Professional Monitoring Rises

The use of professional alarm monitoring services continues to rise. That’s according to a report from: Parks Associates, American Broadband Households and Their Technologies. From 2013 to 2014, professionally monitored security systems rose from 17% to 18%, while self-monitored, fee-based security systems dropped from approximately 3% to 2%.

The figures demonstrated that approximately 26% of homes have some form of security system or monitoring in place in 2014 (out of 100 homes, 18% have pro monitoring; 2% self-monitored; and 6% with a stand-alone security system – 18% + 2% + 6% = 26%).

As we noted in this blog several weeks ago, professional monitoring is important for the consumer to ensure the best trained and prepared representatives are handling your calls. This report bears that out.

For more on the issue, check us out at:


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Glen Mowrey and the Police Activities League Combine on Scholarship

SIAC’s Glen Mowery and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg (North Carolina) Police Activities League (PAL) are combining on a scholarship to help educate youth. We are blessed to have people like Glen on our staff. The work we do, whether for SIAC or in our personal lives, extends beyond the security industry and alarm management issues, and into the communities we live in.

The character our SIAC staff exhibit is demonstrated by Glen’s commitment to help students get financial access to college. We’re proud of you, Glen.

The full PAL letter is reprinted below.

P.A.L… Committed to helping Educate Our Youth


The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Activities League (PAL) Youth Organization is pleased to announce its 2015 Annual PAL-Glen Mowrey College Scholarship Award. This award consists of awarding annually, two single $1,500 one time scholarships to deserving and qualified college-bound PAL participants who have participated in PAL programs for at least three (3) years, and who has demonstrated academic success and community engagement.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Activities League is a 501 C 3 non-profit youth organization under the direct supervision of a committed organizational Board of Directors, whose mission is: “To provide opportunities for the youth of our community that fosters their leadership and citizenship skills through Academics and Athletics”.
PAL is supported in part by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office and a host of local, regional, and National organizations, corporations and individual donors.

The PAL-Glen Mowrey College Scholarship Award is so named because of the years of hard work, dedication, and support that was, and still is, provided by former Deputy Chief Glen Mowrey during his tenure in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. Now retired, Deputy Chief Mowrey still remains a staunch supporter of PAL, and its many programs that annually serves approximately 850 children of the Charlotte Mecklenburg community.

The annual PAL-Glen Mowrey College Scholarships will be awarded and presented to the two (2) selected candidates on Monday, June 8th, 2015 at the annual PAL Chief’s Challenge Charity Golf Classic hosted at Trump National Golf Club.

Applications must be submitted to the PAL Scholarship Committee by Friday, May 29th, 2015 by 5:00pm for review and consideration, from which two recipients may be chosen. The PAL Scholarship Committee is comprised of select members of the PAL Staff and/or Board of Directors.

We look forward to aiding and assisting some of our communities’ youth with providing them college financial assistance. But most importantly, PAL and Glen Mowrey are excited about supporting our youth to Dream – Hope – Believe & Achieve.


Jeff Hood
PAL, Executive Director

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The Power of Referrals

Referrals are a powerful force. Though SIAC is not a “for-profit” business, one of the most important parts of our Web site ( is the “Testimonials” section. We post voices in law enforcement and the security industry who believe in what we do, and want to see our services more widely adopted.

For those of you in business, using the voice of your customers to publicize what you do leads to positive referrals. They sell your systems for you.

One area you should not neglect is proper alarm management. Make sure you explain to your customers how to prevent unwanted alarm activations, and properly arm and disarm the system. Not only will that make them a more satisfied customer, but they will more likely effectively use their system, embrace it, and have good things to say about you afterwards. Through good installations and proper training, your customers benefit, and they in turn can provide your voice to others.

Next time you have a satisfied customer, ask for a referral. Ask if the person would be willing to have his or her name quoted and used on your Web site or sales literature. Adding these faces, names and their words of support help build your brand and your company.

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Professional Monitoring is Here to Stay

Professional monitoring for alarm systems is here to stay. Do-it-yourself (DIY) monitoring has created a ripple of interest and made inroads into the security market. But it will not take the place of the pros in monitoring centers.

