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  • How comfortable are you with this?

    Consider this:

    "We don't have any real great desire to be in the patrol business. Imagine this - you're in Detroit, you get an alarm at 10 p.m., 11:30 at night. I've got to send a guard, most are unarmed, and they've got to go into somebody's backyard in the middle of the night? There are liabilities. We're not trained like a police officer."

    -- David Goldstein, president of Guardian Alarm Co., discussing the challenges of verifying burglar alarms
    http://www.securityinfowatch.com/Dealers/1322307

    So, my question to you guys (and gals) is whether you would want to do this kind of work, where it's a random patrol check at a most likely false residential alarm?

    Personally, I'd want a bulletproof vest before checking an alarm late at night at some home where the owner might/might not be home, might/might not be a proud NRA member, might/might not have missed the message that the alarm firm is sending you.

    Geoff

  • #2
    I definitely get your point. On the other hand though, if the company or the staff won't provide a satisfactory service that the client is paying for, then the company should not offer that service, and the employee should not be employed in that service.

    Comment


    • #3
      Personally, I believe that alarm companies should staff and field their own specially trained and equipped alarm response teams; alarm response calls are a nightmare looking for a victim to happen to - YOU. Farming the physical response out to other security companies is, in my never-humble opinion, irresponsible and dangerous to the SOs involved.

      There are a million ways an alarm call can go south on the responding officer(s); I hated 'em as an armed and armored deputy; wouldn't consider doing them as an unarmed SO.

      I have a wife; we all know that barring an unforeseen accident or illness, she'll someday be a widow. There's no reason to rush the process needlessly - and foreseeably.
      "I'll defend with my life your right to disagree with me" - anonymous

      Comment


      • #4
        If the guards he hires or contracts for are inadequately equipped or trained; that is a problem with his business/contract. It is a not a problem with the new law. I imagine his real concern is customers dropping service altogether, rather that paying the necessarily higher contract fees. While alarm response is not my preferred niche, if I were out of work and a responders job was listed I would be perfectly comfortable applying for and accepting it. I am not comfortable with how prevalent Mr. Goldstein’s and Mr. Belisle's attitude is in our industry.
        In my opinion alarm verification is a lot like the bounty hunter debate we are having in another thread. It is a way to lesson another way to lessen the burden on the tax payers.
        That said, I think that Detroit has gone too far by insisting on verified response only. I think a fine system would have been a lot more reasonable, and it would generate revenue.
        Dealing with homeowners is another training issue, but honestly the police do not even have it down yet*. However, if we had more proud NRA members we would probably have less need to hire a vendor for alarm verification.


        *This is why “not getting shot by the police” is an important part of any defensive firearms curriculum.
        Last edited by Mr. Chaple; 08-26-2011, 05:03 PM.
        "A good deed’s like pissing yourself in dark pants. Warm feeling but no one notices." - Jacob Taylor

        Comment


        • #5
          Does it happen often in the US where uniformed security are shot in the backyards of NRA members?

          Here in Montreal we no longer have armed security that respond to alarms. All our people are unarmed. I have never heard of one being shot by either the home owner or criminal.
          I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
          Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

          Comment


          • #6
            article you linked said "98 % of the burglar alarms that police respond to are false alarms" (in Detroit)

            They simply say, "We are too busy. Let alarm company go check it first. if civilian S/O need our help then we go"
            because 98% are false alarm.

            if "98% alarm are false" is true, civilian S/O will be very safe at 98% of time.
            What about 2% ?
            when S/O find out "Oh sh-t ! I got to call police", where LEO will be ?
            it's like recon mission without guaranty of tank support.

            Problem is "98% of alarm is false".
            City of LA, Beverly Hills and more cities charge fee to resident if LEO respond to false alarm.
            (no charge if real crime situation)

            I don't know much about alarm industry but I think many of alarm company in LA change to two way communication system.
            if alarm go-off, company call resident and ask password, if resident claim as "Kids opened back door" "Dog jumped to alarm sensor" they don't go.

            if nobody answer or wrong password, officer go but I see many of them are armed and inner vest in amber light bar.

            I wouldn't go if I were them if I have no weapon, no vest.
            I will stand behind LEO, I will park my amber light behind of red-blue.

