We don’t live in a vacuum. Our lives, the work world, and technology are always changing, sometimes slowly, sometime quite rapidly. It may seem like the technologies we employ in the electronic security industry to deter crime are the same as they were 10 years ago. We all know that’s not true. Because of improved quality and standards, we not only install and service better equipment, but we get better output as an end result – fewer calls from the alarm monitoring centers to police dispatch.
A recent news account detailed how the FBI is unveiling a “next generation identification system.” It’s an example of law enforcement adopting new technology to do a better job. It is also something we can learn from.
It’s wasn’t that long ago (2001?) that cell phones weren’t omnipresent in our lives. The technology wasn’t perfected yet. Now it is. Sometime soon after 2001, our industry was charged with coming up with a sure way to reduce those unnecessary and unwanted calls to police dispatch. Our solution at the time, through the CARE committee (which has evolved into SIAC), was to spread the idea of two-call verification, which we now term Enhanced Call Verification, or ECV for short. So we took a new technology (cell phones) and applied it to a problem, and came up with a solution that has an effectiveness rate of reducing those calls by 50-80%, depending on other alarm reduction measures applied, quality of the phone numbers listed and enforcement of the standard.
Because our job here at SIAC is to keep exploring new methods, we’re constantly looking for the next step to further improve alarm management techniques. We doubt there is a “silver bullet” lurking somewhere. But we do believe we need to keep finding and refining methods, standards, and technologies that work effectively to reduce unnecessary alarm signals.
The new FBI system is said to be “bigger, better and faster” at identifying criminals and terrorists by physical characteristics. We can take heed of this concept, and extend the electronic security industry’s reach for new ideas to significantly reduce alarm signals. Technology may hold some answers. SIAC will keep looking. Let us know what’s working in your jurisdiction. Maybe we can help you share it. The next “cell phone” solution may come from you.