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.

More Sandy Springs information:

Contributed by David Margulies

Engineered Protection Systems Earns 2016-17 Police Dispatch Quality Award

 

 Customer Education a Key Focus

In June, the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) recognized TMA member Engineered Protection Systems, Inc. in Grand Rapids, Michigan with its prestigious 2016-17 Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) award. The PDQ award is given to the company that promotes best practices working with law enforcement to reduce the number of unnecessary dispatches to alarm customers. The award was presented at the ESX – Public Safety and Networking Luncheon at ESX on June 16 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Stan and Josh at ESX PDQ Dispatch Award by Lasko

SIAC Executive Director Stan Martin, left, and EPS Monitoring Center Operations Manager Josh Sanders following the presentation of the award. Photo by Elizabeth Lasko.

“Engineered Protection Systems has consistently shown itself to be extraordinarily conscientious, exacting and effective where it comes to alarm management and dispatches,” said Stan Martin, SIAC Executive Director. “These efforts have garnered EPS Security recognition as a PDQ runner-up on multiple occasions, which is quite an achievement in itself.”

“Winning this award was the result of focus towards dealing with alarm issues for the benefit of our valued customers and the community as a whole,” said Kevin Carlson, EPS Security President. “Reducing unnecessary dispatches is vital to the health of our industry and our ability to serve and protect the community.”

EPS Security strategies for reducing false alarms include two call confirmations, customer education at installation, detailed user guides and specific procedures for problem alarm sites. “When a pervasive false alarm problem is discovered, EPS Security has a number of procedures to make a correction,” Carlson said. “These include a member of the EPS Security Monitoring Center team calling customers, downloaders checking on the programs, service techs coordinating onsite visits to check equipment, or providing a full re-education of the system to the customer along with a possible extension of delay times.”

“The fact they continued to push themselves for additional improvement and further refine their tactics, practices and results to break through as the best alarm dispatch program in the U.S. and Canada is an amazing accomplishment for which EPS Security management and every associate should rightly be extremely proud,” Martin said.

Their meticulous entry crosses every ‘T’ and dots all the ‘I’s in addressing, and sometimes exceeding the PDQ criteria. The company encompasses all that the award stands for in cutting false dispatches, and building relationships with the community and first responders.”

The PDQ Award is given annually by SIAC and the False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), and co-sponsored by Honeywell Security, Security Sales & Integration Magazine, and the Installation Quality (IQ) Program.

ABOUT SIAC
SIAC represents one voice for the electronic security industry on alarm management issues – communicating solutions and enhancing relationships with law enforcement.  SIAC is comprised of four major North American security associations–Canadian Security Association (CANASA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA), and the Electronic Security Association (ESA).  For more information, go to www.SIACinc.org, www.siacinc.wordpress.com, or follow us on www.twitter.com/siacinc.

 ABOUT FARA
The False Alarm Reduction Association, established in 1997, is an organization of public safety false alarm reduction professionals and alarm industry representatives, whose main mission is to provide a forum for the exchange of information on successful false alarm reduction programs, to serve as a clearinghouse for agencies seeking to reduce false alarms and to foster an environment of cooperation among law enforcement, the alarm industry and the alarm user.  For more information, visit www.faraonline.org.

 ABOUT Engineered Protection Systems, Inc.
Engineered Protection Systems, Inc. was founded in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1955. What began as a modest, local operation with a handful of employees has blossomed into a multi-state company with more than 225 employees and approximately 20,000 customers, three additional Michigan branch offices and thousands of satisfied customers. In 2017, EPS Monitoring Center Operations Manager Josh Sanders was a finalist for TMA’s Monitoring Center Manager of the Year, and Dielle Holmberg was a finalist for Monitoring Center Operator of the Year.

 

 

SIAC: St. Cloud FL Police Reporting 67% Reduction in Dispatches

 

Frisco, Texas (January 26, 2017) – The city of St. Cloud, Florida and its Police Department were presented with the Security Industry Alarm Coalition’s (SIAC) Director’s Award of Distinction, and the Alarm Association of Florida’s (AAF) Alarm Management Award for its outstanding work in reducing alarm dispatches.

St. Cloud Police Chief Pete Gauntlett was given SIAC’s Award of Distinction for his work on this project, along with the AAF award.

The city reduced its alarm dispatches by 67% in its first 12 months utilizing the model ordinance developed by SIAC and the Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA). The awards were given during a recent city council meeting.

The Security Industry Alarm Coalition’s National Law Enforcement Liaison, Glen Mowrey, and AAF representatives worked with the St. Cloud Police Department, city staff and the city attorney’s office on the project.

“Our success in reducing alarm calls allows officers to be more proactive in community policing activities,” said Chief Gauntlett.

Mowrey added, “Utilizing the FPCA Model Ordinance streamlines working with the agency in establishing an alarm management program.”

“In the case of St. Cloud, this positive outcome benefits the police department, the local community and our industry. It demonstrates that well-implemented alarm management practices provide the intended results, fewer dispatches,” said Stan Martin, SIAC Executive Director. “Police are freed to address other calls that may have greater public safety consequences. Customers are happy that they don’t have unnecessary alarm activations. In turn, security companies are in better shape because they can sell improved alarm management practices. The result equals fewer fines to the customer.”

 

 

siac-2

(L-R) SIAC’s Glen Mowrey, AAF’s Bob Neely, Sgt. Denise Roberts, Chief Pete Gauntlett, Mayor Rebecca Borders

About SIAC

SIAC represents one voice for the electronic security industry on alarm management issues, communicating solutions and enhancing relationships with law enforcement. SIAC is comprised of four major North American security associations – Canadian Security Association (CANASA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA), and the Electronic Security Association (ESA). For more information, go to www.SIACinc.org , www.siacinc.wordpress.com, or follow us on www.twitter.com/siacinc.

