Some Good News as We Enter 2024 from SIAC

Some Good News as We Enter 2024 from SIAC
Electronic Security Association — March 1, 2024

One of the major concerns for our industry over the past few years were proposals to defund the police. How they would lead to agencies reducing or even eliminating their responses to electronic security systems. In fact, a few communities attempted to or did decrease police budgets. Public pressure and rising crime rates quickly showed this was the wrong approach. In addition, work by SIAC and our industry has shown law enforcement leaders that alarm calls can be managed so that they do not place a strain on resources.

Recently, ABC News analyzed ninety-one agencies. They found that police funding has increased rather than decreased. ABC Owned Television Stations examined the budgets of more than one hundred cities and counties. They found that 83% are spending at least 2% more on police in 2022 than in 2019.

Police budgets are also increasing because significantly higher pay has been necessary to attract quality candidates to what can be a difficult and dangerous job. The city of Plano, Texas, a Dallas suburban community, is advertising jobs paying more than $100,000 a year.

Public safety agencies are also looking at options to move some calls away from police officers. Instead, they want to dispatch mental health professionals to deal with calls involving the mentally ill. Dr. Rashawn Ray, a sociologist and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told KABC in Los Angeles that he is researching ways to narrow the mission of police. So, they only handle crime and safety. This will allow government resources to be reallocated so problems not requiring police intervention could be handled by others.

“Are there better ways by which to think about calls for service. Whether that be with mental health responses or whether that be with different sort of traffic officers handling those particular issues?” he said.

For 2024 SIAC looks forward to continuing to support the electronic security industry by working with major police organizations. Such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Sheriff’s Association. As well as local organizations and agencies to implement the model alarm ordinance that is proven to dramatically reduce unnecessary calls for service. This effort has reduced the number of agencies reporting problems with false alarms and calls for more restrictive response policies.

SIAC will also continue to promote the TMA AVS-01 standard that provides a standardized method for an alarm scoring or classification metric for unauthorized human activity detected by alarm systems. This will assist law enforcement with resource allocation and Call for Service prioritization, enabling our law enforcement partners redirect resources to higher priority criminal activity.