An Open Letter of Support from Yuba City, California

To our readers:


Original letter to SIAC’s Ron Walters from Shirley Johnson of the Yuba City (CA) Police Department:




As an attendee of the SAAC meeting on February 23rd, I was very impressed with the presentation.  The alarm industry and law enforcement is fortunate to have SIAC to assist them with various situations.  I’d like to take advantage of your expertise and have you review the attached proposed alarm ordinance for Yuba City.


Thank you for your assistance in reviewing this document.


Shirley Johnson

Alarm Permits

Yuba City Police Department



Above is an example of routine correspondence SIAC receives but most never see. This is the result of a presentation Ron Walters did at the Sacramento Alarm Association meeting, where police jurisdictions were in attendance.  Of course we conduct similar briefings where a police department hosts the meeting and invites other jurisdictions. Those are typically done by SIAC retired chiefs.
In these cases, we take the proposed ordinance attached, and SIAC reviews it to insure uniform definitions; see if all best practices are included; and check for onerous provisions and/or ambiguous language. We will actually change language to reflect our suggestions using MS Word review so they can accept or reject each recommendation and will include a summary email explaining the changes.  If an ordinance is old or requires a major rework, we supply our new short version marked up with the cities information so they can consider a nice clean start. Many times they prefer the later.

Please feel free to share this blog with others. We believe it is important to get this message out as far and wide as possible.

Again, thanks for everyone’s support!
Stan Martin

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The ESA Recruiting Toolkit

One of the items that struck our attention at ESA’s just-completed Leadership Summit in Tampa, FL, was a recruiting toolkit that they’ve put online for companies in the security industry. Every year, one of the big issues that come up in discussion forums is the need to recruit and retain new employees. In short, our industry isn’t widely recognized around the country. That makes finding people a challenge.

Enter ESA. You’ll find information here; most importantly, you’ll find useful tools for your business to guide you through recruitment, hiring and retention.

Most companies in the electronic security industry are small businesses. They don’t have a human resources director or a position set aside to recruit, hire and train. Instead, most frequently, it’s the owner who does that. He or she finds a candidate through advertising, networking or social media, vets the individual(s), then makes a decision.

The ESA web page helps you with the candidate search, co-branded materials and establishing compensation. Other sections of the page help companies develop job descriptions, put together a recruitment video and see what type of best practices are used by others to retain good employees. We recommend you take a look and see if the tools help your company.


ESA provides many valuable programs together for members and is constantly looking at how we can improve our businesses through growth, improved technology, better training and fresh blood to fill openings with talent. ESA also helps SIAC by consistently providing us venues to put our message in front of larger audiences, and generously contributing $25,000 annually to our mission. We appreciate their constant attention to what makes our industry successful, and refining what we do to make companies better. Their toolkit is one more example of a big service they provide us all.

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Pennsylvania County Goes Live with ASAP

The first county in Pennsylvania has gone live with the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP). Bucks County joined the growing list of localities choosing to automate their dispatch processing for alarm signals. It’s an important program that helps improve alarm management practices.

SIAC stands strongly behind cities, counties and hopefully all 911 centers to get onboard with this program. Developed by CSAA and APCO, this program has been well vetted and proven valuable to all parties.


The protocol means Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), where local calls are answered to dispatch emergency personnel, can accept information between automated systems over a secure communication path, rather than just by phone between two people talking. This eliminates errors and speeds dispatch. That’s good for the jurisdiction, alarm users and alarm companies.

Bucks County is north of Philadelphia with a population of approximately 620,000 in 23 boroughs and 31 townships. One of the big advantages to the county picking up ASAP is that response transcends the borough and township boundaries. That simplifies response for all jurisdictions in the area.

Help us continue to publicize this positive step for our industry. The more electronic security companies share this information and work with other jurisdictions around the country, the more progress we’ll see in terms of updating and improving response. That’s good for everyone.

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St. Cloud, Florida Gets 67% Reduction in Alarm Dispatches with Model Ordinance

St. Cloud, FL recently released statistics showing that is had reduced alarm dispatches by 67 percent using the Model Ordinance. That’s not news to us, because SIAC and other committed organizations, companies and associations in the electronic security industry have seen similar reductions the past 10 years in many communities across the U.S.


But, it might be news to you, which is why we’re writing about it today. Too often we hear about failures. Things go wrong and it’s the headline in the newspaper. Something breaks down, and it’s on the 6 p.m. news. Something goes right or gets corrected and it is mentioned in passing.


In the case of St. Cloud, this positive statistic, which benefits the police department, the local community and our industry, demonstrates that well-implemented alarm management practices provide the intended results – fewer dispatches. Police are freed to address other calls that may have greater public safety consequences. Customers are happy that they don’t have unnecessary alarm activations. In turn, security companies are in better shape because they can sell improved alarm management practices (and the reduction in alarm dispatches) to new customers as a benefit – fewer fines to the customer.


