Jessica heard a couple of small banging sounds coming from a middle school in the Mukilteo School District. Jessica began listening intently. She continued hearing banging and breaking glass, and she dispatched Mukilteo PD. As the police were en route, Jessica stayed on the line with the dispatcher and updated them of continuing movement and sounds in the school, including more breaking glass and the sound of three or four fire extinguishers. The officers set up a perimeter and brought in K9. As officers entered, a 15 year old male ran out of the building. He was apprehended and arrested.

Northwestern HS Hallway According to the school contact, the fire alarm was also set off so an addition staff person stayed at the school all night on fire watch. The only broken window was at the point of entry, but the mess from the fire extinguishers was so expansive that a special cleaning crew will need to come in.

Kris2008A couple of hours later, Kris received audio activations from breaking glass with lots of crashing, banging and voices at a Tacoma elementary school. She notified Tacoma School Patrol and dispatched Tacoma PD. Two door alarms were triggered and Kris continued hearing two or three voices. The patrol guard reported that four individuals were taken into custody. The suspects gained entry by removing a wooden board that was covering a broken window.

It’s nights like this one that remind us of how important our work is. While any sort of damage to schools is distracting and potentially dangerous to students, at least last night’s suspects were stopped before they could do anything worse and are now off the streets. We are very proud of our work with schools and are honored to be trusted with the safety of students across the Pacific Northwest.

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National Petition: Verified Response Laws

false alarm facts

What would you do with $1.8 billion? That is the amount that is wasted on false alarms each year. Every time a balloon or animal sets off a motion detector and the police are called to a home or business, two or three officers divert their attention away from real crimes to investigate a harmless situation. False alarm ordinances protect police resources and raise awareness about responsible alarm ownership.

A recent proposal for a false alarm ordinance in Bellevue, Wash. reports that the Bellevue Police Department responds to an average of 3,360 alarms per year, 98% of which are false. It is estimated that the annual cost of these false alarms is more than $85,000. Bellevue’s statistics are not the exception — false alarms continue to be a growing problem across the country, and that is why we support the current petition to enact verified alarm response laws throughout the United States.

Taxpayers subsidize police response to false alarms, regardless of whether or not they have a security system. We believe there are better uses for those dollars. U.S. cities that enact laws that require security companies to verify an alarm prior to police dispatch significantly lower false alarm rates and save millions of dollars.

Signing the verified alarm petition is a simple, 30 second process—all done online. Visit: http://wh.gov/lVuaA, and click on “create an account.” Fill in your name, email, and the security question, and then verify the email sent to your account.

That’s it. Petition signed, and progress made toward verified alarm laws and broader verified alarm awareness.

 

 

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Arrests at a Bremerton Youth Center

JessicaCulverJessica Culver was monitoring accounts in our Verification Center on Saturday night when she received audio activations coming from the kitchen storage area at a youth resources center in Bremerton, WA. She could hear a loud crash followed by movement and voices. Jessica dispatched Bremerton PD and stayed online with the dispatcher. The officers arrived and were searching the facility with K-9 when the emergency contact for the campus saw two males running through the neighboring grocery store parking lot. The officers were able to chase down the suspects and arrest them. No losses have been reported from the building and the officer for the case requested the audio file from the Verification Center to use in the investigation.

parking lot

Security alarms for nonprofit organizations are a necessary part of ensuring that as many  resources as possible go to the mission of the organization. While keeping overhead costs low is important, investing the amount needed to ensure comprehensive protection of the space is  a cost that should never be cut. The loss of equipment, confidential information, gifts-in-kind and costs incurred from damage to a building can all lead to serious financial troubles at non-profit organizations, especially at ones where money is already tight. Though it may seem like some non-profit organizations would not be a good target for burglars due to limited office space or older technology, charitable organizations are hurt by crime every year. If your non-profit organization could use the peace of mind and true protection that comes from verified security, please let us know. We also offer a great referral program for non-profits, where we give up to $400 to the non-profit of your choice, which could be used to offset some of the upfront investment.

 

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Celebrating 50 Years of Audio Verification

Representatives from Sonitrol franchises around the country are gathering now in Forth Worth to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the brand at the annual Sonitrol convention. Each year, we join together to recognize successes and share best practices, but this week’s convention is particularly special because of the 50 year anniversary. In honor of this big milestone, we wanted to take the time to share the Sonitrol story.

