How Video verified alarms can be the difference between life and death
Forensic Case Number 17564
DragonFly – an Alternative to SimpliSafe – An alarm system activates at a residential premise and when the central station calls back the premises they receive no answer so they dispatch the police. Additionally, they contact a neighbor who advises that he will meet the police at the home. When the police arrive, they meet with the neighbor and are advised that he does not believe that the owner is home. However, one of the police officers sees what appears to be a man on the second floor of the premises. That being said, a period of about seven minutes elapses while the officers and neighbor are discussing same. While the police start investigating the perimeter of the property to determine if there are any signs of forcible entry, one of the officers tries a sliding glass door to see if it is secured, and triggers the alarm system. Accordingly, the central station receives yet another alarm signal from the protected premises and when they attempt to verify the signal, this time the homeowner answers his phone and gives a proper passcode, verifying with the central station operator that everything is OK and that the homeowner was in his residence.
Importantly, at no time did the central station operator inform the homeowner that the police had been previously dispatched to his home, nor did the central station operator ever attempt to update the police that what they dispatched the police on, was a false alarm. A consequence, the responding police officers had no idea that everything was OK, nor did the homeowner have any idea that two armed police officers had identified a person on the second floor of his home. In actuality, that person was the homeowner. At this point, the police check the car parked in front of the home and determine that the engine is cold, they also determine that there is dew on the vehicle as well.
Now, since the police officers are not aware of what transpired between the homeowner and the central station, in that he verified that everything was OK, they direct the neighbor to unlock the door to the home so that they can investigate the suspicious man who they saw from outside the home on the second floor of the premises. As both police officers tactically climb up the stairs in the home, one of them reaches the top of the stairs, at that moment the homeowner, sees a shadow, and even though his vision is impaired due to diabetes, (which is why he cannot drive at night) he is armed, and at about the same time that the police officer identifies himself the homeowner fires one shot critically hitting the officer right below his bullet proof vest, allowing the bullet to penetrate and enter into the officers body. The officer almost dies as a result of the shooting. Against the foregoing backdrop, this type of dangerous confrontation is foreseeable, when a central station has information and fails to share it with in this case both the homeowner and the police. Conversely, had this system incorporated video verification, and two-way voice, in all likelihood this tragedy could have been averted; in that the central station would have been provided with all of the significant benefits of being able to visually identify what caused the alarm event. There is an alternative to SimpliSafe!
This is an edited article from Jeffrey Zwirn. original discussion can be found here and is attached in basecamp with more details and photos.
the original discussion is geared towards security contractors and I edited it to be more relevant to homeowners.
Whatever happens credit must be offered to Jeffrey.
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