by Chris Heaton - Vice President of Membership and Chapter Relations
Our member surveys continually reveal a common thread with other trade and member-based associations. When asked about the importance of different programs and services – advocacy is an intrinsic and highly-important benefit.
ESA monitors and interacts with legislators and regulators at all levels of government, but it is often those issues that happen closest to home that can generate the most action and attention. A case in point is the recently passed city ordinance in Sandy Springs, Georgia.
Rather than explore and enact modern and demonstrably proven practices that can significantly reduce false alarm dispatches, the city chose to punish alarm monitoring companies with fines for all false alarms with an ordinance set to go into effect in September.
Despite very professional attempts by members in Georgia and the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) to get the city to understand that this type of ordinance is not only unconstitutional — but that it would likely have no impact on correcting end-user behavior and may very well drive many businesses out of the city — the city proceeded with its plan and passed the ordinance. Imagine a city issuing red light camera tickets to Ford, Chevrolet, Nissan or Toyota, rather than the registered owners of the cars, who actually ran the red lights. As ludicrous as that sounds, it is perfectly analogous to fining alarm companies for end-user errors.
As I write this, ESA, SIAC, the Georgia Electronic Life Safety & Systems Association (GELSSA) and many individual member companies are rallying to combat this ordinance through all available channels, including legal, if necessary.
Similar ordinances are under consideration in Prescott Valley, AZ and Memphis, TN. Attempts at “verified response,” “no response,” and fining alarm companies without regard to end-user culpability are a constant threat to members around the country. But, it is exceedingly difficult to get members in areas that have not (yet) been impacted by such legislation to rally with financial support for SIAC, which has no members and relies completely on the donations of industry partners to advocate and take action on behalf of the industry.
For more, download the the September/October edition of ESA’s print magazine, Security Nation. Security Nation is a glossy magazine publication. This exclusive ESA Member Benefit is mailed 6x per year, including profiles of ESA Members, industry news, association updates, best business practices and more. For more information on becoming an ESA Member, contact Membership@ESAweb.org.
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