As Calls Go Up, The Need For Automation Increases — “ASAP to PSAP”

As the number of calls increase that go to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in cities across North America, it is becoming more and more clear of the need for new ways to refine the process to protect public safety. SIAC has become very involved in this issue by working with the Association of Public Communication Officials (APCO) on the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP). We know that’s a lot of acronyms to absorb in the first three sentences. So pause briefly right now to catch your breath and remember the phrase – ASAP to PSAP.

CSAA (the Central Station Alarm Association) developed the protocol with APCO over the last several years. Our involvement has been limited to promoting ASAP to PSAP – in other words, helping to speed electronic messages to the police (PSAPs). We want those calls from monitoring centers to be accurate, fast and thorough. That’s what the newest IP-based (Internet Protocol) procedure is about – sending those calls electronically and effectively. Several communities have demonstrated success with this type of dispatching, including Houston, TX, Richmond, VA and York, VA.

This is another industry solution that greatly benefits the public sector as well as our own industry. Three major companies in the electronic security industry have stepped forward in various ways to facilitate this effort, including Vector Security; United Central Control; and Monitronics International. A common goal we all have, along with law enforcement, is to speed response time to crime. Implementing this IP-based procedure meets that goal.

Houston, in fact, is also predicted to realize $1million-$2 million in cost savings this year by using ASAP to PSAP. Implementation elsewhere in the U.S. is not going to happen overnight. It takes effort from our industry, particularly the monitoring companies, along with a commitment from law enforcement, to work in new technologies. What these cases prove is that positive change can happen by collectively committing to new ways of doing business.

Saving money, faster response time, more thorough information – these are all positive outcomes from responsibly implementing ASAP to PSAP. We hope to see other communities pick up on this. Talk to your local and state officials. Contact us here at SIAC if you’d like guidance –


Executive Director of SIAC
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