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Comment on cable company liability for employee crime /  Register now for due diligence webinar
September 5, 2022
Comment on cable company liability for employee crime from article on August 61, 2022
          In 1977ish, I hired a young man out of California and called his former alarm company employer.
          They stated they recommended him and were sorry to see him go.
After giving him his paycheck on Friday I let him know where we would be working on Monday.  He did not show up and I ended up having to track him down and had him thrown in Jail for stealing my tools (back in the day hammer drills, meters could easily be $1,000.00).  I contacted a friend on the KCMO Crime Prevention Unit and asked Sgt. Ted Peterson “what should I do – for to steal from me is one thing, but, what if this guy stole from MY CUSTOMER?”  He recommended talking with Ken Johnson as “I don’t know what he does, other than after he gets involved with a company, their issues seem to disappear”.
          Kenny Johnson was the head of the KCMO PD Polygraph Unit and Crime Lab. It would become a life long relationship and friendship – with him keeping me out of trouble!  (*I met at Kenny’s funeral, - Harold Oldham, who Kenny had hired and became the Section Chief of the Polygraph Unit and then became our Internal Director of Internal Security).
          Shortly thereafter, I was at an alarm association meeting at the Honeywell office here and afterwards, the service manager angrily came up to me and asked “why did you not tell us about your former employee?”
HUH????  He continued on – a Mission Hills (*one of the most expensive areas in Kansas City) customer of theirs came home and caught this guy going through her bedroom drawers!  That solidified my opinion of making sure I had as thorough a background check as I could!   When Kenny Johnson retired from KCMO PD, he became my Operations Manager. (*we would get calls from Federal Agencies looking for Kenny- to get him to Polygraph ‘special cases’ for them and he would politely turn them down).
          Jade Alarm Co. now utilizes the following pre-employment process:(for those interested in helping to stay out of ‘trouble’)
          The application is filled out (resume’ is nice, but, we HAVE TO HAVE the application which was designed by our HR Legal Beagle, Mr. Henry Cox, Esq. – former HR head of TWA and on the short list for the Kansas Supreme Court).
          Pre-employment drug screen (hair follicle as too many have tried to ‘beat’ the urine test by drinking special teas).
          Wants & warrants through KCMO PD computer – which includes their driving record, we have a direct connection with them through a 3rd party interface (for security reasons).
          The John E. Reid computerized honesty test – our ‘interviewer’ will utilize this test to do the interview from. Their phone #312-583-0700 (*Kenny helped design the original test as Reid wanted Kenny to start a Reid branch in Kansas City).
          Our professional interviewer. Currently, this gentleman Polygraphs sex offenders in Canada (yes, the government flies him there) to ensure those individuals are staying on the ‘straight and very narrow’.
          You would be surprised at the stories I could tell about……
          *One individual had references that were ASTOUNDING, including from a nearby former Mayor – all fell apart when the interviewer asked the question “how many times have you legally had your name changed” – this individual would get hired and then ‘make book’ until he could gather enough dirt where he could then threaten with discrimination lawsuit.
          *We would attempt to hire people that looked GOOD and then, come to find out we were being ‘setup’ for EEOC lawsuits- being warned about this from a former employee.
          *Or, how about the time I saw a local MAACO Paint/Body was moving – I dropped in to introduce my company and the 1st thing out of the owner’s mouth was the question “do your employees steal from your customers like my other alarm company did to me?”.
          So – be warned and don’t hire individuals who can ‘fog a mirror’ just because you (like the rest of us) are desperate for personnel….
Joseph (Joe) Pfefer, President & Founder
Jade Alarm Co
          When you’ve been in business for over 50 years, as Joe has, I guess you’ve seen a lot and the old saying “you can’t be too cautious” may be an understatement.  Hiring employees who engage with the public, or even who have to interact with other employees or people, does place responsibility on the employer.  This is especially the case when you are sending your employee into a customer’s home or place of business; you are implicitly assuring your customer that the employee is someone who is trustworthy and safe.  This should not be surprising because the alternative or opposite is unthinkable.  Can you image sending a habitual burglar into to your customer for security work?  Reminds me of the story of the scorpion asking the frog for a lift across the river.
          But be careful with your screening process.  Like too many other things in life, you would be wise to seek knowledgeable legal counsel, in this case, employment law counsel, about the parameters of the hiring process you are permitted to have before you cross the line and risk a lawsuit. K&K Employment Law Dept is headed by Jennifer Kirschenbaum,Esq, who can be reached at 516 747 6700 x 302 or
          Many state license laws affecting the alarm industry include registration requirements for employees.  While it’s a fair argument that complying with the registration law, especially when that includes fingerprints and criminal background check, is sufficient, that may not be the case when the employee ends up committing a horrendous crime.  You should have a process and you should make sure it’s permitted.
          Also, ever single employee should be required to sign a K&K Standard Form Employment Agreement.  No exceptions and no excuses unless you want to have regrets.

Registration for Sept 13, 2022 webinar on performing due diligence
          We’ve all heard the terminology, due diligence, in connection with a transaction to buy alarm accounts, but what due diligence actually consists of and how you get it done is not as familiar to everyone. In fact, due diligence can run the gamut from a cursory review of records to a comprehensive analysis that comes close to [and sometimes exceeds] a forensic financial audit.  Who you can and should engage for due diligence can also be an elusive choice. 
          Jim Wooster, Jr., of AFS [Alarm Financial Services], a lender to the alarm industry collateralized by alarm accounts, is opening a new service to perform Due Diligence.  I asked Jim to do a webinar to introduce his new Due Diligence service and it will be presented on September 13, 2022 at noon ET.  See you then.
Webinar:  Due Diligence in alarm industry on buy-sell or loan transaction
When:  September 13, 2022  12PM  ET
Topic:  Due diligence; what it means, what it involves, how it's performed and who  you can get to do it
Presented by:  Jim Wooster, Jr., President of Alarm Financial Services, Inc 
Hosted by:  Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Who should attend:  Alarm company owners, CFO, buyers and sellers

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301