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David Smith

Jim McMullen wants to acquire more wholesale centrals

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Jim McMullen, president and COO of Lydia Security Monitoring, as well as president and COO of COPS Monitoring, is interested in purchasing more third-party central stations. Lydia’s recent purchase of wholesale central station UCC was a big topic at ISC West 2016, both in COPS’ booth and in UCC’s.

“We would like to go out there and buy other companies that specialize in a particular segment of the [monitoring] marketplace, so that we can draw on their expertise and grow it from there,” McMullen told me.

He identified access control, video, and PERS as three areas of the monitoring industry where Lydia would be “very interested in making acquisitions,” adding that the company has plenty of financial backing to do so.

“Each company [under Lydia] will have its own personality,” according to McMullen.

He described how the three brands under Lydia Security Monitoring—COPS Monitoring, UCC, and AlarmWATCH—each have their own focus. The COPS Monitoring brand would appeal to a larger dealers with a high volume of accounts.

“If you’re looking toward us for help, to teach you—the alarm company—more about how to sell, and how to market … UCC would probably be a better fit for you, because they focus on that more than [COPS does],” McMullen said.

“We’re looking at AlarmWatch for, possibly, the fire sector,” he said. “They’re … doing special things with fire systems.”

David Smith, COPS director of marketing and communication, stressed the separation between brands under Lydia. At ISC West 2016, Smith said, “People came into our booth and said ‘yeah, I’m with UCC,’ or ‘We’ve been looking at UCC,’ [and added] ‘but that’s you guys now, right?’ And honestly, it’s not. It shares an executive team, but past that … it’s a whole separate entity,” Smith said. 

ISC West also brought people outside the industry to COPS’ booth, McMullen said. He gave the example of wearable manufacturers wanting professional monitoring for their devices.

McMullen said that the company had similar conversations at CES, talking about the possibility of professionally monitoring personal drones.

Lydia receives $75 million

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01/27/2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, N.J.—Lydia Security Monitoring, the parent company of COPS Monitoring, received a $75 million credit facility from Citizens Bank, the bank announced Jan. 25.

Monitoring stations with an edge: Earning dealer loyalty

Flashy incentives are nice, but dealers care more about a central station’s service, technology and expertise
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08/26/2015

YARMOUTH, Maine—It’s supposed to be a win-win when wholesale central monitoring stations want to manage, service or purchase accounts from alarm dealers. The dealer can acquire some capital. The central station builds its portfolio. This business relationship can be sweet, as when central stations offer perks to purchase accounts. Or it can go sour when the central station and the dealer, after an account transfer, wind up competing with each other for customers.

COPS' David Smith talks about 'redundant staffing'

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Since I came into the industry, I have heard a lot about redundancy; making sure that everything runs smoothly, service is consistent, nothing is down for long. At the center of these discussions has always been the latest technology that adds new levels to that redundancy. On the show floor at ISC West, I heard David Smith, director of marketing and communication for COPS Monitoring, talk about an entirely different kind—redundancy of people. This is the task of trying to find the same types of operators that mesh well with the company’s goals and requirements to ensure that service at one location doesn’t differ from that of another.

"Redundancy from a technological standpoint is much more straightforward than redundant staffing. Successfully replicating a training program and maintaining consistent performance levels across multiple sites is much more difficult to master,” he said.

This is an important consideration for a wide-spread company like COPS, Smith said, but having multiple locations helps. COPS has 350 dispatchers, and adding more. It would be difficult to find that many people who fit COPS’ bill in the same place. “We have a very strong company culture that permeates the entire organization.”

“Creating a unique, desirable workplace is part of the culture at COPS, and has proven to be of high value to our employees,” Smith said.

It's a little easier to find the best candidates when looking for operators in the surrounding areas of six different locations, he said.

“Qualifying someone as the ‘right person’ to be a successful dispatcher is determined by more than education, experience, and attitude: we believe that COPS dispatchers must also have the proper blend of professionalism, personality attributes, ability, and sense of duty,” he said.

In addition, the company is increasing dispatcher positions at its locations—30 positions in its Florida facility, with similar possible expansions at the Tennessee and Arizona centers as well.

COPS bringing more information to customers' fingertips

The grouped access enhancement allows subscribers to place up to five accounts on test at once from a mobile phone
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05/21/2014

WILLIAMSTOWN, N.J.—COPS Monitoring is enhancing its mobile subscriber access product—called MPower Me—by introducing “grouped access,” which allows customers to view and manage multiple accounts from their smart phones at once.

How I Use my System

David Smith, director of marketing and communications, COPS Monitoring
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11/25/2013

What kind of security system do you have?

COPS Monitoring strengthens Southwestern presence

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

More than a year after opening its fifth central station in Dallas, COPS Monitoring continues to enhance its presence in the region. The Williamstown, N.J.-based wholesale monitoring is expanding support of the 8,000-square-foot facility by adding two new account executives, Julie Jordan and T.J. Cornwall. Jordan will manage East Texas and Louisiana, while Cornwall will cover West Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.

While the account regions are obviously large, covering large swathes of urban and rural areas, the most important dealer markets are likely to be in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, along with some of the other major urban areas of Texas, including Houston, Austin and San Antonio.

David Smith, director of marketing and communication for COPS, said the new additions represent part of the company’s broader “hometown” strategy of providing a personable level of professional service.

“While we can’t be local to every alarm dealer, we do try to select strategic geographic regions to better serve our dealers and to strengthen the reliability of our network of central stations,” Smith said. “By operating regional central stations, we also have the ability to become more involved in local associations and with local dealers so we can better understand how we can help them overcome regional challenges and capitalize on opportunities.”

Because of the sheer sprawl of the Dallas-Fort Worth area (it’s the fourth most populous urban area in the U.S.), Cornwall will manage the Fort Worth dealers, while Jordan will work with Dallas-based accounts. 

McGinn, Smith seek acquittal

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03/01/2013

ALBANY, N.Y.—Former Albany brokers Timothy McGinn and David Smith have filed motions asking a federal judge to overturn their convictions on fraud and tax evasion charges, according to an article from the Times Union, a newspaper based here.

McGinn, Smith found guilty of fraud

The security industry investors could go to prison for years
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02/13/2013

ALBANY, N.Y.—A federal jury on Feb. 6 convicted security industry investors Timothy McGinn and David L. Smith of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud, and filing false tax returns, according to Richard Hartunian, U.S.

COPS Monitoring acquires AlarmWATCH

Purchase of Maryland-based company includes 150,000 accounts
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11/28/2012

WILLIAMSTOWN, N.J.—COPS Monitoring has acquired AlarmWATCH of Hunt Valley, Md., a deal that brings the nationwide wholesale monitoring provider 400 new dealers and 150,000 accounts.

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