SIAC named for ESA Gives Back 2017

Coalition recognized its top donors at ESX
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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

FRISCO, Texas—The Security Industry Alarm Coalition, a non-profit organization that works to reduce false alarms and maintain relationships between the alarm industry and law enforcement, was recognized as the 2017 ESA Gives Back beneficiary at this year’s ESX.

“We’re just really thankful and honored that ESA chose us,” Stan Martin, SIAC’s executive director, told Security Systems News. ESA formally announced SIAC as the 2017 beneficiary at ESX. The coalition has received new pledges of donations following the show, Martin said.

SIAC works on several matters, including working with cities that want to stop responding to non-verified alarms due to high rates of false alarms and jurisdictions that seek to bill alarm companies for their customers’ fines. Specifically, the organization is working with Prescott Valley in Arizona.

SIAC couldn’t be effective if it sold products or services to law enforcement organizations, according to Martin; the coalition’s services are free. “That leaves us with roughly $1 million a year—every year—that we have to collect in donations,” Martin said.

The organization was below its funding goal for 2016, Martin noted. “We’ve reduced expenses where we can, but our board has determined that we will continue to provide law enforcement the same level of service we have [in the past]. It’s free and we don’t want to turn any agency down that’s seeking support, or any state chiefs organization that wants to form an alarm management committee.”

Mergers and acquisitions in the industry have impacted SIAC, according to Martin, such as when two companies that individually made contributions merge and consolidate or lessen their contribution.

“It’s really apparent that most alarm dealers depend on the national companies and the national associations to fund these types of efforts and, as a result, we have very few … individual dealers that promote or send in any type of contribution,” Martin said.

At ESX, SIAC gave its William N. Moody award to Leo Guthart, who served as chairman of the Security and Fire Solutions Group of Pittway Corporation—then Ademco—for more than 34 years. He has also been chairman and founder of SIAC since its inception.

“Leo has had a history of being dedicated to this industry,” Martin said. Currently, Guthart manages Topspin Partners, a venture capital fund, and Topspin Partners LBO, a buyout fund.

The William N. Moody Award was started by SIAC’s board of directors in 2004 to recognize individuals dedicated to alarm management issues.

Also at ESX, SIAC awarded two of its biggest contributors over the years with special recognition. “There are two very special contributors that deserve this heightened recognition today—in fact, it’s long overdue,” Martin said at ESX, highlighting Honeywell Security and Fire and SIA.