SSI Industry Hall of Fame 2024: Jeffrey Zwirn, President, IDS Research and Development

We round out our looks at the 2024 SSI Industry Hall of Fame with a profile on on one of our long-time contributors.

SSI Industry Hall of Fame 2024: Jeffrey Zwirn, President, IDS Research and Development

Contributed photo

This week, we’ve taken a closer look at Kelly Bond, Aria Kozak, Andrew Lanning and Kirk MacDowell, welcoming this fantastic four into the SSI Industry Hall of Fame. Today, we wrap up the inductions of the 2024 class with our profile of Jeffrey Zwirn.

SSI created the Industry Hall of Fame in 2004 to celebrate the highest achievers and the legends in our ranks…to spotlight the people whose imprint on the security industry is indelible.

Each of this year’s inductees exhibits the core characteristics that any SSI Industry Hall of Famer must possess: integrity, honesty, commitment, the zeal of an advocate and the unselfishness of a volunteer.

We asked each one to write in their own voice about what their keys to success have been, who their role models are, what their most cherished memories are and what they’d like their legacy to be.

The Jeffrey Zwirn Hall of Fame File

  • Born 1960 in Dade County,
  • Mother was an artist; father was a real estate broker; sister is a retired schoolteacher and musician
  • Built his first alarm system at age nine to keep his sister out of his bedroom
  • Father of 29-year-old daughter with master’s degree in forensic psychology
  • Author of nationally recognized, peer-reviewed The Alarm Science Manual
  • Awarded four U.S. Patents regarding electronic security and life-safety systems
  • Other interests: martial arts (2nd degree Tae Kwon Do black belt) and magic
  • Role models: Les Gold, Norman Rubin and Ralph Sevinor

Why Jeffrey Zwirn is in the SSI Industry Hall of Fame

  • One of the youngest people to attain a Journey Man and Master’s Certificate of Competency through closed-book written examination in burglar alarm systems
  • Built one of the largest independent alarm contracting companies in southeast Florida
  • Testified in his first forensic alarm case in 1980; forensically investigated thousands of cases and claims over the last 40-plus years
  • Qualified in state and federal court as an alarm and security expert and an expert in the forensic study of alarm systems
  • Served as contributing editor to Security Sales and Security Sales & Integration for almost 30 years
  • Testified in State of Missouri v. George Revelle, a landmark first-degree murder retrial; testimony was critical to the acquittal
  • Began providing alarm science training to the NYPD in 1998; trained state and federal law enforcement
  • Delivered more than 440 presentations across the country to the professional and/or technical community of the alarm, central station and security industries

Stories Worth Remembering

“When I was nine, I received a Radio Shack 101 electronics kit from my parents. Buried deep in the dozens of do-it-yourself projects was a simple burglar alarm system that involved assembling a functional photoelectric beam. I built alarm systems to make me feel safe. This profound feeling expanded my focus to dedicate my life to learning everything I could to become an alarm contractor and help protect others.”

“My first central station was running a wire to my best friend’s home — located directly behind my childhood home — so he would be notified if someone came into my room unauthorized. Inside my friend’s room, I mounted a 10-inch Ademco bell with a relay and power supply that would ring when my bedroom alarm was activated. Cutting the wiring would cause a vehicle shaker switch to change its position and be activated, thereby creating a secondary alarm through a siren and another power supply that would activate inside my best friend’s bedroom. This was my first attempt at creating ‘line security.’”

SSI Industry, Hall of Fame

“I asked my father to call the local alarm companies to give us estimates for alarm systems, so I could listen to their sales pitches. I was amazed when they came with their suitcase demo cases. I asked a lot of questions. Years later, some of the old timers who were still in the business remembered their experience of a 10-year-old interrogating them. My father took me to alarm suppliers and would buy me all types of alarm equipment that I could work on and install. Plus, I also got pulled equipment from customers who canceled their services from a local Honeywell Alarm Supply.”

“In 1980, I performed my first forensic case for a homeowner who alleged that his alarm system hadn’t been properly designed and installed. The homeowner needed someone to provide an expert opinion. I offered no guarantees of what I would find or if I could support the allegations. This case made me aware that I could use my specialized education, skill, knowledge, training and experience as a forensic alarm expert. After this experience, I found that I could be a teacher in a classroom for both judges and juries who were charged with determining the merits and liability of cases.”

Hall of Fame

Zwirn is the proud father of a 29-year-old daughter, pictured here with her fiancé. (Contributed photo)

“By November 1993, I had built up one of the largest independent alarm companies in south Florida, with more than 3,000 customers located throughout Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. I decided to sell my company so I could move to New York in 1994 and then to New Jersey. Currently, I have an active alarm contracting practice in New York and New Jersey and continue to design, recommend, install, service, inspect, test and maintain these systems. On the consulting side, I’m heavily involved in training the professional and technical community of the alarm central station, as well as the law-enforcement community and Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs).”

“I’m involved in forensic investigations as an alarm and security expert, scientifically and technically investigating cases and claims for plaintiffs and defendants alike. For both state and federal court, I’m qualified as an alarm and security expert, as an expert in the forensic study of alarm systems and on a multitude of other related topics.”

Jeffrey Zwirn Hall of Fame Legacy

“I hope to be remembered as someone who focused on educating the professional and technical community of our industry on consistently doing things correctly and reliably.”

Check out all of this year’s SSI Industry Hall of Fame inductees:

Then check out the stories behind all SSI Industry Hall of Famers since 2004:
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About the Author

Contact:

Dan Ferrisi has been a B2B editorial professional since November 2004, covering the audio, video, lighting and music industries since the beginning of his career. Getting his start with Sound & Communications, he ascended from assistant editor, to associate editor, to eventually lead editor. He served as editor-in-chief of Commercial Integrator from November 2021 through August 2023 before being promoted to group editor, commercial and security, gaining oversight responsibility of the Security Sales & Integration brand, as well.

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