PPVAR Joins Forces With Crime Analytics Firm

By Ashley Willis

ST. PAUL, Minn. — As it continues on its quest to combat property crimes, the Partnership for Priority Video Alarm Response (PPVAR) has collaborated with Verisk Crime Analytics, which owns and operates national crime databases that provide services to the construction, retail, transportation, manufacturing and insurance industries.

“This is a really big deal,” PPVAR Executive Director Keith Jentoft tells SSI.“This partnership is not something that’s happened before in terms of the alarm industry. We just haven’t played at this level.”

Verisk Crime Analytics is a division of Verisk Analytics, the parent company of the Insurance Services Organization (ISO). ISO, which analyzes community risk mitigation, determines how much a community pays for property insurance based upon the fire risk assigned to the neighborhood.

“It helps a fire chief justify putting in a new fire station because he can reason that the community’s ISO rating will get better. That results in the decrease of the community’s insurance rates,” Jentoft says. “That’s what we’re hoping to do with Verisk on the crime analytics side and what we’re doing in terms of property crime and arrests.”

Established in 2012, PPVAR includes representatives from the electronic security industry, law enforcement and the insurance industry, and focuses on combatting false dispatches, property crime and increasing arrest rates using video alarms. When Jeftoft, who is president of RSI-Videofied, approached Verisk to work with PPVAR, the crime analytics firm representatives were impressed with how verified video alarms help reduce property claims.

“Insurers determined that response time is one of the main elements in loss control for property crime,” Jentoft explains. “We have proven case studies with arrest rates of more than 50% using video alarms and priority response to make arrests, while the average arrest rate for a traditional alarm is 0.08%. PPVAR’s mission matched with Verisk’s goals, so they wanted to have a part in what we’re doing.”

The new alliance also adds Verisk Crime Analytics Vice President Anthony Canale to PPVAR’s board of directors. He joins Jacqueline Grimm, vice president of security solutions for Diebold Inc.; Douglas Curtiss, president of Sonitrol New England; Jon Bolen, chief technology officer for Interface Security Systems; and Robert Baxter, president of Radius Security.

Although more than 50 electronic security firms are members of PPVAR, Jentoft wants to make it clear that the organization is not like other industry associations. Rather, PPVAR does not defend the personal interests of one of its members, but promotes a common goal between the public and private sector.

“The insurers like it because they pay out less in claims, while law enforcement gets a pat on the back for keeping the community safer, and the alarm industry sells equipment and makes money,” Jentoft says. “While we’re doing it for different reasons, the agenda overlaps. We’re focused on combatting property crime.”

The group is actively soliciting members from the alarm industry, insurance companies and law enforcement. PPVAR also encourages alarm companies to sponsor the membership for their local police departments by paying the agencies’ dues.

“A lot of law enforcement agencies are very strapped for funds. This gives another way to build a partnership between the security industry and police officers,” Jentoft says.

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

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