Sonitrol 50 yearsSonitrol began 50 years ago in the town of Anderson, Indiana, by a man named Robert Baxter.  Robert attended Purdue University, where he studied science and electronics and became fascinated with high frequency sound.  It wasn’t much of a surprise when he approached his family one day with an innovative idea for the exterminating business (the Baxter family owned a termite exterminating company).  Robert’s idea was to use an electronic listening device in the walls of buildings to actually hear the termites!  Robert went on to create other inventions using sound and audio and in 1960 developed a new name for his company, Sonitrol. The name Sonitrol was derived from the words “sound control”.

In 1963, Robert met Al Cronk, a former police officer who owned a Silent Century security franchise.  Robert was hired by Al to maintain equipment and to develop new improvements.  Robert’s innovations in audio detection proved so successful for the security company, that all Silent Century was eventually replaced with new “Sonitrol” equipment.  In June of 1964 the first Sonitrol franchise was opened in Anderson, Indiana.

Now there are independent Sonitrol franchises across the country. Sonitrol changed the alarm industry as the first verification company. 50 years later, verification is slowly  catching on with traditional alarm companies, but they will never be able to match the legacy of service, technology and criminal captures that Sonitrol has built.

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4 Reasons Why Verified Security Systems Result in More Apprehensions

Sonitrol Pacific’s verified security systems have resulted in more than 170,000 police apprehensions since 1977. Below, learn why this technology is unparalleled in trustworthiness and, above all, efficacy.

Police Trust Verified Security

False alarms don’t just divert police attention, they also sap resources. For example,  the city of Seattle reported that $1 million is spent annually on false alarms. Therefore, when police receive an automatic response from a traditional security system, they often assume that it isn’t a real emergency. Verified security systems confirm that the alarm is genuine, and prompt responders to act quickly. The proof is in the numbers: The average police response to an unverified alarm is 45 minutes, while their response to a verified alarm is just 8 minutes.

Verified security

Verified Security Prevents False Alarms

An estimated 98% of all alarms are false. The best antidote to false alarms is alarm verification, especially audio detection. When a loud noise or impact, such as a crowbar hitting a door, happens at a building we protect, we hear the noise and are then able to listen to what’s going on. If a burglary is taking place, we dispatch police. If it’s not, we reset the system and don’t bother you.

Verified Security Detects Intruders Before the Break-In

Traditional motion sensor security systems only detect criminals after they’ve broken into a building. Sonitrol Pacific’s business security systems catch intruders as they are attempting to enter the building. This early detection enables law enforcement to get to the scene more quickly, radically increasing the chances of apprehension.

Verified Security Offers 100% Protection

Verified security systems offer audio technology that provides buildings with 100% protection. The impact-activated system covers wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling, ensuring that every inch of the building is being constantly monitored for suspicious activity. With this thorough setup, it’s virtually impossible for intruders to break in without triggering the alarm system.

Sonitrol Pacific offers technology that ensures the best commercial security. If you want to learn more about how verified security can keep your home or business secure, contact one of our specialists today!

 

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Aggressive Burglar Busts into Taco Time Restaurant

Kris Etheridge

Kris Etheridge

In the wee hours of yesterday morning, Operator Kris Etheridge received audio activations from faint banging and scraping at a Taco Time restaurant in Caldwell, ID, which were followed by much louder noises and footsteps. She dispatched Caldwell PD and while she was giving them the information, she was notified of a door alarm at the restaurant’s back entry. She continued hearing lots of banging and crashing. Officers arrived at the scene but were still waiting for backup as Kris continued hearing the suspect inside. Once the backup arrived, the officers forced the suspect out of the building. The suspect was not compliant with the police – even shouting that he wanted to speak with a lawyer first– until they threatened to send in the K-9.

Damage to Office door by fire extinguisherThe store manager later reviewed the camera footage and saw that the suspect originally approached the adjacent parking lot wearing business clothes, but then he went to the back outdoor area of the store and changed into jeans and a sweatshirt. He walked around to the front and began knocking on the front glass windows. He then took a glass punch to the front door and broke it in. From there, the suspect was apparently quite thirsty from his exertion and went to the soft drink machine to get a drink. Once his thirst was quenched, he took a large metal fire extinguisher to the office door where the safe is stored. He then began using the extinguisher as a battering ram but was unable to break down the door. The back of the restaurant was filled with extinguisher foam and glass.

The restaurant’s management team stayed the whole night following the arrest to clean up so that they could open for business in the morning.

Front door glass broken out to gain entry.According to the police report and news coverage, the damage inside the building also included a broken-out drive-thru window and a dented cooler door.