–Contributed by James Roth

Town of Lexington (SC) PD Receives SIAC Award for Reducing Alarm Calls

Lexington, SC (January 26, 2017) – The town of Lexington, SC and its Police Department were presented with the Security Industry Alarm Coalition’s (SIAC) Director’s Award of Distinction for its outstanding work in reducing alarm dispatches. The town reduced its alarm dispatches by 46% freeing up officers for community policing activities and problem solving projects. The award was presented to the town of Lexington, Chief Terence Green and staff during a recent town council meeting.

The Security Industry Alarm Coalition and representatives from the South Carolina Police Chiefs Association’s (SCPCA) Alarm Management Committee worked with the Lexington Police Department staff and the city attorney’s office using SCPCA’s Model Alarm Ordinance in reducing alarm dispatch requests.

“We feel very good about the success of our alarm management program, the results we’ve realized, and look forward to even greater reductions in the future,” said Chief Green. “Our partnership with SIAC and the SCPCA Alarm Management Committee has certainly aided us in reducing our alarm dispatches.”

SIAC’s National Law Enforcement Liaison Glen Mowrey added, “Developing strong partnerships and utilizing the Chiefs Association’s Model Alarm Ordinances adds to the success of an agencies alarm management program.”

“In the case of Lexington, this positive outcome benefits the police department, the local community and our industry. It demonstrates that well-implemented alarm management practices provide the intended results, fewer dispatches,” said Stan Martin, SIAC Executive Director. “Police are freed to address other calls that may have greater public safety consequences. Customers are happy that they don’t have unnecessary alarm activations. In turn, security companies are in better shape because they can sell improved alarm management practices. The result equals fewer fines to the customer.”

 

siac-1

(L to R) Patrolman First Class Ryan Whitlock, Mayor Steve MacDougall, Glen Mowrey, Chief Terrence Green, Lt. Matt Timmerman, Major Matt Davis, and Lt. Thomas Stowe.

About SIAC

SIAC represents one voice for the electronic security industry on alarm management issues –communicating solutions and enhancing relationships with law enforcement.  SIAC is comprised of four major North American security associations–Canadian Security Association (CANASA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA), and the Electronic Security Association (ESA). For more information, go to www.SIACinc.org , www.siacinc.wordpress.com, or follow us on www.twitter.com/siacinc.

–Contributed by James Roth

 

Contra Costa Co. (CA) Office of the Sheriff & Bay Alarm Win National Award

The Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) is proud to team with the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) and the National Sheriffs’ Association to honor Sheriff David O. Livingston of the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff and Bay Alarm with the inaugural Sheriff/Private Security Partnership Award.

This new award recognizes a strong partnership between a Sheriff’s Office and a local private sector security partner. SIAC Executive Director Stan Martin and Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn on behalf of the National Sheriffs’ Association presented the award to Sheriff Livingston and Matt Westphal from Bay Alarm.

“Sheriff Livingston and his department have a tremendous relationship with Bay Alarm,” said SIAC’s Martin. “This public/private sector bond has proven extremely beneficial in Contra Costa County and the San Francisco Bay Area.”

As part of this great relationship, Bay Alarm provides the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff Law Enforcement Training Center with scholarship funding to assist new law enforcement recruits who are putting themselves through the basic academy.

“For the past 12 years, Bay Alarm has been and continues to be a proud partner of the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office,” said Matt Westphal, Co-President of Bay Alarm. “Our scholarship program helps prospective law enforcement officers get the training they need to start a career of keeping the public safe.”

“We are honored to be the first recipients of this award,” said Contra Costa Sheriff David O. Livingston. “The Office of the Sheriff has an important and successful partnership with Bay Alarm. Their scholarships, which help fund the next generation of law enforcement officers, are invaluable.”

“Bay Alarm is one of our CSAA Five Diamond Certified members meaning they strive for the best in service, training, quality, reducing false alarms and industry participation,” said Jay Hauhn, CSAA Executive Director. “In addition to these standards, their work with the community and law enforcement make them a proven leader in our industry.”

 

Sheriff-Private Security Award Photo

Pictured above from left to right: Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn, Sheriff David O. Livingston, Matt Westphal, Stan Martin

ABOUT SIAC

SIAC represents one voice for the electronic security industry on alarm management issues – communicating solutions and enhancing relationships with law enforcement.  SIAC is comprised of four major North American security associations–Canadian Security Association (CANASA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA), and the Electronic Security Association (ESA).  For more information, go to www.SIACinc.org, www.siacinc.wordpress.com, or follow us on www.twitter.com/siacinc.

 About CSAA International

The Central Station Alarm Association International (CSAA) is an internationally-recognized non-profit trade association that represents professional monitoring companies, including those listed by a CSAA-approved Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, such as FM Global, Intertek/ETL or UL. Incorporated in 1950, CSAA is legally entitled to represent its members before Congress and regulatory agencies on the local, state and federal levels, and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) over the industry. CSAA’s mission is to advance the professional monitoring industry through education, advocacy, and public safety relationships.  www.csaaintl.org. For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at CSAA, 703-242-4670 x 16.

 ABOUT Bay Alarm

Bay Alarm Company, based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, is the largest privately held alarm company in the United States. Founded in 1946 by Everett Westphal, Bay Alarm is now in its third generation of family leadership. Currently Bay Alarm’s customer base includes over 120,000 customers and 800 employees. Bay Alarm is single-mindedly focused on serving the state of California and the unique security needs of its communities.   Bay Alarm maintains 14 branches throughout California, providing Burglar Alarms, Fire Alarms, CCTV, Access Control, Video Verification and Guard Patrol services.

 

 

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.