Waterloo Regional Police Service Implements Verified Alarm Response Program

Media Release

Waterloo Region, Ontario – On Wednesday, January 1, 2020, Waterloo Regional Police will adopt a Verified Alarm Response Program (VARP) to improve service delivery to residents and business owners of Waterloo Region.

It is anticipated that VARP will have a significant impact on reducing the number of false alarms that Waterloo Regional Police respond to, thereby increasing the capacity for officers and 9-1-1 personnel to respond to emergencies.

In 2018, WRPS received 5,060 alarm calls. Only three percent were deemed to be legitimate emergencies. Further, ninety-seven percent of these calls were cancelled or deemed to be false alarms. 

Starting in January 2020, WRPS patrol units will be dispatched when an alarm is verified (i.e., proof of criminal activity) through one or more of the following criteria:

  • Audio device
  • Video device
  • Multiple zone activations
  • An eyewitness on scene

The alarm monitoring stations will be required to confirm whether police response is necessary.

“The implementation of the new Verified Alarm Response Program brings us in line with other police services across Ontario, like Hamilton, London and Niagara,” said Bryan Larkin, Chief of Police. “This program will significantly reduce the number of false alarms that officers attend to every year, and allows our officers to focus on priority calls for service. This will benefit not only WRPS, but all communities across our Region.” 

Waterloo Regional Police will continue to respond to hold-up, panic or duress alarms, and will NOT require verification in those circumstances. This practice will remain unchanged with the new VARP initiative.

There will no longer be registration and annual fees with the new VARP service delivery model. As of January 1, 2020, a flat fee of $170 will be applied for false alarms when police are required to attend.

Media Inquiries

Constable Andre Johnson
Public Information Officer, Executive Branch
Waterloo Regional Police Service
519-570-9777 (WRPS) ext. 8106

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