More than a decade ago the industry formed the Security Industry Alarm Coalition, better known as SIAC. The stated mission of SIAC is to “speak as one voice for the industry on alarm management issues,” and an important part of SIAC’s activities was and continues to be to improve the view of the industry in the eyes of law enforcement.
As with any relationship — particularly one in which the parties have different goals and objectives — a level of trust has to be nurtured. We can finally say that the leadership on the police side not only trusts us, they respect the progress the industry has made to address the issue of false dispatches.
SIAC has worked diligently to identify and address the cause and cure of false dispatches. Its model ordinance is extremely effective and when passed and enforced, it can deliver up to a 90 percent reduction in dispatches. SIAC’s industry activities includes education, professional review of all legislation impacting alarm response; coordinating media inquiries, and participating in relative industry standards.
SIAC employees and contractors invest hundreds of hours every month to these missions to protect a professional response for alarm users everywhere.
Addressing law enforcement concerns isn’t just about SIAC. The industry is also involved in a very important project that promises to change the way alarms are dispatched.
The alarm industry has worked hard to reduce our footprint with the PSAP’s. In the past roughly 22 percent of all calls coming into the 911 centers were for alarm dispatches. Through the use of second call confirmation, more commonly known as ECV, we were able to reduce that by more than 50 percent. Additional calls were eliminated by the CP-01 Control Panel Standard and other initiatives, but more needed to be done.
The Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) to the Public Sector Answering Point (PSAP) project has been years in the making. This is a direct link between the PSAP and our central stations. All dispatches and cancelations will occur without the need for voice communications.
Over the last 25 years there have been several attempts to launch similar programs; however, the biggest hurdle was always having direct communications with PSAPs’ computer aided dispatch (CAD) software. For security reasons, no non-law-enforcement source was allowed to directly interface with these CAD programs. Also, if there was ever going to be any such connection it would require all CAD vendors and all monitoring automation vendors come together to develop compatible software.
Thanks to the efforts of the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) and the Association of Public Communications Officials (APCO) all of the hurdles were addressed and the implementation phase is well under way. At the time of this writing 30 alarm monitoring stations are either up and running, or in the process of implementing ASAP to PSAP. On the law enforcement side 21 agencies are online or in the process of engaging. And while these numbers may seem low, this program will gain momentum and in the next few years will become the way our business is done.
These are only two of the programs that the industry associations are engaged in that cast a new light on the industry. For more information on these and other programs go to www.siacinc.org or www.csaaintl.org. For more information on ASAP to PSAP follow these links: http://bit.ly/1NT92c5 and http://bit.ly/1JbM4Y1