            PS.
            My main business is Limo business (as my handle shows)
            I don't go anywhere without vest when I'm armed (even Beverly Hills and Bel Air)
            I concern my own safety.
            Not many but few chauffeurs are armed to protect clients.

            Comment


            • #7
              Back in mobile I did this all the time, then again we aren't allowed to be armed in Canada, never had an issue though.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CorporateGoon View Post
                Back in mobile I did this all the time, then again we aren't allowed to be armed in Canada, never had an issue though.
                Canada you say. I was wondering where you were from. It's the 2nd largest country in the world. Where in Canada?
                I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I did this kind of work before as part of my duties as a patrol officer for a security company. It is bad news when not done right.

                  Two officers should be dispatched and they should be be armed. I went alone and wasn't armed.

                  A local company called GSSC seems to do things right. We have a bank at one of our sites and when the alarm goes off, two armed security officers show up.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Limo LA View Post
                    article you linked said "98 % of the burglar alarms that police respond to are false alarms" (in Detroit)...
                    Good point about that remaining 2%, Limo.

                    My personal opinion about risk-management purely by statistics is that the statistics are meaningless when there's rounds cracking past your head.

                    Many, if not most, of us know at least one or two people who fell into the statistical cracks; I know one guy who's been struck by lightning four different times - and survived. Another who had been shot three times and stabbed once, on the job - all within his first six months after graduation from LA Fire Dept Academy. I myself have been shot several times - twice in hunting accidents, a year apart... by the same guy (yep; the first time was his fault, for over-swinging; the second time was my fault, for going hunting with him again!)

                    Statistics ain't worth s***, when someone's life is on the line. It's the ramifications of a possible incident that we've gotta cogitate, when we're considering assigning someone else to potentially step into the line of fire.

                    Again: good point, Limo!

                    Oh, PS: the LA firefighter was shot the first time while extinguishing a rubbish fire in a backyard of a single-family residence; the resident, who reported the fire, saw all the commotion (like, a Big Shiny Red Fire Engine with lights flashing parked in his alley, and four guys in bright yellow turnout gear with reflective striping all over it...) in his back yard, grabbed his Iver Johnson .32 revolver, and shot through his the screen door into the yard. The bullet missed Ron's spine by about an inch, at about T-3 level. Point is, this was an alarm response by any possible definition of the word, called in by the shooter, who simply panicked and opened fire. He was old, and legally drunk at the time...
                    Last edited by 5423; 08-27-2011, 09:53 AM.
                    "I'll defend with my life your right to disagree with me" - anonymous

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HotelSecurity View Post
                      Does it happen often in the US where uniformed security are shot in the backyards of NRA members?...
                      I'm pretty certain the author of that post wrote that with tongue firmly in cheek.

                      It's not the NRA members I worry about; it's the home meth lab operators, the crackheads, bangers, dog fight ring operators, etc. Those are the dudes that'll light your a$$ up from next door... and there isn't a one of 'em that owns their weapons legally.
                      "I'll defend with my life your right to disagree with me" - anonymous

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 5423 View Post
                        Good point about that remaining 2%, Limo.

                        My personal opinion about risk-management purely by statistics is that the statistics are meaningless when there's rounds cracking past your head.

                        Many, if not most, of us know at least one or two people who fell into the statistical cracks; I know one guy who's been struck by lightning four different times - and survived. Another who had been shot three times and stabbed once, on the job - all within his first six months after graduation from LA Fire Dept Academy. I myself have been shot several times - twice in hunting accidents, a year apart... by the same guy (yep; the first time was his fault, for over-swinging; the second time was my fault, for going hunting with him again!)

                        Statistics ain't worth s***, when someone's life is on the line. It's the ramifications of a possible incident that we've gotta cogitate, when we're considering assigning someone else to potentially step into the line of fire.

                        Again: good point, Limo!

