The Texas Police Chiefs and key members of the state’s alarm industry – Chris Russell, Jeff Bright and Rodney Hooker – took a big step recently in agreeing on some key provisions to reduce unnecessary alarm signals. It wasn’t easy. An alarm committee was formed in early 2009, including Chiefs Greg Rushin from Plano, Tom Cowan from Burleson, and Larry Boyd from Irving, along with Stan Martin from SIAC.
Given that Texas has a state alarm law, one of the critical components was meeting provisions in the law. The document that emerged meets all requirements of current Texas Law regarding the regulation of burglar alarm systems. This took numerous meetings over the past 18 months or so, and we got over multiple hurdles.
At SIAC, we’re tremendously encouraged at the steps taken by all the involved parties. It took professionalism for the chiefs and alarm industry to step forward and develop a workable framework. This is true of most negotiations. Hard work and a willingness to find solutions are crucial. We salute all those who contributed.
What we have now is a first step. We have a document that can be used as a guide for agencies to tailor their own compliant alarm management ordinance. This is important in ensuring compliance with the state law, and building uniformity in terms of how our industry operates. The more consistency we have in ordinances throughout the state of Texas, the better it is for the alarm industry in simplifying how we have to meet those requirements.
The real long-term benefit of these Alarm Management Committees, however, is to keep the dialogue and communications open between the chiefs and alarm dealers in every state. As other issues arise, such as state legislation, there will be a vehicle in place to review/discuss proposals. There will not always be agreement on every issue, but as professionals both serving the public we can at least have a better understanding of each other’s perspective. This increases the opportunities for mutual understanding and results in cooperation that benefits all parties. This is a major accomplishment for all involved, and we encourage continued cooperation down the road. We’ve built a bridge; now we need to use it.