Third party administration or “outsourcing” of alarm management programs for local governments is not an issue we take a position on. We definitely see advantages to police departments or a city running the program themselves, and there are pluses to hiring a private company with specific experience in this arena.
That being said, if a city is looking to head down that path, we do believe there are important issues for consideration. A good way for communities to get relevant information is to contact other jurisdictions that have gone down the third party administration path. Find out how things have worked out. Was money saved by the city? Did calls for dispatch go down? How effectively was a permit system implemented?
A city should look closely at why it chooses to pursue third party administration. Many cities do not have the expertise or employees to run the alarm management program. If they are looking to gain the expertise to help with compliance and collections, a third party might make sense.
Be thorough in you search. Analyze your resources and how an outside party implementing the program would impact those resources. Get recommendations.
By finding and studying data from other jurisdictions that is comparable to your own, a city will make a better long-term decision. We believe one of the guides should be effective implementation of an improved system to reduce calls for police dispatch to alarms. If this is done well by a third party administration company elsewhere, then we would hope those results are replicable in a new jurisdiction, and would stand to benefit public protection.