Jerry Linder, an icon of the security industry, died Oct. 24. “Jerry was truly one of the pioneers of this industry,” said friend Les Gold, a partner of the firm Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, Los Angeles, and SDM's contributing legal columnist.

At 15, he was building alarms and knew he wanted his own alarm company. Linder formed American Fire Dispatch (AFD) with his two partners just a few years later. They sold AFD to Baker Industries, which later became Wells Fargo Alarm Services. After leaving Wells Fargo, Linder started two other California alarm companies: General Protection Services, which he sold after a short time, and ElectroSecurity, which was sold last year to Bay Alarm Co.

Linder’s ideas revolutionized the alarm industry in southern California: plug-in transformers; Gamewell six-circuit recorders; the West Coast’s first computerized central station; and McCulloh fire alarm transmitters. In addition to being an innovator, friends agree that Linder was always willing to help and share knowledge. “He would put his work on hold to help somebody else,” said his wife, Faye Linder.

“He was never reticent about telling people what he was doing,” said friend Frank Meiners, adding that his career in the alarm industry was dependent on Linder. “You might say he started many, many careers as a result of his nurturing.”

In 1967, Linder and other entrepreneurs started Western Burglar and Fire Alarm Association. He became the first president. He was a long-time member of the board of directors of the Los Angeles Burglar and Fire Alarm Association, as well as its successor, the Southern California Security Association. “He was just security all the way,” said Faye Linder. “Employees liked him, not only as a boss, but as a person.”