BIGSTOCK POLICE LIGHTS

The Prince William County Department of Public Safety Communications has implemented a new alarm response program designed to improve 9-1-1 response time, minimize duplicate data entry and possible errors, and reduce unnecessary calls between alarm companies and the department.

The new program, called Automated Secure Alarm Protocol, or ASAP, connects 9-1-1 centers that are known as Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) because they receive calls from the public as well as transfers from alarm companies.

“We are excited to announce our partnership with the ASAP-to-PSAP program, which will improve 9-1-1 response time for Prince William County residents or business owners who have alarm systems,” said Eddie Reyes, director of the department.

Reyes said that previously alarm companies would call the department’s non-emergency 10-digit number to report a burglar, fire or medical alarm, which required dispatchers to manually enter all the necessary information.

“With ASAP, we will receive the alarm notification immediately and electronically, which will automatically populate the data into the dispatcher’s … system, bypassing the normal call-taking step and eliminating possible errors from duplicate data entry and the need for any phone calls,” Reyes added. “This can only mean a faster response time to any home or business duress or fire alarm.”

While emergency services are enroute, most alarm companies will continue to contact the home or business owner to inform them of the alarm.

Several other emergency communication centers in Virginia have implemented the new alarm response program, but Prince William is one of only about 80 jurisdictions in the nation to do so.

Some of the major alarm companies participating include ADS, ADT, AT&T, Alert 360, Affiliated, Brinks, CPI, Guardian, Protection One, Rapid Response, Stanley, Tyco and Vector Security. Police said residents who are unsure whether the new program will work with their alarm system should contact their alarm company provider.

No registration is required, and there are no additional costs for residents to use this program.

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