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Comment on police response effecting alarm service valuation / Register now for tomorrow's due diligence webinar
September 12, 2022
Comment on police response effecting alarm service valuation from article on August 2, 2022
          Response to Lee Jones comment in article on August 2, 2022
          It is sometimes difficult to respond to a critic whose experience is so far removed from current industry trends and public safety practices. There are approximately 18,000 public safety agencies in the United States. Each agency’s response to alarms is based on multiple factors and it would be impossible for an alarm provider to be able to state with certainty the average response time for various departments in any given situation.
          The International Association of Chiefs of Police (“IACP”), the National Sheriff’s Association (“NSA”) as well as multiple state chief’s associations support the Model Ordinance, which includes police response and remains the practice of most public safety agencies today.
          For Lee Jones to state that “most police departments have rejected the Model Ordinance” is patently false. The jointly drafted “Model Ordinance”
was endorsed by membership resolutions of IACP and NSA by vote. This was accomplished with more than twenty years of joint meetings evaluating, and vetting the best practices the Model Ordinance contains. SIAC has been at all of those meetings working closely with chiefs, sheriffs and the leadership – We have NEVER seen Lee Jones attend. Yet he purports to represent the view of law enforcement?
          The Model Ordinance, which SIAC has successfully promoted and has been implemented nationally, sets no parameters for police response and is designed to reduce unnecessary calls for service.  This is a shared goal of law enforcement and the electronic security industry. In spite of the additional millions of alarm systems that have been installed since we started, the Model Ordinance has shown sustained success year after year with alarm dispatches continuing to decrease. It is also important to note that alarm contracts make the commitment to notify public safety agencies if an alarm is triggered and the monitoring center has gone through reviews protocols such as two call confirmation. We are not aware of any alarm company that promises a police response. Customers recognize that a private company cannot promise actions by a public agency over which they have no control.
          Mr. Jones has been making these same inflammatory and unfounded statements concerning the industry for at least the last two decades. While they may make interesting reading they do not comport with the facts and certainly not with the trends we see in an industry that continues to grow and works closely with public safety agencies to protect life and property.
 Stan Martin, Executive Director, SIAC
          The Standard Form Agreements address alarm monitoring in several ways. 
          Central station protocol is available on request.  Every central station should have written procedures, if for no other reason to train operators, regarding the appropriate way to respond to various signals.  This should be shared with subscribers who are interested enough to ask for the information.  This certainly does not mean that central stations need to explain the intricacies of their operation; they don’t need to explain operator training or facilities or if operators working conditions, including whether they work remotely.  It’s a simple disclosure that briefly describes how the different signals will be addressed.  Every different signal a panel can send should be identified together with how it will be addressed by the central station, including verification procedure and notification priority.  This can be a disclosure with every conceivable signal that the dealer will use check-boxes to identify which signals a subscriber has programmed, which won’t necessarily be all the different types of available signals that central station typically receive.
          The Standard Form Agreement makes it clear that police or fire response time is not within the alarm company’s control; same with communication pathways that can interfere or prevent signal communication or connectivity between the central station and the police or fire department.  In fact the Standard Form Agreement makes it clear that the subscriber is obligated to continue paying for monitoring even if the police or fire department refuse to respond to the subscriber or are unable to do so. 
          Subscribers are entitled to police and fire department services; these are recognized public services.  Alarm systems, other than fire alarms in certain circumstances, are voluntary systems paid for by subscribers who want to enhance protection for their person and property.  The government service and the private sector should work together, and most often do work together, and that’s how it’s supposed to work.

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