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Retired FBI agent joins SIAC


FRISCO, Texas—Bob Pence, a 30-year veteran of the FBI, joined the Security Industry Alarm Coalition on Nov. 1.

New Orleans looks toward CryWolf

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

New Orleans is looking at outsourcing its false alarm fine management and collections to CryWolf False Alarm Solution from Maryland-based Public Safety Corp, according to a report from The Times – Picayune for Greater New Orleans.

This particularly interested me because, just last week, I spoke with SIAC’s executive director, Stan Martin, about the process of automating false alarm connections, following a report that Pittsburgh was considering it.

When talking with Martin he said it was a great practice, one that SIAC recommends.

Martin said that increased collection efforts, through automating or outsourcing the process, can have a positive effect on reducing false alarms. Properly administrated fines provide offenders with an incentive to change their behavior.

I greatly look forward to following up with Public Safety Corp. about CryWolf and how it can help a city with false alarm management. CryWolf has worked with cities such as Atlanta, Los Angeles and Sante Fe, N.M., according to its site. 

Pittsburgh looks to automating false alarm fines

Stan Martin: SIAC advocates for this option

PITTSBURGH—Pittsburgh is looking at automating collections for false alarm fines, according to a recent NPR report.

Chico revises ordinance, stops fining alarm companies

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

In October, the City of Chico, Calif., passed an ordinance to fine alarm companies for false alarm dispatches. The California Alarm Association and SIAC responded, citing precedence in Fontana, Calif., where a similar ordinance was overturned. Now, the City of Chico has opted toward the standard action of fining alarm users for false alarms.

Jon Sargent in November told Security Systems News that SIAC remained available to help revise the ordinance.

SIAC is please with the outcome, Stan Martin, executive director for SIAC told me in an email interview.

Chico’s city council voted unanimously for the ordinance that fined alarm companies , and now it has voted unanimously to fine alarm users.

The new ordinance will fine alarm users $50 for the first false alarm, $100 for the second, and $200 for the third. The Chico Police Department can cease responding to repeat offenders, reported the Chico Enterprise-Record. The new ordinance also seeks alarm verification before dispatch.

The original ordinance proposed fining $100 to the alarm company after a first false alarm, and rising to $400 after consecutive false alarms.

“We are going to get a reduction in false alarms. That’s is what we wanted all along. If we get that, whether it’s the alarm user or the company, that is what we want,” Chico police Capt. Mike O’Brien said in the report. 

SIAC to keep a closer eye on local governments

Partnership with Stateside Associates to assist goal

FRISCO, Texas—SIAC on Feb. 9 started working with Stateside Associates, a state and local government affairs firm, to monitor pending ordinances that could affect the security industry.

SIAC follows up with Carson City

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

About two months ago, Security Systems News spoke with Steve Keefer, national law enforcement liaison for SIAC, about the unique way the Carson City Sheriff’s Department approaches false alarms; by utilizing volunteers. Since, Keefer followed up with this sheriff’s office and found that while false alarms have dropped, it is difficult to determine how the volunteers were involved.

Upon looking at the figures over all reductions, “I told the sheriff, ‘I bet you’re close to a fifty percent reduction in your commercial [false alarms],” Keefer told SSN. Yet, because of how the data was organized, the exact influence of this volunteer program can’t currently be determined, Keefer said.

Keefer gave the sheriff recommendations, such as hand-outs, like flyers and printed statistics, as well as a heavier focus on false panic and hold-up alarms. “Those are probably more problematic for a police department, because you’re not getting, traditionally, two officers going to a robbery or hold-up—you’re probably getting three or four.”

A primary reason for Keefer’s follow-up was to investigate the viability this practice might hold for other jurisdictions, perhaps to be incorporated into SIAC’s recommended practices.

A positive aspect of this program is the small commitment for volunteers, Keefer said; they could finish a month’s duties in four hours, across two days. “It’s not draining by any means.”

According to Keefer, the city of 55,000 people saw about 1,300 false alarms last year. These false alarms are split about 70 percent commercial and 30 percent residential. While these volunteers exclusively visit commercial offenders, Keefer underlined that this method could benefit the residential sector as well.

The volunteers, a husband-and-wife pair, only visit businesses that have received two or more false alarms in a given month, totaling about 10 to 15 per month.

Volunteers fighting false alarms in Nevada

Carson City pioneering new approach

CARSON CITY, Nev.—The sheriff’s office here is using volunteers to reduce false alarm dispatches, an approach new to the Security Industry Alarm Coalition, SIAC says.

Volunteers fight false alarms in Carson City, Nev.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Steve Keefer, western U.S. law enforcement liaison for SIAC, noticed that Carson City, Nevada, is trying something different in the attempt to reduce false alarms—utilizing volunteers through the sheriff’s office. This is an approach that is very new to SIAC, Keefer said.

These volunteers are “regular citizens that just want to help out in the community,” Keefer told Security Systems News.

The Carson City Sheriff’s Office started this approach at least five years ago, but SIAC hadn’t heard about it until recently, according to Keefer. 

The sheriff’s office has two volunteers that speak with false alarms offenders and discuss ways of reducing the problem. Apparently, these efforts, more often than not, are met with full cooperation.

Keefer said that these volunteers in Carson City, Nev., are currently speaking with commercial alarm users, but Keefer believes this process could have a residential application as well.

SIAC is an organization that is always focused on reducing the numbers of false alarms and the strain that puts on local authorities. As such they’ve been keeping an eye on people that approach this matter from different angles.

"What was unique about Carson City's Sheriff Office- they don't even have an ordinance," he said. Keefer mentioned that this could be a model that SIAC would recommend to other sheriff's offices if SIAC sees this lead to positive results in Carson City. 

This certainly seems to be a different way of going about the matter, as opposed to reforming ordinances or imposing fines for false alarms. This shows that the matter is not just one sided, that both citizens and authorities care about reducing false alarms.

California leads the way for SIAC

Organization forging new law enforcement partnerships in 2015

CHULA VISTA, Calif.—California is leading the way in adopting false alarm ordinances, according to Jon Sargent, the industry/law enforcement liaison for the Security Industry Alarm Coalition.

Ron Walters wins William Moody Award


NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Ron Walters, director of the Security Industry Alarm Association, was honored at ESX 2014 with the William Moody Award, according to a recent blog post from SIAC.

According to the blog, the award was “probably long overdue.”