COPS Monitoring to Expand Footprint in Dallas

By Ashley Willis

DALLAS COPS Monitoring announced it will open an 8,000-square-foot UL-Listed central station here during the first quarter of 2012 in order to better serve dealers throughout the region.

This will be the fifth central station for the Williamstown, N.J.-based company, which recently opened a monitoring center in Nashville, Tenn. Its other facilities are located in Arizona, Florida and New Jersey. Company executives say the new center will help them gain insight to the successes and challenges alarm dealers are experiencing in and around Texas.

 “We are continually looking for ways to better serve our dealers,” COPS Monitoring Director of Marketing and Communications David Smith tells SSI. “Texas presented an opportunity for us to connect better with the dealers in this region.”

All of COPS Monitoring’s central stations will operate on the same network. As a result, each station will share in handling alarm signals, which helps improve customer service and response time, Smith says.

“Alarm dealers sometimes struggle with a common question,” he says. “That is, which is better, a smaller, more personable central station with local knowledge? Or a large, high-tech national center that might have better backup and redundancy capabilities? We believe that dealers shouldn’t have to choose because there are benefits to both approaches.”

Because each central station is hot redundant and load sharing, “none of the monitoring centers serve as backups that need to be powered up in emergency or failover situations,” Smith says. This is especially effective during severe weather events, such as blizzards, hurricanes or tornadoes, as the company tends to overstaff its facilities to avoid slower response times.

COPS Monitoring was able to validate this tactic during Hurricane Irene in August.

“Hurricane Irene took an unusual path up the East Coast and went directly over our New Jersey central station,” Smith says. “Because we overstaffed our other stations, we maintained a 17.4-second response time despite receiving more than double our normal alarm traffic.”

When completed, the Dallas facility will monitor security and fire alarm systems, as well as personal emergency response systems (PERS) by using two-way audio verification and video verification technologies.

Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.

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