                        Oh, PS: the LA firefighter was shot the first time while extinguishing a rubbish fire in a backyard of a single-family residence; the resident, who reported the fire, saw all the commotion (like, a Big Shiny Red Fire Engine with lights flashing parked in his alley, and four guys in bright yellow turnout gear with reflective striping all over it...) in his back yard, grabbed his Iver Johnson .32 revolver, and shot through his the screen door into the yard. The bullet missed Ron's spine by about an inch, at about T-3 level. Point is, this was an alarm response by any possible definition of the word, called in by the shooter, who simply panicked and opened fire. He was old, and legally drunk at the time...
                        Yet in my 30+ year career I know of only 1 LPO who was shot in a leg while trying to arrest someone outside the store. (He used to work part time for The Bay & part time for me). I have heard of more Security Guards being stabbed hete but not that many.I guess it's just the difference in availability of guns in the 2 countries. & the response by LE if someone is seen with a gun. Here a man with a gun is a prioriety 1 all cars call.
                        I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                        Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SIW Editor View Post
                          Consider this:

                          "We don't have any real great desire to be in the patrol business. Imagine this - you're in Detroit, you get an alarm at 10 p.m., 11:30 at night. I've got to send a guard, most are unarmed, and they've got to go into somebody's backyard in the middle of the night? There are liabilities. We're not trained like a police officer."

                          -- David Goldstein, president of Guardian Alarm Co., discussing the challenges of verifying burglar alarms
                          http://www.securityinfowatch.com/Dealers/1322307

                          So, my question to you guys (and gals) is whether you would want to do this kind of work, where it's a random patrol check at a most likely false residential alarm?

                          Personally, I'd want a bulletproof vest before checking an alarm late at night at some home where the owner might/might not be home, might/might not be a proud NRA member, might/might not have missed the message that the alarm firm is sending you.

                          Geoff
                          I believe that if a company is not capable of successfully dealing with such situations, a

                          company should not offer their services for such situations. Company capability specifically

                          means having adequately and regularly trained and equipped security officers for these

                          situations. If it were me looking at an open position for such a company, I'd keep looking

                          elsewhere.
                          "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
                          - Thomas Jefferson

                          “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”
                          — Vince Lombardi

                          "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

                          IX. Strive to attain professional competence.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A few thoughts.

                            1. We need to remember that the number of alarm systems has exploded over the past decade. The companies selling these systems have a parasitic relationship with law enforcement, leeching off of them for the most risky and most labor-intensive aspect of their service - i.e., response - without paying a dime for it. Nice work if you can get it! You can't think of many other businesses where you can sell a service that someone else provides for free.

                            It's interesting that in the latest alarm niche - personal alert systems - if the monitoring company calls EMS, guess who pays for that ambulance run? YOU DO (or usually your insurance company)! But if they call police, who pays? The taxpayer! Something seems to be wrong with this picture, but in fact the same concept is at work, which is letting someone else pay for a service you receive. For the police, the taxpayer pays. For EMS, the insurance company pays unless the individual is indigent - then the taxpayer pays. But the point is, when there is a third-party payer in the picture, we don't charge the taxpayer for the service.

                            2. The assumption these alarm companies have made (and it's been implied in our discussion as well) is that the response capability of LE agencies is perfectly elastic. "However many more systems we sell, the police can respond to them." This, of course, is far from the case and in fact many agencies have seen a diminished capacity to respond in the face of budget cutbacks and manpower losses. But even if manpower levels were stable, it simply isn't realistic to imagine that it would, or should, expand to meet the growing onslaught of alarm responses. This is not how we determine manpower levels in police departments.

                            What this means is that we are creating a situation in which every new installation effectively degrades all of the existing systems in terms of the most critical aspect of the system, which is response capability, of which, in turn, the most critical characteristic is TIME to respond.

                            It's not unusual today in large cities for alarm response by police to take an hour or more, particularly during certain shifts. What kind of an alarm system (in terms of it's total capability) have we sold these people?

                            So, we have this paradox. As more alarms are installed, it is quite possible that we are creating a LESS responsive network as a direct result of the fact that the response side simply cannot handle the increasing load. We have to ask ourselves, what will things be like in a couple of years? Five years?

                            3. As the response capability degrades, so does the deterrent value of the systems we are selling. Criminals know all of this, just as they quickly figured out that they didn't have to be too concerned about CCTV systems. Is it any surprise, then, that many of them ignore the existence of an alarm because they know they can get away before anyone arrives? This is a direct indication of the degrading value of the alarm system network ("network" = the sum total of alarm companies, monitoring companies, systems, responders - police, etc. in the community).

