Fostering Favor With Law Enforcement
A critical component of operating a successful, respected alarm installation/ services business is establishing and maintaining an amicable, collaborative partnership with law enforcement. This is also one of the overriding criteria for the Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) Award, which this year was presented to Alarm Detection Services (ADS).
The company’s winning entry cited a multitude of ways in which ADS works closely with law enforcement. SSI asked Norma Beaubien, one of the PDQ judges who serves as director of the Montgomery County (Md.) Department of Police False Alarm Reduction Section and president of the False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), what makes ADS so unique.
What makes ADS worthy of winning the PDQ Award for false alarm reduction?
Beaubien: The single biggest thing that set ADS apart from other submissions is its creation of a False Alarm Prevention Team, where there are dedicated employees whose sole job is to work with problem accounts to reduce and/or eliminate their false alarms.
As part of this program, the employees are empowered to take whatever means are necessary to reduce false alarms, including visiting customers on-site and switching out equipment when necessary. Additionally, ADS has instituted an excellent, comprehensive in-house alarm technician training program, which is second to none.
How does ADS serve as a role model for other alarm companies?
Beaubien: ADS has a full false alarm reduction program in place that includes education on false alarm prevention, actively pursuing ECV [Enhanced Call Verification] for existing customers, putting tips on its Web site and having technicians leave FARA false alarm prevention tip brochures with customers. These are all initiatives that every other alarm company in the U.S. could institute with little trouble, and which would have a significant impact on the reduction of false alarms.
What procedures did ADS implement that you believe have made the biggest difference?
Beaubien: ADS’ program, which requires staff to contact each and every alarm user after a false alarm has occurred, has definitely made a huge impact on its false alarm rate. By giving personal service in this manner, ADS is able to quickly rectify problems and/or retrain alarm users when needed, before they become a burden to law enforcement.
Programs such as these, coupled with other best practices ADS employs such as installation of CP-01 compliant panels, use of ECV and acceptance of electronic cancellations, helped make ADS the perfect candidate for this year’s PDQ Award.
What does ADS do to foster strong relations with law enforcement?
Beaubien: ADS has worked closely with the law enforcement community for many years in its efforts to reduce false alarms. The company has developed close working relationships with law enforcement in the communities in which it serves, and even has the former city of Aurora police chief employed on as a consultant. ADS contributes to the law enforcement community through workshops designed to educate police and fire officials on advances in alarm equipment and alarm industry initiatives.
What is the value of the PDQ program to the recognized companies, and the alarm industry?
Beaubien: The PDQ Award program seeks to raise the bar for recognizing comprehensive false alarm reduction programs initiated by alarm companies. PDQ winners are viewed as heroes to the law enforcement community because they truly go above and beyond in their efforts to be good corporate partners. They demonstrate, on a daily basis, their willingness to get involved through the implementation of false alarm reduction programs in their own companies and through the expenditure of resources to have a positive impact on reducing false alarms to which law enforcement responds. If even one other company institutes a false alarm reduction program because of what they see PDQ winners doing, then it has been a great success and reflects well on the alarm industry as a whole.
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