SIAC: Industry Challenged by Turnover in Law Enforcement

The Security Industry Alarm Coalition has been able to adapt and maintain its effectiveness, despite losing police chiefs across the country.

SIAC: Industry Challenged by Turnover in Law Enforcement

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A recent trend of law enforcement leaders leaving their jobs to pursue other careers has become the norm instead of the exception. Since 2020, 39 police chiefs have departed major cities across the United States with similar turnover in the nation’s smaller public safety agencies.

To meet this challenge the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) has been able to adapt and maintain its effectiveness by continuing to participate in national and state law enforcement meetings and pursuing replacement chiefs for the Alarm Management committees during these unprecedented times.

SIAC’s long-standing relationships with police agencies come from the creation of the Alarm Management Committees within the state chiefs’ organizations and the successful implementation of The Model Alarm Ordinance, which was created in collaboration with leaders in public safety and alarm industry organizations such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Sheriffs’ Association.

More than 1,000 communities use some version of the ordinance to significantly reduce unnecessary calls for service.

“The Model Alarm Ordinance directly addresses the issue that the vast majority of false alarms are caused by user error,” says Stan Martin, executive director of SIAC. “By focusing on the chronic abusers and fining owners who are careless in operating their electronic security systems this continues to be a foundational strategy in minimizing calls for service. Additionally, with the enhancement of verification techniques being implemented by the monitoring centers we help maximize police efficiency and effectiveness so they can better serve their community.”

SIAC’s outreach to law enforcement with proven solutions for alarm management allows the agencies to focus their limited resources in other areas where needed. “We’re quite pleased that we can take this issue off the table for law enforcement agencies that utilize our recommendations,” says Martin. “In addition, the results from the recent study conducted by Dr. Joseph Kuhns only add credence to The Model Alarm Ordinance’s sustained effectiveness over a long period of time.”

Kuhns, a professor at UNC Charlotte, Criminal Justice & Criminology Department and a former Senior Policy Analyst at the U.S. Department of Justice, conducted a study that examined four communities that had adopted The Model Alarm Ordinance to help reduce unnecessary calls for service while maintaining police response to alarms.

“A key finding of the study is that the vast majority of alarm systems in these four locations were effective at protecting lives and property while generating zero calls for service in a given year,” says Kuhns. “Only a tiny percentage are problematic systems that generated multiple calls for service.”

Kuhns concluded from his study that if the same tactics can be applied nationwide with the help of SIAC, many cities and police departments will benefit over time.

“False alarms did not consume a lot of law enforcement resources in the four agencies we studied,” says Kuhns. “If we can replicate what they are doing across the nation’s 18,000+ law enforcement agencies, we are going to wind up saving a whole lot of money and time which can be devoted to other public safety priorities.”

Martin says reducing false alarms enables law enforcement to be more efficient and productive.

“Reducing unnecessary calls for service allows law enforcement to take advantage of this new technology and potentially place a higher priority on alarms where there is video, audio or other verifiable evidence of illegal activity that could allow more criminal apprehensions,” Martin said.

“Time will tell, it is a very unique time to be a police officer,” he adds. “SIAC will remain the industry’s communication tool, helping police departments, city municipalities, sheriffs, counties and other organizations by educating and implementing alarm management best practices in their areas. It is proven to be effective and most importantly, ensures citizens can maintain ‘peace of mind’ in knowing these systems work and law enforcement will continue to respond when needed.”

James Roth is Account Executive for The Margulies Communications Group.

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