                            The only answer that I can see for this paradox is for the alarm companies to be required to provide the response as well as the alert. Some might think "...or let the police charge for the service", but that is not a feasible alternative. In the first place, the real charge for the actual value of a police response would be VERY high, and in the second place, we can't put the police in the position of operating an alarm response business for a variety of other reasons)

                            If alarm companies had to provide both sides of the alert-response service, I think a couple of things would happen:

                            * Systems sold would mysteriously become more reliable. Most systems would probably begin to incorporate a "dual-activation" sensor system whereby two different types of sensors would have to activate for an alert signal to be raised and there would be a lot of other improvements, both in terms of the systems themselves, installation, signaling, etc. You can bet that alarms would be verified, but in a private response system you can afford to roll the unit(s) while that's in progress. This is vastly different from waiting for verification, notifying a third agency, which then dispatches a unit.

                            * The alarm company would do exactly what many local governments are doing - charging for the response service, and would charge whether the alarm was false or not. They would begin to treat this as a stream of revenue. They might do some usage calculations and offer a monthly plan that covers "x" responses instead of or as an alternative to a per-usage charge.

                            * There is no inherent reason that private response agents cannot be trained/equipped to do the job properly. If the alarm companies perceive a stream of revenue from response services, this will happen.

                            It makes sense, doesn't it, for the entity that receives the benefit of a service to pay for that service? It's my home or business that's being protected, so why should anyone else pay for that? This may impact sales - perhaps at the very low end of the home market - but I'm not sure. In the first place, customers will tend to minimize (in their cost calculations) unknowable costs that they "might" incur in the future. In the second place, the system isn't optional for many customers anyway. They've got to have it.

                            The current situation is simply untenable and it's getting worse. The whole network of alarm systems is being degraded because of decreasing response capability, and something has to be done about it. To my mind, the answer is:

                            * Let the alarm company provide response. In the profit system, this capability can be much more elastic than the capability of public authorities.
                            * If the alarm company wants to charge the system owner for the response, it would certainly make sense to do so, and that would put the cost directly to the party that receives the benefit.

                            ANTICIPATED RESPONSE: The taxpayer is already paying for the police response. Why should he pay another fee for alarm company response?

                            ANSWER: We don't apply this reasoning to EMS, do we? And the premise is false in the first place. The fact is that taxpayers are NOT paying the true costs of the increased alarm response burden that has arisen in recent years. If they were, their taxes would be much higher and the police could then hire sufficient personnel to handle this work. Rather, police budgets have been constrained in the teeth of this increasing burden. We find ourselves now in the situation of a man who is trying to pound 10 pounds of dirt into a 5-pound sack. If the taxpayer wants to pay for the 10-pound sack fine. But try taking that notion to the taxpayer and he'll say "Nope" every time, and we can anticipate this will continue to be his answer. Voters are notoriously loathe to increase their own taxes for a benefit that most of them will not receive.

                            This being the case, the ONLY alternative is for the cost of special services like alarm response that directly benefit a SPECIFIC taxpayer to be borne by the benefiting party. It would be much cheaper for them to pay for private response than if they were to be charged the true cost of police response.

                            There are plenty of other areas in which a taxpayer pays a specific additional charge (in addition to their "taxes") for services. I pay for water according to MY usage. If I put out extra garbage cans, I pay an additional charge per can. If I want to build a house, I will pay permit fees, etc. In some cases, I might have to pay the fire authority to review my plans for code compliance.

                            There's nothing unusual about this, but I think that the private enterprise system would be the much more efficient and cost-effective way to provide alarm response, rather than using the police. You really do NOT need an 800-hour academy-trained police officer to respond to an alarm. I could train perfectly capable alarm response officers in 120 hours - including the weapons training, takedown/handcuffing, and plenty of practical simulation time (search methods, etc.). You don't need people who have been trained in motor vehicle codes, municipal misdemeanor offenses, etc. to respond to alarms and you don't need anything other than the felony arrest authority that security officers would have if the intrusion occurred on a fixed site that they were guarding.
                            Last edited by SecTrainer; 08-27-2011, 09:32 AM.
                            "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                            "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                            "There is nothing new under the sun." - Eccleseastes 1:9

                            "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SecTrainer
                              ... If our thinking is limited by "what is", our industry will never move one centimeter from where we are right now. It's time to get off that dime.
                              Two more OUTSTANDING posts, Trainer.

                              May I suggest you include the quote above in your signature lines?
                              "I'll defend with my life your right to disagree with me" - anonymous

                              Comment

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