Police were unable to determine a motive for the rampage, other than the suspect’s apparent drunkenness. The suspect was booked into the Canyon County Jail on numerous charges, including burglary, malicious injury to property, possession of burglary tools and resisting and obstructing.

Check out some of the news coverage that the arrest earned:

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Outdoor Security in Everett Catches Gas Thieves

KrisEtheridge2008Not long after midnight last night, Operator Kris Etheridge was notified of suspicious activity at a window and glass work company in Everett. Thanks to the motion viewers installed in the business’ parking area, Kris could see a figure crouching behind a large object. She dispatched Everett PD and notified the business contacts. Once the cops arrived, Kris could see them searching the area. One suspect was caught stealing gas from a truck and two more suspects were arrested on the property as well.

Outdoor securityVideo verification is a great security option for outdoor areas like parking lots and yards. We use special technology that sends a short video clip to our Verification Center when a motion sensor is activated, which allows our experts (like Kris) to determine if there is a threat or not. As you might imagine, false alarms can be pretty high in outdoor areas with motion detectors, with birds, bugs and cars causing multiple trips. After an arrest, the video footage can also be helpful for police and in pressing charges and identifying suspects.

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Go Straight for the Good Stuff This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day has rolled around again, and for many people that will mean late-night runs to the Hallmark store and fighting over the last heart shaped balloon at a roadside stand. But what if there was an easier, more meaningful way to show someone you care?

Our Good Stuff Squared program spreads the love by donating $200 to the charity of your choice and giving you $200 to spend when you refer a new client. This Valentine’s Day, skip the chalky “Be Mine” candies and go straight for the good stuff…squared.800px-Necco-Candy-SweetHearts

Fill out the form below with the information of someone you know who would be a good fit for our security systems, including access control, security cameras, panic buttons and more. Tell us your sweetheart’s favorite charity and we’ll make sure you get the credit once your referral becomes a customer.

Click for more information on our GS2 program.

Please note that referrals must be located within our areas of service. If you would like to make sure the organization you are thinking of is in our territory, feel free to give us a call.

About your referral




About you






*Select an option:

$400 to the charitable organization

$200 to the charitable organization and $200 to you

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How to Prevent False Alarms on a Sonitrol System

Michelle Evans

Michelle Evans

**By Michelle Evans, Verification Center Manager**

False alarms are stressful, embarrassing and increasingly expensive. Many communities are facing proposed and actual cutbacks in their budgets and are enforcing false alarm fines. At Sonitrol Pacific, our goal is to partner with law enforcement and our customers to make the best possible use of the officers’ time, provide you with the best response time for valid burglary and emergency situations, and keep false alarms to a minimum.  Presently, our valid dispatch (non-false alarm) rate is 16 times better than the industry average.  Our target is to be at least 30 times better.

Minimizing false alarms will take all of us working together. At Sonitrol Pacific we are committed to the following efforts to reduce false alarms:

•   A Sonitrol Pacific Customer Service Representative will visit your site and review your after-hours call lists annually at no cost to you.
•   If you have a false alarm, we will send a Service Technician or a Customer Service Representative to visit you and determine the cause of the false alarm and work with you to ensure it does not happen again. There is no cost to you.
•   We will provide free ongoing group or one-on-one training to you and your employees on how to properly operate your alarm system.

What you can do:

•   Take advantage of free signage offered by Sonitrol Pacific to remind your employees to turn on and off the system.
•   Use the designated door – and make sure everyone knows which door is designated– for entry and exit and within the allotted time.
•   If you make changes in building usage, notify us so we can visit you and make the appropriate modifications to your Sonitrol alarm system.
•   Update your after-hours contact list to ensure that we have accurate contact name and phone number information. Whenever you have a personnel change with anyone who may arm or disarm your system or respond to calls, please let our Data Center know immediately by email at datacenter@ sonitrolpacific.com.
•   Inform your emergency contacts that Sonitrol Pacific may call and that answering calls, even at inconvenient times, is important to the protection of the building.
•   Let us know in advance if you will have workers outside of your business when your security system is turned on, i.e. landscapers, window washers, etc.
•   Ask about integrating access control (keyless entry) into your security system. Keycards and fobs can disarm your system upon entry so you don’t have to worry about remembering codes and pressing buttons.

Integrated access control can help reduce false alarms

Integrated access control can help reduce false alarms

Working together, we will minimize any unnecessary use of valuable police resources.  Our success has been built upon the continued confidence of law enforcement agencies and the highest apprehension rate in the industry.  We look forward to continuing this partnership with you. Please do not hesitate to call with any questions you may have or to set up additional training times.

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