Grants fund continuing education for law enforcement

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Thursday, September 1, 2005

ROCKVILLE, Md.--Police officials in Canada and the United States can now receive grant funding for continuing education programs as a result of a partnership between the Security Industry Alarm Coalition and the False Alarm Reduction Association.
The associations joined forces to enable law enforcement professionals to attend FARA's annual conference and new regional workshops that discuss designing and adopting false alarm ordinances to false alarm reduction programs.
The program dates back two years, when SIAC began offering a $5,000 grant to police officers, fire officials and alarm administrators for the purpose of attending FARA's annual conference.
Now, the availability of funds have been expanded to support association efforts to attract interest in a series of regional workshops slated for later this year.
The traveling workshops will visit cities throughout Canada and the United States. FARA plans to organize three workshops per year.
But, it "needs support from state industry associations who might be willing to help sponsor the program in a particular region," explained Brad Shipp, executive director at the association.
Many police officials do not have the department finances to attend a conference on alarm management.
"Since Sept. 11, 2001, budgets for police agencies are tight, they want alarm management training, but the departments can't pay," said Stan Martin, executive director of SIAC.
The associations view the grant as an opportunity to fuse a dialog between law enforcement agencies and the security industry and educate all parties.
Already a handful of police officers throughout the United States and Canada have attended the annual FARA conference.
The alarm training programs will teach attendees the step-by-step process of the various components of issuing an alarm ordinance.
"There are many different things that crop up when creating an ordinance," he said.
"For example, do you charge a fee? Do you have an alarm school? How do you select design software? How do you work with the community?"
Often wariness builds when law enforcement and the security industry discuss false alarm issues.
"There is tension that builds when dealing with false alarms and it is projected that walls might come up," Shipp said.
However, Shipp noted that, in the final analysis, both the alarm industry officials and law enforcement officials care about these alarm management issues.