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CSAA Dispatch - Cooper on Law Outreach

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by William (Bill) Cooper


The Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) has created a new program, “Visit Law Enforcement Month,” which was introduced at ESX 2010.
A 60-minute, interactive seminar on strategies regarding relationship building with law enforcement was presented to a near capacity audience in an ESX-provided classroom.

I was honored to facilitate the event, which consisted of presentations by three industry experts, followed by a question and answer session.
Ron Walters, SIAC field director provided an information-packed presentation covering major causes and effects of false dispatches, equipment and solution-based options, and an overview of the history and current climate of law enforcement as it relates to alarms and their deterrent effect. Walters emphasized Best Practices and the Model Ordinance.
SIAC staffer, Glen Mowrey, retired Deputy Chief of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, presented an overview of SIAC’s Alarm Management Committees, which he has, at this writing, instituted in 12 states. Mowrey discussed the procedure he recommends in establishing these groups and a short version of the ordinance he utilizes.
Finally, Duff Astin, Alarm Coordinator from Sandy, Utah, and past winner of SIAC’s prestigious “Excellence in Dispatch Reduction” award, presented his very unique approach, which brings law enforcement and industry representatives together once a month to discuss problem customers and solutions. Sandy has been able to effect an industry-wide false alarm rate of .022, or one false alarm about every four and a half years.
Most of us would agree that for security systems to be fully effective, response by well-trained, professional law enforcement is paramount. We often base our marketing and sales strategies, at least in part, on the premise that our systems serve as a deterrent force, and when that fails, provide a means for our companies to notify responding agencies that an emergency situation might exist.
Historically, we have enjoyed cooperative, positive relationships with the approximately 18,000 law enforcement agencies around the country, yet we are often the last to know when a law enforcement agency has made a decision to adopt by legislation or policy a restrictive response to these security systems.
Interestingly, in jurisdictions where a positive, regular path of communication between law enforcement and industry leadership has existed, onerous policies and ordinances are minimal. In fact, we have found that most agencies will still look to us for counsel and advice, and are eager to have an ally when addressing a mayor, city manager, or city council. Given the widespread budgetary shortfalls, these relationships have become even more vital, and our role as a link between law enforcement and the citizenry more important.
While we had targeted July as a call to action, it is incumbent on us all to prioritize regular visits to both new and existing law enforcement partners. To that end, we have prepared letters, handouts, CDs, Power Point presentations, and other materials which are available on our website,, and which were made available at ESX. You will find useful tools to use and these materials can be personalized to reflect the name of your company or industry group. This material will be provided at no cost to you. Take advantage of our wealth of knowledge and experience in alarm management campaigns. Our staff of experts stand ready to assist you in this most vital outreach effort. We will counsel you by phone, email, or we will come to your community. There is no charge for these services, as SIAC is a 501c.3 not-for-profit organization, representing the four major North American alarm associations. Our contact information is on our website. Use us.
As owner of a small alarm company from 1985-1999 (14 years), and as part of the management team of ADT, Bill Cooper has gained valuable insight from both the small and large business model perspectives. In addition, Bill has served in several state associations and ESA. Bil has also worked closely with SIAC executive director Stan Martin in all aspects of SIAC strategic planning, ordinance review, verified response campaigns, fund raising and field operations; is currently chair of the SIAC CARE committee. . Additionally, Bill serves on the Law Enforcement, Private Sector Committee for the National Sheriffs Association and works closely with law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S.


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