On October 29 just after midnight, Operator Minta Christopherson received an alarm activation from the garage at a Bellevue office building with a verified office security system. Because the office building has video verification, Minta could see two people inside and dispatched Kirkland PD. She stayed online with the dispatcher as additional activations came in, showing the suspects rifling through things in the garage. Officers arrived and took one into custody and they saw the second person run away. K-9 officers were brought in to search the area and did eventually find suspect #2.
While it's true that the majority of arrests at facilities we protect are at construction job sites, verified office security systems are a huge part of what we do. Office building rental rates for the third quarter of 2013 in Seattle averaged $28 – $32 per square foot. That's a big expense for any business, because you are responsible for paying it regardless of how successful your business actually is. For many of our clients, a break in could be the difference between being able to pay their commercial lease amount and falling behind. The expense of lost equipment, time, supplies and data can push a business, especially an up and coming business, over the edge. An advantage of a verified office security system is that it is custom designed for your business' layout and needs. In order to place equipment that allows our Verification Center to confirm that a crime is taking place, we need to know your space and your habits inside and out.
If the business described in the arrest above had elected to go with a conventional alarm system instead, the story would have turned out very differently. When the criminals broke through the door, they would have set off a door contact sensor or nearby motion detector. An alarm bell may have sounded but due to the industrial setting of the office, it's unlikely that any passers-by would have heard it, much less done anything about it. The conventional alarm monitoring center might not have an available operator to start responding to the alarm for up to ten minutes. At that point, the operator would call the business. Unless the burglars were really stupid, no one would answer. The operator would then call the owner or other emergency responder. They may also try a third call. Then, they would call the Kirkland Police dispatch line and let them know that they are receiving a burglar alarm at the address. This dispatch would be at a relatively low priority. Officers would respond to any urgent calls or verified alarm dispatches. Once they had some available time, they would then go investigate. By that point, the burglars would be long gone with as much as they could carry. This order of events is not just speculation — ask any conventional alarm monitoring operator or police officer and they'll confirm it's true.
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