St. Cloud Police Chief Pete Gauntlett was given SIAC’s Award of Distinction for his work on this project, along with the Alarm Association of Florida (AAF). We recognized their outstanding work in reducing unwanted alarm activations.


SIAC worked with the police department and AAF using the model ordinance to get the reduction in numbers. SIAC’s Glen Mowrey was instrumental in bringing the parties together. It’s good to see that working closely and cooperatively  another jurisdiction has shown what it can do to lower its number of unnecessary alarm dispatches. We are confident that Glen and the rest of the SIAC team will have more successes this year bringing parties to the table. This is what we do!

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Taking Stock

Take stock. We don’t mean buying shares on the stock market. We don’t mean stealing someone’s stash of papers. We mean, “Take stock of where you are, where you’re headed, what’s important, and what it’s going to take to get you there.”


At SIAC, we regularly take stock throughout the year, and then focus even more intently as a year ends and the new one begins. We must do this. As a non-profit entity, we are always responsible to those people and companies who place their trust in us by donating money to our cause. We can’t exist without them.


We also MUST be responsible to them, setting clear goals and then demonstrating how we’ve met them, or where we’ve missed. That’s why we have a broad Board of Directors. They keep us focused on our mission, redirect us as necessary, and help us redefine goals when needed.


As this new year unfolds, SIAC continues to face some very difficult issues, primary among them continuing to raise funds to do quality work for the electronic security industry. If you contribute to our cause, we want to thank you again. If you’ve thought about helping us out, but haven’t contributed $$$ in the past, please check us out on this link and set up a contribution. We need your help.


SIAC has had multiple successes this past year : 1) It was our second consecutive year with no agencies ceasing response to alarms; 2) We added several new Alarm Management Committees through the state chiefs associations; 3) We’ve had meetings with over 170 law enforcement agencies guiding them to adopt ordinances  friendly to all stakeholders.  Those successes couldn’t have occurred without our supporters, and we won’t be able to address newer issues without sustained funding . In 2017 we plan to continue our outreach efforts to law enforcement, guide decisions on ordinances and promote technology, like video, to help law enforcement apprehend criminals.


So, we are taking stock again as 2016 has ended and 2017 begins. We hope those of you reading this who’ve stood behind us in the past continue to do so, and provide as feedback to help us get better. For those of you new to our cause, we urge you to step to the plate. Our industry and every individual company benefits from the problems SIAC helps resolve, the programs we help implement and the relationships we build.
Thank you,

Stan Martin

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Women in the Electronic Security Industry

Security Systems News (SSN) has an excellent annual edition of its publication that highlights accomplishments of women in the electronic security industry. Like the need to bring younger people into our industry, SIAC also supports recruiting and publicizing the efforts of women in security to keep our businesses vibrant in the years ahead.


We are a growing country of diversity. It’s important that our companies reflect that. One way to open doors is through writing about accomplishments and ideas. SSN does a great job of that in several articles on key women influencing our markets.


Check out the articles we’ve highlighted in this blog. Click on the links. You’ll find interesting women influencing what’s going to happen in the years ahead. You’ll find fresh perspective. We like that.


In each section of the publication—Commercial & Systems Integrators; Monitoring; Residential; and Suppliers—SSN features one woman who is making a difference in security today, including The Protection Bureau’s SVP Karen Baker, Custom Alarm’s CEO Melissa Brinkman, Washington Alarm’s COO Shannon Woodman, and Iluminar’s president, CEO and co-founder Edwina “Eddie” Reynolds.


We appreciate SSN’s annual publicity. Our industry is better off for it.

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ESA Leadership Summit Hits Tampa in February

The Electronic Security Association’s (ESA) Annual Leadership Summit will hit Tampa, FL, this coming February. If you read this blog regularly, you should attend and participate in the learning sessions. SIAC staff regularly attend the Summit, and every year we’ve not only gained valuable learning experiences, but we have also consistently expanded our range of contacts.

What impresses us repeatedly about what ESA and their staff do is how the stay on top of trends in our industry. They don’t rest. Instead, they actively seek out the new issues and what’s affecting our businesses. They then look for speakers and presenters who are highly qualified to address those issues, and build sessions around them.

It’s not an easy task, but ESA has shown year after year it is up to the task. Add to the electronic security industry focus the fact that the Summit has a “leadership” theme, and you’ll find many ways to not only grow your business, but ways to help you and your company stand out in your local community.


Most security integrators are smaller businesses, often family-operated. The Leadership Summit provides a great forum for those types of businesses to learn new tactics and techniques in highly focused three days. We recommend you sign up if you haven’t done so already.


It can be hard to find time for the right training or business building sessions that work for smaller companies. ESA’s Leadership Summit is a great way to get the best benefits for your company, regardless of size.

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