Outsourcing and Administrative Efficiency

Periodically, the discussion of whether a community should outsource its alarm administration program is raised in the electronic security industry. SIAC works to improve alarm management solutions. We do believe any tool that can improve alarm management practices is worthy of consideration.

Outsourcing alarm administration to third parties is an exercise in administrative efficiency and nothing else. City governments are simply finding a better solution for bookkeeping – that’s all. In return, they receive thousands of revenue dollars (millions for large cities) that go straight to the general fund for any use they wish (which includes hiring more police officers).

The vast majority of alarm systems (80-85%) work properly, causing no alarm dispatches. The next 8-9% cause an occasional dispatch ‘ A very small percentage, less than 5%, could be considered chronic abusers. Additionally, all systems should be registered (permitted) so a jurisdiction can manage an alarm program properly. That’s why alarm ordinances are enacted.

A city may want to do it themselves and do a great job at it. Or they may not have the capacity or experience to run the program effectively, and instead decide to hire a third party to help them be more efficient. That is their choice.

We support working with cities on solutions and we do recommend dealers work with these outsource companies. The cities are the ones who must decide. That’s as it should be.


Executive Director of SIAC
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