If you haven’t already heard, the alarm industry is in transition: a steam roller of change whether we like it or not. We have spent the year watching Google spend $4 billion on Nest and Dropcam as they attempt to hijack the home automation market. Apple’s new iOS comes preloaded with a home automation app that builds on Z-Wave Alliance open architecture product lines.
For both these giants, “security” is only a bolt-on service to check among their list of lifestyle convenience features, a watered down security offering and a free app. If we look the other direction, there’s a new wave of “Do It Yourselfers” hitting the market with inexpensive, easy-to-install systems that are actually monitored by the same top-tier, UL-listed central stations that we use at half or a third of the price of a traditional alarm system.
Do It Yourself or “DIY” is exploding with the arrival of Google and Apple in the connected home scene. In 2014, Google invested nearly 10 times the RMR of the entire SDM 100 — $4 billion for the acquisition of three companies, Nest, Dropcam, and Revolv — just to enter the game and promote Monitor It Yourself or “MIY” for consumers who don’t need or want a central station. Google sells “deterrence” as a security feature that bolts on to its Next and Dropcam suite of services.
This is “Alarmageddon,” a frontal assault discarding the central station from the alarm industry business model. MIY represents a unique threat, where the younger demographic concerned about personal security is willing to do it on their own with the help of new technology.
Security Sales & Integration – Coral Gables Launches Quick Response Burglary Prevention Program – Coral Gables police claim enhanced call verification (ECV) created an artificial delay in officer response times to residential burglaries.
“The city of Coral Gables has approved the “Quick Response Burglary Prevention Program” in an effort to increase police response times to residential burglaries.
Passed Sept. 23, the new program allows city residents to authorize their alarm company to immediately contact the Coral Gables Police Department for dispatch if the homeowner does not answer on the security firm’s first try, Miami Herald reports.
Prior to the new ordinance, alarm companies were required to contact the homeowner, then up to two other numbers provided to reach the alarm user, and then police.
City officials were prompted to change the ordinance after residents complained about burglaries this summer. Police said that enhanced call verification (ECV) created an artificial delay in officer response times to residential intrusion incidents, thus hindering the catching of criminals.“
“What is a verified alarm? It depends who is asked. From the law enforcement perspective, many police chiefs and sheriffs define a “verified alarm” as a crime-in-progress deserving priority response, and this view is becoming increasingly important.
In fact, the cover story in the June issue of FBI National Academy Associate magazine promotes video verified alarms as a force multiplier for fighting crime. The new best practices created by the Partnership for Priority Video Alarm Response (PPVAR) are being embraced by the National Academy, which trains the best and brightest of our nation’s law enforcement (sheriffs and police) who then bring these best practices back to their local jurisdictions.
In contrast, for many in the alarm industry a verified alarm simply prevents a needless dispatch to a false alarm. The term verified alarm generates confusion between these groups because of what they actually seek to verify — a crime or a false alarm. The same term is used in two different ways; sometimes broadly referring to false alarm reduction and sometimes narrowly referring to validating a crime-in-progress.”
“Law enforcement is taking an increasingly active role in shaping video verification alarm policies. Testament to this are the best practices recently completed by the Partnership for Priority Video Alarm Response, which made law enforcement feedback a defining feature of the process. While verified alarm proponents tout the technology’s ability to foil criminals and reduce false alarms, one police chief closely involved with that process warns that if jurisdictions do not follow best practices, the benefits of video verification may not be maximized.”
Cover Article – “Many believe that video has impacted law enforcement’s ability to fight crime more than any other innovation in the past generation; the ultimate ‘force multiplier.’ CCTV cameras are now crucial in protecting public property with thousands of cameras watching over traffic intersections, stadiums, critical infrastructure and public buildings. This same video revolution is changing the burglar alarms as affordable video alarm systems move the ‘force multiplier’ concept beyond public infrastructure and out into local homes and businesses; giving eyes to the millions of wireless sensors already monitored by the alarm companies.”
“The verified response heightens the call priority and generally decreases law enforcement’s response time. [A] call that would otherwise have a response time of more than 30 minutes is reduced to fewer than 10 with the verified response.”
