Chicago Area PSAP Opts Out of Monitoring Business

CHICAGO — Tri-Com Central Dispatch, a public service answering point (PSAP) for the Chicago suburbs of Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles, Ill., has decided not to monitor business emergency alarms due to lack of funds. The decision comes after three electronic security industry associations joined forces to challenge proposed legislation in Illinois that could have forced private monitoring companies to compete for business with public entities.

Tri-Com Central Dispatch has been exploring the possibility of entering into the alarm monitoring business, according to the Kane County Chronicle. However, after realizing that it had fewer accounts than it expected, Tri-Com said the option was not “economically feasible.” Had the deal gone through, Tri-Com would have been competing with private alarm monitoring companies, according to the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA).

The CSAA, along with the Electronic Security Association (ESA) and the Illinois Electronic Security Association (IESA), have protested proposed legislation that, if adopted, would allow municipalities to operate their own central monitoring stations.

“This is the second victory of this battle, but the war is not won,” says CSAA Past President Bob Bonifas, president of Aurora, Ill.-based Alarm Detection Systems. “We need to continue to organize our forces until this effort to municipalize and monopolize the fire alarm monitoring business is finished for good.”

In a separate federal lawsuit against the PSAP in Lisle/Woodridge, Ill., a federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction, giving private alarm companies the right to take back the customers that were forced to move their fire alarm monitoring to Lisle/Woodridge. The federal lawsuit is expected to take a year or more to go through the court system.

(Related article: Alarm Industry Fears Illinois Legislation Could Create Unfair Competition)

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