Police Survey Yields Arresting Data

This month’s magazine was enclosed in a plastic cover wrap along with a special supplement. If you accidentally threw it in the trash in your hurried quest to open this month’s issue, I suggest you go back and retrieve it — it’s a keeper!

The supplement is a follow-up to the original SSI/Police magazine false alarm research survey we published back in July 2003. As I mentioned many times before, even though your business may consist of installing mostly CCTV or access control, any tainted perceptions law enforcement or the public have due to problems with false burglar alarms could be an overall detriment to the entire electronic security industry. With an estimated 31-million-plus monitored systems installed, the pool for potential false alarms is huge!

For years, many law enforcement agencies have been vocal proponents of verified response or, worse yet, no response. Many cities have instituted these measures without fully analyzing the false burglar alarm statistical data in their own municipality or city. They basically listened to their peers from other municipalities and then, without thinking of the consequences, put into motion a snap-judgment decision to institute the same policies in their communities. Like anything else in life, you have a few leaders and many followers. In marketing, it’s called the bandwagon effect.

Since the inception of our magazine, our editors have received news clips, press releases and information through our industry contacts indicating that the law enforcement community is rampaging against false burglar alarms. In fact, just last month, we conducted an exclusive interview with Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton. He said: “Policing in general, is not fond of the [burglar] alarm industry. We consider it an unnecessary burden and it’s an industry that we don’t feel is particularly willing to work with us.” (See the March 2006 issue for the complete story)

As security veterans, we here at the magazine couldn’t just sit idly by while our industry was being thrashed. This would be equivalent to watching your little brother get beat up by the school bully — you need to intervene!

So I discussed the situation with Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine and we went across the hall within Bobit Business Media (our parent company) to ask my counterpart at Police magazine if she’d be willing to do a research survey of her 48,000 subscribers on our behalf. We needed to find out the law enforcement industry’s true pulse concerning false alarms. That was in early 2003.

In January 2006, we decided to do a follow-up study to get an update on the current state of affairs concerning law enforcement, and their views on false alarms and the electronic burglar alarm industry overall.

If you are now kicking yourself (and you should be!) for throwing away the supplement in a rush without looking at or reading it, don’t worry. We are posting the complete article along with the original 2003 survey for you to review on this Web site. Just go to the home page and look under the “WebXclusive” tab. I believe you’ll find these studies very informative and the results quite interesting. In fact, it is an excellent and very persuasive document to pass on to local law enforcement officials in your municipality.

We really want to thank Honeywell for its generous support in helping us spread the word to 48,000 law enforcement officials as well as our 31,000 subscribers of SSI. Our hats are off to you! Honeywell also sponsored the original 2003 survey.

Please be aware that as a good corporate citizen, Honeywell had no input or influence on the survey questions or results. As always, our goal is to be as neutral as possible in all our industry research and surveys. Please let us know what you think!


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