11 Ways Security Dealers Can Win Over Law Enforcement
There are myriad opportunities for local electronic security dealers to play a role in developing stronger relationships with law enforcement leaders.
Recent turmoil is taking its toll on an audience that is critically important to the electronic security industry. “Serving as a chief of police has always been an incredibly difficult role,” says Ron Holifield of Chief Executive Office of Strategic Government Resources (SGR), a leading search firm acting on behalf of agencies seeking new police chiefs.
“The convergence of legislative limits on a chief ’s ability to remove bad apples, social media fanning the flames of hate and hatefulness, increasingly partisan city councils who thrive on conflict, and the corresponding disconnect from basic facts and truth has made it an almost indescribable challenge. As a result, we are seeing a growing number of chiefs who are retiring earlier than they would have otherwise.”
Why is this an issue for our industry? Because police administrators play a significant role in determining policies regarding licensing and response to electronic security systems.
“Chiefs and senior police administrators who are familiar with the industry’s Model Ordinance have led the way in making it a best practice and accepted standard for most communities that want to regulate alarms,” says Stan Martin, executive director for the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) and a member of the SSI Industry Hall of Fame. “This amount of turnover requires more effort on the part of SIAC and our industry on a local level to promote and educate leaders on the Model Ordinance.”
SIAC is active at the local, state, and regional level but that leaves myriad opportunities for local electronic security dealers to play a role in developing stronger relationships with law enforcement leaders.
“With approximately 18,000 public safety agencies nationwide there are multiple opportunities to get involved,” says Glen Mowrey, SIAC law enforcement liaison and retired deputy chief with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
His suggestions include:
- Send condolences to police and fire departments for fallen officers/firefighters
- Send congratulations cards/notes to newly appointed police and fire chiefs
- Send congratulations cards/notes to newly appointed city and county managers
- Have active membership in civil/service clubs (most chiefs and managers are active club members)
- Invite chiefs and command staff and city and county managers to industry association’s meeting/events/golf outings and other functions
- Join state associations of chiefs of police (SACOP), state sheriffs’ associations or fire marshals’ associations as an associate or business member
- Offer to instruct a law enforcement alarm users awareness class and/or crime prevention program
- Sponsor activities/events at state associations or local police associations
- Invite police chiefs, fire chiefs, city and/or county managers, mayors to make welcoming remarks at opening ceremonies of annual conferences; invite to closing banquet
- Continue with the industry association’s scholarship programs for children of law enforcement officers/firefighters
- Consider providing scholarship for law enforcement officers/firefighters to attend executive development education programs
“These are the things that go a long way in developing relationships with public safety agencies that develop into strong partnerships,” says Mowrey. “It is an offensive strategy and not a defensive one.”
“None of these activities are necessarily very time consuming,” notes Martin. “Outreach and sponsorships are a logical part of a company’s marketing program and often sponsorship are welcome at levels that are affordable and require only a modest investment. People naturally like to work with those they know and trust. If an issue involving the industry evolves it is likely law enforcement leaders who know someone in the industry will reach out for advice.”
Martin further believes that with the huge turnover in law enforcement, it is more important than ever for our industry to continue its outreach on the local, state and national level. “SIAC is a resource for local companies or associations that would like additional input or assistance,” he concludes.
David Margulies is President & CEO of Margulies Communications Group.
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