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COPS sees quick response times during hurricane

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

COPS Monitoring recently announced that it was able to achieve a 12.4 second average response time during Hurricane Matthew—quicker than the company’s 13.9 second average for priority response in the past 12 months. COPS gave credit to its team for the achievement.

“Achieving a 13.9 second response time is difficult enough. When a situation like severe weather causes alarm traffic to increase 20 to 30 percent, it’s not uncommon for many central stations to have response times that are much higher; sometimes minutes, rather than seconds,” David Smith, COPS’ VP of marketing & business development, told Security Systems News via email. “So, the fact that we were able to reduce an already fast response time by more than 10 percent for five straight days despite a significant increase in alarm traffic is truly a remarkable feat.”

 “The 12.4 second response time was for all priority alarms nationwide; including the alarms in the areas that were affected,” Smith continued. “Luckily, the eye of the storm stayed off the coast and we only experienced a lot of rain and wind from the outer storm bands.”

COPS had a disaster preparedness plan in place, including having its Boca Raton, Fla., monitoring center built to stand up to a hurricane. “The extensive planning is what gave us the flexibility to allow us to reduce our staff in Florida so they could focus on their own homes and families. Because all the hard work had already been done, planning for Hurricane Matthew involved over-staffing our other central stations to compensate.  We have a great team at COPS and there is never a shortage of volunteers – including from our Florida central station.”

In the announcement, Jim McMullen, president and COO of COPS Monitoring, said that the company was planning to reduce the staff in the Boca Raton monitoring center to “just a few essential technical support members. … However, after ensuring their families were safe, several dispatchers committed to working through the storm to help protect our dealers and their subscribers,” McMullen said in a prepared statement.

Integrators '20 under 40' 2016—Samantha Scrivana


Samantha Scrivana, 34

Operations manager, COPS Monitoring

Williamstown, N.J.

Wholesale monitoring company success: It’s all about the dealer

Monitoring companies mine data for dealers, provide the latest in technical offerings

YARMOUTH, Maine—Wholesale monitoring centers use a variety of methods to grow their revenue and account bases, but dealer relations and support is the key to success, according to several executives who spoke to Security Systems News.

COPS Monitoring packs backpacks with Mission 500

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

It’s been great to see more companies becoming involved with charity work with Mission 500. Coming up next week, on Aug. 10, is an event held in partnership between COPS Monitoring and Mission 500 to benefit schools and the surrounding communities nearby the monitoring center’s office in Boca Raton, Fla. 

Mission 500, COPS, as well as security software company Segware and the Latin American Security Association, are putting together backpacks for students of Crosspointe Elementary School. These would include including supplies like scissors, crayons, pens, pencils, erasers, and rulers.

“We are so proud to once again be partnering with COPS and Mission 500,” Crosspointe Elementary School’s principal Annmarie Dilbert said in a prepared statement. “They are filling a huge need for our students and their families by providing a backpack full of school supplies to every Crosspointe Elementary student.”

“It is important to help fill the immediate need of providing children with the school supplies that will give them the ability to start the school year off right,” Jim McMullen, president & COO of COPS Monitoring, said in the announcment.

“We also hope to positively affect our community in a lasting way by offering stable employment and benefits,” McMullen said. The backpacks will each include a note from COPS on employment opportunities at the company’s Boca Raton office.

COPS Monitoring held a similar event in September 2015, packing 700 backpacks for a Title 1 school in Boynton Beach Fla.

Also in recent news with Mission 500, the organization will be working this weekend with Monitronics to put on a charitable 5k.

I look forward to hearing about more companies using this model of partnering with Mission 500 and their local communities.

CSAA may change name to ‘The Monitoring Association’

Members will vote on new name, other bylaw changes at ESX show in June

FORT WORTH, Texas—The Central Station Alarm Association may be renamed “The Monitoring Association,” if CSAA members approve the name change in a June 7 vote.

Jim McMullen wants to acquire more wholesale centrals

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.

UCC acquired by COPS’ owner Lydia Security Monitoring

UCC will continue to operate separately, under its current brand

WILLIAMSTOWN, N.J.—Lydia Security Monitoring, the parent company of COPS Monitoring, both based here, announced today it has acquired wholesale central station United Central Control.

Lydia receives $75 million


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.

Fire install company gets into monitoring

Ahern uses wholesale central COPS Monitoring

FOND DU LAC, Wis.—Ahern Fire Protection, a fire installation and service company based here, has started offering fire alarm monitoring along with its other services.

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

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.