Warning: Alarm Industry Needs to Draw “Line in the Sand” Now

The Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) is working to draw a line in the sand when it comes to the policy of municipalities fining alarm companies for false alarms. The most recent city to consider adopting the policy is Sandy Springs, Georgia (a suburb of Atlanta), which voted in July to begin fining companies on September 1.

“In most cases SIAC is able to move cities away from this type of policy through positive interaction with public safety and community officials,” said Stan Martin, SIAC Executive Director. “In a few instances we have had to engage legal counsel to make the case that these ordinances are unconstitutional.”

For example, such ordinances violate the due process clause of the Constitution because they make alarm companies responsible for the actions of a customer over whom they have no control. It would be the equivalent of fining Ford for a driver caught speeding in an Explorer. There are numerous other issues SIAC attorneys have raised based on the proposed ordinance and state law.

“These detailed letters from our legal counsel citing numerous relevant precedents in federal and state law are a key factor in getting cities to back away from fining alarm companies,” said Martin.

“The bottom line is that when positive interaction and information sharing doesn’t work, we need the resources to hire legal counsel to address specific ordinances,” said Martin. “This is a real threat to our industry — and unless we have the support from the industry to stop these ordinances now it will become a growing problem.

“Having an attorney to engage a city is always the last resort,” said Martin. “Yet, it is critical to prevent allowing a precedent to be set and preserving our right to conduct business on a fair and level playing field.”

Your contribution is needed now. Please visit SIAC to make a donation in support of the effort to protect alarm companies.

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Contributed by David Margulies

SIAC Launches “Raise Your Hand” Campaign to Support the Electronic Security Industry

Support for SIAC Protects Industry and the Public

On October 21, the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) announced a program to raise awareness of the continuing need to foster strong relationships between the electronic security industry and law enforcement.

SIAC Flyer“The ‘Raise Your Hand Campaign’ focuses on SIAC’s role in preventing the type of legislation that can damage the industry and make it more difficult to protect our customers,” said Stan Martin, SIAC’s Executive Director. “The first poster focuses on proposals that crop up at the local level to fine alarm providers rather than alarm owners.”

SIAC has strong support among industry leaders and is seeking to broaden its funding sources to continue its program of working with the approximately 18,000 law enforcement agencies throughout the United States.

Since 2004, SIAC has had the unique and vital role of being the one voice for the electronic security industry with law enforcement and elected officials. SIAC is the only entity focused 100 percent on ordinance activity and alarm management education in North America, promoting a well-vetted model that provides reasonable best practices that ensure our ability to serve our customers and grow our businesses. This structured, efficient approach avoids political controversies and costly litigation to fight or overturn ordinances that are costly and burdensome to the industry.

More significantly, SIAC has worked with the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Sheriffs’ Association to create model alarm ordinances that significantly reduce alarm dispatches.

“Each year new elections and changes in law enforcement leadership require that SIAC continue its important mission of educating these leaders in the best practices that are essential maintaining sworn officer response while conserving public safety resources,” said Martin. “Failure to do so can result in punitive ordinances or policies that make it more difficult and expensive for us to operate effectively.”

CSAA is a committed supporter of SIAC. More information on how to support SIAC’s efforts can be found at www.SIACinc.org.