Two New Mexico security firms merge

New company touts ‘unique model’ of providing in-person response to alarms with its staff of veteran police officers
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—Two security companies here, Select Security Systems and Armed Response Team, recently merged.

The resulting new company is retaining the Armed Response Team name and promoting its model of using a staff of retired police officers to respond to all alarms, according to David Meurer, president of Armed Response.

He declined to discuss terms of the merger or how many accounts were acquired. But he praised Select Security as “top-notch” with loyal clients and skilled technicians and said the smaller company is Armed Response’s first acquisition.

Meurer said Select Security President Michael Caldwell, who will remain with Armed Response in a sales, customer support and product development capacity, “is the perfect partner for us going forward as we continue to build on our unique model.”

Armed Response was founded in 2004 by a police officer and its business is about 60 percent residential, Meurer told Security Systems News.

He said the officer knew that responding to alarms was a low priority for police because so many alarms are false. “He knew there was a potential to get former police officers a job responding to alarms, so he formed this company,” Meurer said.

The company now is full service. It has 33 employees, several thousand clients and takes in several million dollars in revenue each year, he said. He declined to be more specific.

The company serves the metropolitan Albuquerque area. However, Meurer added, “we’re definitely studying expanding to additional markets both in and out of state.”

The company started out just doing guard response but now, Meurer said, “We have the whole thing, soup to nuts. We prospect, we sell and install and service with our own technicians, we monitor [through a third-party monitoring center], but most importantly, we respond.”

Its response capabilities make Armed Response stand out, he said. Both homeowners and business owners appreciate not having to field calls from their alarm company reporting that an alarm went off and asking what they want done, he said.

“We fill that gap because the calls don’t go to people any more, they come only to us,” Meurer said. “And we respond and when we show up, we verify whether there was a valid alarm and if there is, we protect the property and we protect the assets and bring the police in. And if there’s not, we file a report with the homeowner or business owner letting him know we got an alarm signal, we showed up and everything’s good.”

The company responds to every alarm, he said, “and the person responding is a retired police officer and they are still state-certified as law enforcement officers, so when they show up, they know exactly what to do to keep themselves and everybody else safe and how to handle an intruder.”

Caldwell noted that homeowners and business owners no longer have to worry about false alarm fines because the Armed Response responders only summon police for a valid alarm. “In trying to reduce and in this case eliminate false alarms, this is the model,” Caldwell told SSN.

He said he decided to merge his 15-year-old business, which is about 70 percent commercial, with Armed Response because he believes its model is the future of security. “It’s really cutting-edge,” he said.

Meurer said Armed Response draws residential customers from all income brackets. Its residential rate is $45.95 a month and the number of in-person responses to alarms is unlimited, he said.

About 50 percent of the company’s business “is people who already had an alarm system and grew frustrated with the lack of police response so now they’ve become our subscribers,” Meurer said.