One of the under-sung qualities SIAC provides the electronic security industry is bringing people together to agree on implementing alarm management procedures. It’s one thing to be the group or individual “making” that decision or voting to change a local ordinance. It’s different when you serve from an advocacy perspective, as we do, and work continuously to bring together groups that often have differing agendas to agree on common ground.
There continues to be a misconception that SIAC is primarily a reactive organization that engages only when there are onerous ordinances or policies about to go into effect. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Over 90% of our time and resources are utilized in successful proactive and pre-emptive efforts.
Glen Mowrey, our tireless, traveling, law enforcement liaison, recently moderated a panel in North Carolina on how to increase law enforcement efficiency by reducing alarm calls for service. You probably haven’t heard about this. It’s not a sexy topic. It’s not something that draws headlines in the security trade press.
But it is the type of work that Glen does for our industry, week-in, week-out, year after year. He does it because he cares, and in the long run we get people to the table to agree on changes that benefit all parties. The majority of Glen’s work is self-initiated by contacting agencies’ chiefs or working through State Associations of Chiefs of Police.
It’s easy to sit home and complain. Too many people do that today. It’s far more important to take action. SIAC doesn’t sit on the sidelines. We get active with groups, like the International Association of Law Enforcement Planners, as Glen did September 24, and facilitated a presentation on solutions to alarm dispatches.
You don’t always hear about our work or successes. Sometimes that’s by design. Sometimes it’s because one of our staff, like Glen, has been working an issue behind the scenes for months and it’s “just not news yet.” Sometimes it never becomes news because nothing controversial emerges. Instead, a collaborative agreement is reached, and that doesn’t make headlines.
For this panel, Glen brought together Chief Terri Wilfong, Greenville (S.C.) Police Department; Chief Philip Potter, Huntersville (N.C.) Police Department; Officer David Wilson, Charlotte-Mecklenburg (NC) Police Department; and John Shocknesse, Director, Customer Care, CPI Security Systems. They shared the successes of their agencies in reducing alarm calls when they applied proven best practices. Also, the panelists stressed the need of working closely with SIAC and the alarm industry in developing a alarm management program.
Did they change the world during the discussion? No. Did they open doors with those in attendance? Yes. Sometimes that’s enough.
That gets us to the next step, which is trust. Then onto the next step, which is making some of the difficult decisions local jurisdictions are tasked with. We believe in stepping forward and engaging in these discussions, sometimes facilitating them, sometimes leading. Regardless of where SIAC lands, you can be sure we’re there to help foster an environment of trust, respect and mutually agreed-upon solutions.