EPS Takes Home 12th Annual Police Dispatch Quality Award

Engineered Protection Systems (EPS) took home the 12th annual Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) award. As one of the sponsors of the award, SIAC was on hand to present the it at ESX in Nashville, TN in late June.


EPS has applied for the award more than once. Their diligence and ongoing high quality alarm management programs were rewarded. This says a lot about EPS, and what it takes to successfully improve alarm management practices: a commitment to the cause and follow-through. You can’t magically assume that through good intentions your company will be able to reduce the number of unnecessary calls for police dispatch.


Instead, it takes clear direction from management of the company, as EPS demonstrated, then development of the programs and follow-through by committed employees. EPS had all these components in its program, and that says a lot about them.


EPS puts its effort into executing on its beliefs. Engineered Protection Systems has consistently shown itself to be extraordinarily conscientious, exacting and effective where it comes to alarm management and dispatches. These efforts have garnered EPS recognition as a PDQ runner-up on multiple occasions, which is quite an achievement in itself.


EPS has served the Michigan community since 1955. The company has locations in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Traverse City and Petoskey. An in-depth look at the company’s award-winning practices will be featured in the October issue of Security Sales and Integration Magazine.


SIAC, the False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA) and Security Sales & Integration established the PDQ award program in 2005. Honeywell provides a $1,000 donation to the winner.


Also endorsed by the Installation Quality (IQ) program, the PDQ award program spotlights alarm installing and monitoring businesses for creating best practices that help prevent false alarm dispatches.

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Leo Guthart Honored with Moody Award

This past week at ESX, we recognized Leo Guthart with the William Moody Award, for exemplary service to the electronic security industry and his positive impact on alarm management issues. For a long time, Leo chaired SIAC’s Board of Directors. In that role, he made sure we stuck to our task, managed our budgets effectively and demonstrated results congruent with our mission. His nose to the grindstone kept our nose to the grindstone.

Leo Guthart

But Leo has been much more than that to both SIAC and our industry overall. He’s been a leader, setting the tone, digging tirelessly and with great insight into the big issues we face. I saw that repeatedly while Leo served as our chair.


His accomplishments in this industry predate even me, and I’ve known him for over 35 years. Anytime we have needed help, he stepped forward with his time and resources. During the RBOC fight, WHERE OUR VERY EXISTENCE AS AN INDUSTRY WAS THREATENED, Leo came to Washington D.C. and delivered an incredibly powerful message to members of Congress that resonated in the halls of the Capital for years. Thanks to Leo’s support, the industry was victorious, against all odds.


However, in my opinion, the true measure of a person’s character and love for this industry was displayed after Pittway was purchased by Honeywell. With his money in the bank, and a long list of successful endeavors, he could have easily departed to the beaches of Hawaii, but not Leo. He had recognized for a long time that alarm management and law enforcement relationships were critical to the long-term viability of our industry. He stepped forward again and offered his time and resources to help form SIAC in 2002 and then graciously agreed to chair the Board of Directors, with no pay, no perks, no glory, just the dedication to an industry he loves.


And he has been doing that same work for SIAC for 15 consecutive years! I can’t thank him enough. SIAC can’t thank him enough. Indeed, our industry can’t thank him enough. With the Moody Award, we are thanking Leo as best we can, recognizing that it’s difficult for our appreciation to match his accomplishments.


Stan Martin

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Innovation Award Winners Announced by ESX

Many of us from SIAC will be at ESX in Nashville in couple of weeks. There are many reasons we, and others, attend. Networking, training, great meals, new vendors and awards ceremonies are all good reasons. The sessions advance attendees personally, professionally and for fun.


Though it’s not a hidden issue, one of the big reasons to attend, and an area that SIAC pays close attention to, is the area of innovation. ESX will recognize its innovation winners that week (they’ve already been announced, which you can access here). The innovation awards are about products and services.


Improved alarm management practices are frequently driven by innovation. Those companies going above and beyond not only create additional revenue for the electronic security industry, but frequently improve value for companies in new ways – like enhancing effectiveness of an alarm system. That’s good for everyone in security.


There’s a saying about how you can never go back. You can live in the past, share nostalgic memories. But that doesn’t move your company in the direction the world is headed. If you live in the past, your head is in the sand.


Innovation is good. New products and services are important to all of us. SIAC supports ESX’S Innovation Award winners. When you are in Nashville, stop by the ceremony. Listen to the accomplishments. See if if some of them make sense for you.

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Kent, WA and Owasso, OK Newly Featured on State Activity Report

Two new items have just been posted to SIAC’s State Activity Report, and they reflect two reasons you should check out our site on a regular basis. If you are either a security systems integrator or monitoring facility, the posts we put up on the site affect you and your bottom line.

Of the two most recent additions, one concerns Kent, Washington: Effective June 1, police will no longer respond to non-verified, problem or chronic alarms at businesses in order to free up officers to deal with crimes across the city. Officers will continue to respond to residential alarms. The police will still go to high-risk alarms like gun stores or pharmacies.


If you are in the alarm business serving the Kent area, this news is not good, but you need to understand the new requirements and why they came about. SIAC fights for you on issues like this, and we will work hard with local officials to see if we can re-introduce police response to the city. Regardless of the outcome, having this knowledge makes your business better prepared to effectively serve your customers in the best way possible.

Our second posting concerns Owasso, Oklahoma, where an alarm registration fee has been proposed. This tends to be good for continued alarm response. To best serve your customers, you need this information to ensure permits are properly set up when you sell a system. If not, you’re leaving customers exposed, and that’s not a good thing.

