Shorter is often better. Longer processes and documents complicate matters, lengthen the time it takes to get things done and often create ambiguity. There is certainly a time and place for extra verbiage and provisions. But when it comes to alarm ordinances, SIAC has found that a shorter document works effectively for law enforcement, helping get enforceable requirements quickly in place with support from all involved parties.
Recently in Bellevue, WA, SIAC’s Jon Sargent and Ron Haner submitted a streamlined model alarm ordinance to officials. The city had been working with an old document that was 26 pages. The new one was 7 pages. Which would you rather read?
Over the years, through a lot of trial and error, SIAC has learned what has and hasn’t worked when it comes to local ordinances. We respect that each community has nuances that it wants addressed. At the same time, because of our experience, we can offer knowledge and a simpler solution. That’s where a shortened model ordinance comes into play.
One of the services sought from SIAC by many local officials in the U.S. and Canada is a pre-written alarm ordinance. By using model ordinance as a starting point, these communities accept the work that has gone into the document, including input from law enforcement, the security industry and local governments. The past few years, we have been able to streamline this document down to an even easier to implement (and understand) ordinance.
We’ve boiled down the key provisions. We’ve maintained best practices inside the shorter document. It’s easier for a local jurisdiction to implement.
That’s part of the service we offer to those who seek our advice. We continue to improve the services we offer, banking our experience. Please go to our Web site to find out more: http://www.siacinc.org. And remember, our services are always free to law enforcement.
Like many other states across the U.S., New Mexico is continuing to see progress in improving alarm management practices. Again like other states, this is due a number of simple yet vital variables – commitment by alarm companies and the state association to implement best practices; active support and leadership from key individuals and companies; and a willingness to work with other parties to develop workable solutions. At SIAC, we’ve been able to witness this first hand, particularly due to the ongoing involvement of Ron Walters and Steve Keefer.
Most recently, Ron and Steve were able to spend some time in the state, and noticed a growing trend of involvement and attendance at the state meeting. Gary Shefler, the new Executive Director of the New Mexico ESA Chapter, has been working tirelessly to bring together the association membership to address a number of crucial issues, including developing a consensus to support alarm ordinances. We applaud Gary’s efforts, and the commitment of individuals and companies within the state to step forward for the industry.
SIAC has been involved in New Mexico for over 10 years, working with the industry on Verified Response issues in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Through cooperative negotiations in all three cities, we’ve witnessed progress in terms of fewer nuisance alarms, and even an income increase in Albuquerque due to the ordinance implemented.
The most recent industry meetings were productive and continue our push down the road towards improved law enforcement relations in New Mexico. SIAC believes a key message is to form a statewide Model Ordinance supported by the security industry and law enforcement. We believe this is a worthy and achievable goal.
Gary has done a fantastic job lowering barriers between association members, and SIAC wants to salute his effort. We also want to send a special thanks to Jim Dragoo of ADT for supporting and attending the NMESA meetings. With more companies participating, we can count on more successes.
Thanksgiving is always a good time to pause, reflect and remember how fortunate we are. Most citizens can celebrate this holiday with thanks for the abundance we’ve been blessed with in the United States. Too many still struggle with hunger, and most of us can give to help those less fortunate.
We are also blessed with multiple political freedoms and the freedom to worship that we can easily forget about. These freedoms are a great source of strength in America – leading to diversity. Different views encourage creativity and growth. Tolerance breeds understanding and ability to work through problems in a supportive way.
SIAC is a strong believer in these freedoms for the United States and the rest of the world, along with how we go about our business. Working through differences with other parties makes us credible. Maintaining a strong military force is a tremendous deterrent necessary for the freedom we cherish. And so we also salute our men and women in uniform serving in countries across the world, keeping the United States in the forefront the international community. We hope people see SIAC playing a similar role when it comes to security issues.
The pursuit of happiness in an overly complex world can lead down many paths. As we go about our daily lives, we are blessed with the freedom to choose, and SIAC is thankful for that — for our country, our industry and on a personal level. The path chosen is not always easy. There are bumps and bruises along the way. We’re thankful for that, too, because it teaches us how to continually improve and apply lessons to benefit the larger whole.
We wish you, your family and your business a blessed and meaningful Thanksgiving.
Please welcome Tom Sweeney to the SIAC ranks. We’re proud to have him join our mission. SIAC is a stronger organization with his addition to our team.
