Don’t oversell law enforcement response times to alarm. We can’t stress this point enough.
Members of the alarm industry must work closely with law enforcement officials across North America. That means we are in regular contact with hundreds of different officials on an annual basis, and reliant on sustaining good relationships with them. There are times that SIAC staff have seen or heard of security companies speaking for the ability of law enforcement to respond to alarm activations. It is not our job to speak for law enforcement.
Response times vary by city. It is best to only give a general range or stay conservative with a “high” minute response time, and remind customers about the deterrent effect of alarms. The bad guy doesn’t know whether the police are around the corner or 30 minutes away. The point security companies should emphasize is the reduction in opportunity for a criminal to break in.
It’s not a smart business decision to raise customers’ expectations in areas outside your control. It’s better to go the other way – stay very conservative when explaining police response times.
Years ago, part of my standard training included a statement to stick in the salesperson’s mind, and put this issue in perspective, “Every time you make a presentation to a customer, imagine there is a hidden camera recording everything you say. How would thousands of viewers, or your company management, respond if segments of your presentation played on the local TV nightly news?”
You’d want to sound good. And you’d want to be caught saying the right thing. This has happened many times across the country, so please keep it in mind during your next presentation.
BY: Stan Martin