SIAC has a busy summer so far in California

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

BAKERSFIELD, Calif.—The Security Industry Alarm Coalition has been proactively advocating for alarm industry interests and better municipality/industry relations in California for the past several weeks.

The mission of SIAC is to create a structure for all interested parties—alarm companies, police departments and municipalities—to come together under the common goal of dispatch reduction and alarm management, with the end result of false alarm reduction.

SIAC has been working with the city of Bakersfield on false alarm issues, trying to fashion a workable and acceptable ordinance. SIAC and the city appear to have finally come up with an acceptable plan, and the first draft of the ordinance just went through its first reading by the city council on July 13.

According to SIAC industry/law enforcement liaison Jon Sargent, interested parties worked together on the ordinance.

"[SIAC director] Ron Walters and I provided a lot of information on behalf of SIAC, but the local alarm companies helped craft the final draft in cooperation with the Bakersfield Police," Sargent said. "The alarm ordinance that the Bakersfield alarm companies’ committee worked closely on with Bakersfield Police and the city is finally done … This one has been years in the works since 2004. Much of it is from [SIAC's] model ordinance."

Bakersfield City Clerk Roberta Gafford said the first reading of the ordinance went smoothly.

"It was given first reading and it will come back at the next meeting on August 17 for adoption. It takes effect 30 days after that," Gafford told Security Systems News. "We anticipate it will be adopted next month."

Sargent said Bakersfield would most likely outsource ordinance program management to third party administrator Cry Wolf, which administers alarm reduction programs for many municipalities.

Bakersfield is not the only California municipality where SIAC has been busy lately, however.

"Three of us from SIAC—myself, Chuck Brobeck and Glen Mowrey—and Cathy Rempel representing the San Diego Alarm Association are engaged in preliminary cooperative work with San Diego Police on improvements of their alarm program and revisions of their alarm ordinance," Sargent said. "The police will soon be requesting alarm companies to provide updated lists of their active customers with the intent of bringing them into compliance with their alarm ordinance."

Sargent said he and Brobeck were also on the move in Long Beach.

"[We] met with the outgoing president of CPOA (California Peace Officers' Association), Jim McDonnell, who is the Police Chief of Long Beach," Sargent said. "We will be reviewing his city’s very outdated alarm ordinance and providing recommendations including best practices and a simplified alarm ordinance for consideration."

Finally, Sargent said SIAC was returning to a former alarm ordinance battleground.

"We are assisting the Cathedral City Police chief in his endeavor to move forward with a conceptual project for managing burglar, hold up and panic alarms in his city," Sargent said. "Under a previous police chief, Cathedral City moved to a verified response—broadcast and file policy. Morgan Hertel of the Inland Empire Alarm Association is also assisting."