Frequently Asked Questions
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1. Winnipeg Police Response Policy
Anyone operating an alarm system in the City of Winnipeg is required to obtain a valid permit and is subject to the following alarm response policy:
Residential/Commercial Monitored Alarms:
On a single zone activation, the WPS will respond to all commercial and residential alarms if criminal activity has been verified. Police will also respond to burglar alarms if there are two separate monitoring zones activated, and if the alarm company’s monitoring station has been unsuccessful in their attempt to verify the alarm by first contacting the premises. The alarm company’s monitoring station will be required to report the location of the two activated zones and the results of their attempt to verify.
The premises owner, a guard or an alternate response (keyholder) is responsible to verify criminal activity prior to requesting a Police dispatch.
The alarm company/monitoring centre is instructed to immediately contact the WPS. There is no requirement for the alarm company/monitoring service to contact the premises owner prior to requesting Police dispatch.
The alarm company/monitoring centre is responsible to attempt to verify the alarm by contacting the premises prior to requesting Police dispatch, and will be required to report the results of their attempt to verify (i.e. phoned premises, no answer).
What does this mean for you, the Winnipeg alarm owner?
Maintaining a comprehensive, up-to-date keyholder listing is your least expensive and most reliable way of ensuring that your premises is re-secured following a break-in attempt and is not vulnerable to follow-up attempts. All premises owners, keyholders, and guard services are reminded to maintain vigilance and common sense when attempting to verify alarm activation.
In the absence of available keyholders or the required two individual alarm zone activations, another alternative is to utilize a guard response service. For a per-response fee, we can dispatch a local guard service that will respond on your behalf. We also offer a premium monitoring package that includes guard-response as needed. Please contact our office if you would like further information on these options.
If your present alarm system incorporates both exterior and interior protection and is of adequate zone capacity, you have a greater likelihood of transmitting two independent alarm zone activations to the monitoring centre and receiving high priority Police response as in the past. If you would like to review your alarm system adequacy and consider upgrade alternatives, now would be a good time to do so. Please contact our office if you would like further information.
In light of these policies, monitoring your alarm system remains essential to ensuring adequate response to a potential break-in. In the case of non-monitored alarm systems, even if the siren is heard by someone conscientious enough to call Police, the Police will only attend or attempt to contact keyholders if the person reporting the alarm has verified criminal activity.
When you combine the more comprehensive dispatch advantages of 24-hour monitoring with the fact that most insurance companies offer additional insurance premium reductions, monitoring still represents one of the most affordable ways of ensuring protection for the possessions and people you value most.
If you have any questions on any of the above you may contact us at 204-661-2695 or the Winnipeg Police Service - Alarm Coordinators office at 204-986-3406.