“In December 2013, the city of Akron, Ohio made the decision to implement new protocols that emphasized the adoption of verified alarms in regard to dispatching police to the properties of possible intrusions. Akron police officials indicated that the change in policy was in direct correlation with the estimated 10,000 alarm calls they had received in the previous year and the tens of thousands of alarm calls they received in the years prior.”
“Declining budgets are forcing sheriffs and police departments to adopt technology as a “force multiplier” in their battle against crime. Affordable technology, not more officers, is the answer; in fact, over the past three decades video has become law enforcement’s single most important technology tool for fighting crime and millions of cameras have been installed to improve community safety.”
Sheriffs are taking a proactive role in driving alarm technology to make more arrests with the Partnership for Priority Video Alarm Response (PPVAR). This public/private has brought together law enforcement, the alarm industry and the insurers to create new alarm standards and best practices to maximize the value of video alarms as a “force multiplier” in the battle against property crime.
If you weren’t able to make it to our event at ISC West this year you can still hear from all the presenters that spoke on the benefits of video-verified alarms and priority response from a wide range of perspectives: law enforcement, insurance/risk, legal, financial, and the security industry.
Michigan Police Chiefs joins PPVAR
The Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP) has joined PPVAR and is participating in the Video Verification Committee to create new standards for video-verified alarms.
“Partnership for Priority Video Alarm Response (PPVAR) hosted a two-part panel session on Wednesday to delve into the benefits and value of video verified alarms… The sheer number of participants in the dual panels underscored the varied assemblage of groups deeply engaged in the video verification conversation.”
“In practice, 90 percent or more of burglar alarms are false, and studies have estimated the related arrest rate at about 0.02 percent. No wonder law enforcement responds as a low priority, if at all. In contrast, a video-verified security alarm provides the virtual equivalent of an eye-witness to a crime in progress, and responding to video alarms yields arrest rates in the double digits – 20 percent or higher. That’s a thousand times higher than non-video alarms.”
“It’s likely that a new comprehensive verification standard will surface sometime in 2014. The Central Station Alarm Association is in the process of developing such a standard for all manner of verified alarms, and the Partnership for Priority Video Alarm Response, since its inception, has been gathering best practices toward that end.”
Alarm Committee Report submitted by Grand Prairie PD Chief Steve Dye, promoting the value of PPVAR video verification standards.
“More than three-quarters of respondents to an SSN News Poll survey believe written video verification standards are necessary… A core value of the technology, as champions of video verification will tell you, is its ability to increase apprehensions by making alarms a priority response to law enforcement, thereby reducing response time.”
With the goal of having a set of video verification standards in place by June 2014, a group of law enforcement and alarm industry representatives gathered for the first time to hash out the best-practices for video alarm response.
Security, law enforcement, and insurance stakeholders discuss why video verification is critical to the industry’s future — and how it can bring all the different groups together.
Which of the following security technologies gained the most traction in 2013?
Video verification is critical to the industry’s future — and determining the best way to utilize it and create best practices will involve all the different stakeholders, including security industry, law enforcement, the insurance industry and end users.
How the alarm system can reduce property crime, improve public and officer safety, and lower insurance premiums
Technology advances and crumbling costs are helping video verified alarms penetrate the security marketplace. Thanks to benefits that include better security and likelihood of apprehensions, as well as false alarm reduction, customers, law enforcement and insurers have taken notice. It all adds up to more recurring revenue.
“While the classic “blind burglar alarm” continues to exist, the new monitored video alarm is transforming the alarm industry,”
“The Partnership for Priority Video Alarm Response (PPVAR) has formed a new committee to develop video verification best practices between central stations and public safety answering points (PSAPs).”
“Arrest rates have gone up, probably more than 50 percent, as a result, Johnson said. “Police respond a lot quicker when the monitoring center calls them and can say, ‘We see them in the yard.'””
Honeywell Joins PPVAR
Poll: Reducing false alarm dispatches
In a recent security industry poll conducted by Security Sales & Integration, 66% of respondents chose video verification as the best way to reduce false alarm dispatches to law enforcement.