On March 31, I again had the distinct honor of being able to reveal and present the Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) Award’s annual winner. This year it was Atronic Alarms of Lenexa, Kan., with Custom Alarm of Rochester, Minn., and ADT Security Services of Boca Raton, Fla., being the other finalists. You can read all about it in the May issue of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION.
The PDQ program is near and dear to my heart as it developed out of a concept I presented to Stan Martin, now executive director of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), and Larry Dischert, now retired but at the time director of industry and regulator liaison for ADT, during an ISC West show earlier this decade. A couple of years later the vision was realized with the addition of the False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA).
Established jointly in 2005 by SSI, SIAC and FARA, the PDQ program aims to curtail the false alarm problem by recognizing installing and monitoring companies that follow established industry best practices and partner with law enforcement to achieve the highest quality in police dispatch requests. The goal is to raise industry-wide awareness, motivate alarm firms to be proactive and provide models that work for others to follow.
As is often the case, I gathered far more material than could possibly be shoehorned into the print article and so here I give loyal Under Surveillance readers the second part of five bonus postings covering this year’s PDQ program. This installment allows you to learn more about Atronic’s secret weapon in achieving its winning ways—its third-party central monitoring station, Kansas City-based Alarm Central. The monitoring provider’s general manager, Jeremy Wyble, gives his perspective of the false alarm issue.
Alarm Central is the first third-party central station to be associated with winning the Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) Award (the previous three ran their own centrals). How does that feel?
Jeremy Wyble: We are honored to be selected as the first third-party central station associated with this award. It just shows how important it is to have a close working relationship between the alarm company and central station and what can be achieved.
Specifically describe the methods, procedures and policies Alarm Central uses to minimize and manage false alarms and dispatches. How has the recession impacted your operations?
Wyble: As a third-party central station we do everything we can to educate our dealers on how to minimize false alarms. We are a strong supporter of Enhanced Call Verification (ECV), which many municipalities have started to enforce. In addition to that we keep our dealers informed daily of the customers activity including daily reports. Our Web product notifies the dealer each time they log in of customers currently in alarm and also shows them problem accounts without the dealer having to run a report.
Founded in 1998, Alarm Central is headquartered in Kansas City, Mo.
Is there any advantage of working with a third-party monitoring company like Alarm Central as opposed to having your own central station in decreasing false alarm dispatches?
Wyble: I believe that there is. Being a third-party central station we deal with hundreds of dealers who all have different ideas. We pride ourselves on being flexible on our alarm handling procedures. By dealing with an assortment of dealers and ideas we are able to make suggestions to alarm companies to help them reduce the numbers of false alarms.
Do you believe the PDQ program is valuable to the industry and can help make a difference?
Wyble: I believe programs like PDQ are extremely important to the future of this industry. If we do not police ourselves the municipalities will do it for us. I hope that every alarm company who reads this article will take a look at what they are currently doing and what they can do from here on out to do their part to reduce false alarms and protect our industry.
Looking at the industry, what do you believe is going to happen with police response to burglar alarm systems? Is the situation getting better or worse?
Wyble: In my opinion if we as an industry do not make changes soon to reduce false alarms we could see more municipalities going to verified response. I am a firm believer in ECV and I believe that if all alarm companies would get on board with this program in five-10 years we won’t have to worry about this because the number of false alarms would be minimal. How the landscape could change is up to us and what we do from this point forward.
Alarm Central’s many services include TCP/IP monitoring, video monitoring and a secure Web access program.
Is there anything else relevant to reducing false alarms you would care to add?
Wyble: A good install will always have fewer false alarms than an install not up to standards. I believe that in addition to the install it is up to the salesperson to consider the environment that the system will be placed and try to eliminate any areas that may be prone to false alarms.
Sounds like Alarm Central is an exceptionally well run enterprise. Be sure to be on the lookout for more inside information about this year’s PDQ program in upcoming blog posts.
As always, thanks for reading.
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