Monitronics Masters Alarm Management

An alarm dispatch rate of .184 helped Monitronics earn the ninth annual Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) Award. Learn more of the firm’s best practices.

Anniversaries are usually occasions where those marking an important date receive presents, but Monitronics celebrated by doing what it has done for the past 20 years – giving the gift of life safety. While that and a highly successful business are reward enough, the firm’s exceptional commitment to managing false alarms has led to it capturing one of the industry’s ultimate notorieties: the 9th annual Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) Award. Monitronics further distinguished itself by becoming the first monitoring specialist (as opposed to installation focused) to capture the honor.

Founded in 2005 by the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA) and Security Sales & Integration, and more recently also officially endorsed by the Installation Quality (IQ) program, the PDQ Award annually recognizes the security company that best demonstrates an enthusiastic, cooperative and successful effort in false alarm reduction strategies. The PDQ program’s mission is to raise industry-wide awareness, promote partnering with responding agencies for public safety, motivate alarm companies to be proactive and provide workable models. Applicants participate at no charge and are evaluated by three judges in a rigorous and thorough process that analyzes 14 areas (see box).

While still impressive but falling just short vying for the accolade in the past, this year Monitronics’ extraordinary efforts and results – painstakingly detailed in a 381-page submission – could not be denied. With a focus on the Charlotte-Mecklenberg (N.C.) jurisdiction where it notched an alarm dispatch rate of .184, Monitronics’ high and consistent grades narrowly edged out finalists Amherst Alarm and Engineered Protection Systems.

“Monitronics demonstrated a huge commitment to educate dealers and customers on the real cost of false dispatches,” says SIAC Director Ron Walters, a PDQ judge. “The sheer quantity of materials far surpasses anything we’ve seen in previous years. It was this commitment that was the thin margin that put them above the other applicants.” Another judge, FARA Past President Gerry Miller, adds: “Each year, Monitronics improves the quality of service to their customers, including advertising, installation, training, monitoring and false alarm reduction efforts.”

RELATED: Vector Security Minds Its PDQ

Nationwide in 2013, Monitronics handled millions of high priority alarms, with more than 75% related to burglary or police panic events. Less than 20% resulted in a request for police dispatch. As a monitored services-focused firm, Monitronics’ accomplishments are all the more impressive considering its efforts must be coordinated with installing dealers it does not directly employ.

One of the most important PDQ requirements is demonstrating a strong relationship with law enforcement. An excerpt from a letter of endorsement from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Alarm Services Coordinator David Wilson speaks volumes: “We are served by 200+ alarm companies. Unfortunately, we don’t have communication with many of them until there is a problem. On the other hand, the Monitronics Customer Relationship Management team calls to verify they are doing what they should to reduce false alarms Monitronics continues to work with our agency with a goal of minimizing false alarms for the betterment of the community.”

As the nation’s second-largest residential security provider, Monitronics’ CSAA Five Diamond Certified Alarm Response Center (ARC) serves more than 1 million homes and businesses overall. In addition to its newly minted PDQ Award, among the company’s other achievements are being a four-time Frost & Sullivan Alarm Monitoring Company of the Year and three-time recipient of the Consumers’ Choice Award for excellence in business and customer service among Dallas-Fort Worth headquartered alarm companies.

Clearly, there is something very special going on at Monitronics. In a Q&A, Vice President of Monitoring Operations Darin Anderson, a 15-year industry veteran, explains how the company dependably delivers top-notch service to dealers, alarm customers and law enforcement alike.

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is the marketing director for Elite Interactive Solutions. He is the former editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He can be reached at [email protected].

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