Here’s why: The trained person in a monitoring center is available at all times and has the knowledge and experience to know exactly how to respond to a call and what to do when it comes to contacting emergency officials. A homeowner cannot match that. A business person will not have that experience.

The professionalism of the employees at alarm monitoring centers across North America also means 24/7 availability. That’s what a consumer gains by using the service. If an individual with a DIY account is traveling, on an airplane, out of the country or even sleeping at night, there is no ability to monitor the premises.

Beyond availability, monitoring center employees work with emergency personnel, so they know how to quickly contact officials when necessary, and work effectively with them. When it comes to verifying alarms, monitoring center employees are trained on protocols to identify nuisance alarms, and eliminate unnecessary calls to police dispatch. That’s another important distinction that separates monitoring centers from DIY monitoring.

SIAC supports the professionals at alarm monitoring centers. Our industry should promote the quality services they provide to the consumer and emergency personnel.

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The Central Station Alarm Association’s Involvement: SIAC History Part II

(Editor’s note: This is the second in a series on the history of SIAC.)

The Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) agreed to fund and develop software that agencies could use for ordinance management, maintaining a permit database, billing and tracking system to help agencies that could not afford to buy or create the needed program. Over $150,00.00 was invested and hundreds of hours of development oversight time was donated by industry leader Robert Bonifas. Amazingly this software is still working today in many agencies around the country.

At the end of the project a report was to be issued that would document and detail the findings of the study. The report is titled The Model States Report which remains available electronically at

Model States confirmed the role of user error as the primary cause of false dispatches. Model States also delivered the first ordinances that could achieve reductions up to 80%. This occurred in Gainesville and Alachua County Florida and to this day these ordinances have continued to deliver impressive dispatch rates.

Model States opened many doors between the industry and law enforcement. It also began a process that continues today of working cooperatively with public officials and industry leaders. Model States was clearly the foundation for SIAC and addressing the problem of excessive false responses by law enforcement.

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Security Technology Critical to Protect Law Officers

Sometimes we forget, but ISC West will help us remember this year how critical security technology is in helping to protect law enforcement officers. SIAC is proud to support one of the key sessions this week in Las Vegas, covering this issue.

The session we’re sponsoring addresses the Ferguson, MO incident from last year, and what newer forms of technology could have done to help prevent the problem from escalating. The session is entitled “Responding to Ferguson,” and can be accessed here:

Captain Greg Smith of the Missouri Highway Patrol, will headline the presentation April 16 | 3:00pm-4:00pm | Room 704. It is open to all ISC West Badge holders, and sponsored by SIAC.

We hope you attend. There are tough public policy issues every day, and our industry has the tools to help. Further dialogue is certainly necessary to continue building a stronger network that prevents these situations in the future, provides greater certainty in choices for law enforcement and citizens to understand the full facts of what went on, and captures data and images necessary regarding the full sequence of what occurred.

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History of SIAC: The Beginnings

(Editor’s note: This is the first installment in a series on the history of SIAC. We hope you enjoy it.)

After serving the industry for almost 12 years, there are a great many who have no idea of the history of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition, better known as SIAC. In 1997 the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and SACOP – State Association of Chiefs of Police — asked the alarm industry to study the growing issue of unneeded dispatches to alarm calls. This joint project became known as the Model States project.

Model States became the first large effort to understand the cause and cure of the false dispatch issue. The study would be conducted in four states: Florida, California, Illinois and Washington State, and each of these states would have a full-time coordinator to work with law enforcement. Additionally, each state would have a designated Chief of Police to oversee the effort and help open doors to law enforcement agencies so that the coordinators could do their work.

To oversee the entire project, ADI committed the resources of VP of Industry Relations, Stan Martin, to bring it all together. Unique to Model States was that all of the work would be handled by personnel hired to specifically work full-time on a single issue.

Prior to Model States, the industry’s work was done by volunteers who met a few times a year, held conference calls and then a staff person would track and report results or findings. Model States would use these full-time employees to delve deeply into the issue.

(Part Two next will delve into the Central Station Alarm Association’s Involvement)

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