Tom recently retired from the Glastonbury PD in Connecticut. He will primarily be working the Northeast part of the U.S. for us, so if you have issues in that part of the country, you may contact him directly by going through our Web site: http://www.siacinc.org/contact_us.aspx./
Tom was one of the original IACP/PSLC members and once was co-chair. He is well-respected within the chief ranks. He has a strong history of involvement and leadership within the police community and we look forward to having him on board to further grow our relationships with law enforcement. His career includes 47 years in criminal justice employment, with 41 years working in and for police departments.
He has published multiple stories in “Local Government Police Management” magazine. A graduate of Manhattan College, Sweeney got his Master’s Degree in Criminology at the University of California-Berkely, and served as a graduate faculty member at Golden Gate University.
A lifetime member of IACP and the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, Tom was also a member of the Police Executive Research Forum (2000-2012) and Capital Region Chiefs of Police (1999-2012).
Interestingly, as SIAC worked to develop the first Chief’s video on alarm management – a controversial project – Tom made suggestions to help lend greater credibility, including a section on Verified Response. We’ve appreciated Tom’s reasoned voice throughout the years we’ve known him, and are confident his approach and knowledge will help the cause of better alarm management practices
As companies grow in the security industry, their responsibility to market, sell, install, service and monitor alarm systems to the highest quality standards also grows. Every company counts when we look at improving alarm management practices, but the plain facts are that if you have a bigger footprint, you affect more customers.
That means good installations play a larger role in lowering the rate of unnecessary alarms, and improving the standing of the industry as a whole. Other benefits include an improved public image for our industry, as well as the perception (and reality) that these professionally installed systems are reliable.
We are also demonstrating to our law enforcement partners that we take alarm management seriously despite the ever growing number of systems installed every year. When police have to respond to fewer alarms, they are able to spread their resources elsewhere. That helps the local community ensure greater public safety.
Two security companies have recently been singled out in the trade press for their growth – Per Mar Security acquiring two companies in Indiana, and Vivint, which was ranked No. 2 in Inc. magazine’s Hire Power Awards, honoring the biggest U.S. job creators over the past 18 months. They are good examples of the health in our industry, and good reminders that as your company grows, so does your responsibility to be a good steward for alarm management practices.
Whether a company grows through acquisition or organically, those extra installations become more visible to others. SIAC is prepared to help with education and outreach so our industry as a whole continues to improve alarm management practices and build on successes. Find out more by going to: http://www.siacinc.org/. We’d like to hear what you think. Please add your thoughts to the comments section of this blog.
At the recently completely annual IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) meeting in Philadelphia, the general membership endorsed a resolution on licensing requirements for companies and individuals in the alarm business. The resolution was proposed through the IACP – Private Sector Liaison Committee where SIAC’s Stan Martin chairs the Alarm Sub-Group.
Mandatory licensing with criminal background checks for key alarm company employees was considered a public safety issue by IACP. It also ensures higher quality employees and installations. That means alarm systems operate the way they are intended, with far fewer complaints from consumers or problems with the systems.
Importantly, the IACP, in its resolution, sends a strong message to state legislative bodies that it is a critical public safety issue which needs attention in states that do not have alarm licensing laws and/or criminal background checks.
SIAC believes this is another important step forward in this public/private partnership, having the IACP standing behind a measure that helps winnow out bad actors. It’s good for law enforcement, the alarm industry and the citizens we serve.
SIAC salutes IACP for this resolution, and looks forward to positive results in the years to come.
SIAC congratulates Jay Hauhn, newly elected President of the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA). We have known Jay for years, as he has served on SIAC’s Board of Directors, and know that CSAA is getting a smart, experienced, connected, and committed leader in Hauhn.
Of his many talents, we believe one of Jay’s strongest is how integrated his experience is within all phases of the electronic security industry. He knows the issues, he recognizes the interactions between manufacturers, installers and companies that monitor systems, and he builds relationships with others to help solve the collective problems we face. That’s a tall task bringing these types of parties — to unify them and grow the industry (while remaining true to his company – as Chief Technology Officer and VP of Industry Relations for Tyco Integrated Security). Jay is certainly up to the task as he has demonstrated repeatedly in other high profile posts.
In his role on our board, he makes sure we do what we say we are going to do, stay within budget and target the right problems. Beyond SIAC, Jay has served our industry in many other important capacities, including as Chairman of the Board of the Security Industry Association, and as Chairman of the Government Relations Committed for the Electronic Security Association.
Our industry trusts Jay to make good decisions and get the job done. That’s a huge endorsement. We know CSAA will be in good hands under Jay Hauhn’s tenure.