Not all the news is good that we post on SIAC’s State Activity Report. But it is necessary, and important to electronic security companies. Bookmark our page. Register on the site. Check it regularly. It will give you a heads up on the competition.

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PDQ Entries Needed

We need your entries for the Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) Award. SIAC recognizes it takes time and a lot of effort to submit a quality program for this annual award, so we have extended the entry deadline until May 12. You can access information on the program and entering the contest here.


We know that companies in the electronic security industry are busy selling to customers, installing and servicing systems and following up with customers. That’s how the bottom line thrives. But, at SIAC, we also know that having a great alarm management program is a feather in you cap to better differentiate your business from a competitor’s.


That’s where the PDQ program comes in. If you are chosen as the winner, you get added publicity and a selling tool to customers – the best program in the country at minimizing and eliminating false dispatches. Even if you don’t win, there are benefits.

Putting together an application forces you to look at your operations. You’ll find some things that you are doing well, and others where you can improve. Going through that process helps you identify areas to get better, a cornerstone for your long-term success as a business.

We strongly encourage you to take a look at the PDQ program and send your entries in soon. Previous winners have used their award to publicize good things they do in their local community. That gives them positive visibility and a step up on competitors. You could be next.

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An Ode to Jon Sargent: Heading Away while still Shining the Spotlight

Jon Sargent retired from Tyco April 14. That news saddened us at SIAC when Jon made the announcement. Not only does the electronic security industry lose an industrious, smart, insightful individual who GETS THINGS DONE repeatedly to advance the interests of our industry, but we are losing a high quality human being. We know because Jon has been intimately involved and helpful on SIAC affairs for over 15 years.


He joined our team as SIAC got started after the turn of the century, volunteering from his full-time position at ADT and going the extra distance to meet with police chiefs, state associations and city councils throughout the western part of the United States. If there was a critical alarm management issue in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington or Utah, you would find Jon in attendance, plugged in, aware, and working hard to ensure our (and your) best interests were represented. He made (and makes) SIAC better.


On the national scene, you could see Jon stepping up at functions and on committees and large events for the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Central Station Alarm Association (now The Monitoring Association), Security Industry Association (SIA) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). He testified. He contributed on reports and standards. He provided important insights on trends. He made friends. We’re proud to count him among ours.


Jon won’t be going away completely. He will continue to shine the light (see our graphic with this post) on issues as a volunteer with SIAC. But day-to-day, he will be retired from his full-time paid job. We will miss that. We all will be weakened by his absence.


But, we support him and wish him the best as he takes on retirement. Jon served many years with the Sea Scouts as a volunteer (does “volunteer” keep coming up when we mention his name?), and his son has followed that love of the sea as a Chief inthe U.S. Navy. We expect to see Jon on a few boats and continuing to travel through that venue and others with his wife Christine.


His interests were diverse. Few readers of this blog probably know of Jon’s love of pipe organ music.

pipe organ

While on the road for SIAC, ADT and Tyco, Jon would detour to an old church or a small house in the middle of an old section of town to meet up with a local individual who owned an antique organ. It is a passion of his. His passion for the instrument mirrors the passion he brought to work on issues for our industry. He cared. He was interested in finding things out. And ultimately, Jon was committed to getting things done. That ability and willingness is often in short supply today, and we should all bear in mind Jon’s leadership and take a page from his manual.


Dave Simon was introduced to Jon in 2004. Early on in his job with Brink’s Home Security, Dave went to Tacoma, WA, to testify on issues before the Pierce County Council. Dave got verbally attacked by a member of the council. Jon was in attendance. Afterwards, Jon came up to Dave to tell him how well he had represented Brink’s and the industry, listening well to the concerns, answering questions fully, accepting responsibility for the issues and pledging to provide more information. That support speaks volumes about who Jon is. He stands behind you. He stands behind the electronic security industry and SIAC. He is often behind the scenes, but he always helped shine the spotlight where it needed to be.
We’re confident he will continue to shine the spotlight in the right spots in the years ahead. We will miss you, Jon!


“It’s rare to find a person like Jon who is passionate, and a knowledgeable leader who possesses the skill to successfully negotiate through trying circumstances. Jon was so much more than a valued team member — he was a wise and trusted friend. He’s earned his retirement and we all wish him the very best!,” said SIAC’s Stan Martin.
Sign up to attend ESX 2017 in Nashville and celebrate with Jon when he receives the national industry’s highest award, the Morris Weinstock “Person of the Year.” It is scheduled to be held June 13 at 6 p.m. in Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame.


ESX link to register: http://www.esxweb.com/.

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Permit Fees Down, Fines Up in San Diego

Permit fees are going down in San Diego. But fines for false dispatches are going up. That’s one way for a city to take a strong step to get reductions in unnecessary alarm activations. SIAC supports what San Diego is doing.


A committee of the city council voted last week to take the steps noted above. While the full council still must approve the changes later this spring, we’re heartened by the important provisions San Diego includes in this measure, including: 2-call confirmation; permit fees; and a tiered fine system that increases after each false dispatch.

san diego

We’ve found over and over across North America that behavior doesn’t change without a structure in place to drive actions. Then, enforcement must occur. Once these new provisions get to the next step and are incorporated by the police into their local ordinance, with enforcement, then alarm management practices improve.


Good job San Diego! The city previously charged only when multiple false alarms had prompted revocation of a permit, which happened relatively frequently. While the new approach is expected to reduce revenue, we believe the results will be better, as the fines come sooner and should get the results the city seeks.


The results should also free up officer time. The changes are something we call can get behind.

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