Securitas takes timeshare nationwide

Shared dispatch service also helps avoid false alarm fines
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Monday, September 1, 2003

CHICAGO - Securitas Security Services has beefed up the ranks of its timeshare dispatch officers to deliver the service nationwide as a means of lightening the financial load on its customers.

The officers, most of whom have experience with police departments or in the military, are available in roughly all areas where Securitas has an office, said Craig Smith, Securitas president, Rocky Mountain region.

Timesharing allows a number of customers to share the cost of an officer, rather than be forced to pick up the tab themselves. One area where Smith said the service has been helpful is in dispatching officers to investigate alarms.

“Rather than notify the police, one of our timeshare officers will go out there and check the site to verify whether the police should be called in,” Smith said.

By dispatching an officer

to the scene, Securitas goes

the extra mile in saving customers money in areas where false alarm ordinances have been put into place.

“I’ve heard anywhere from $50 to $100 for those fines,” he said. “We charge a lot less than that.”

Smith declined to say exactly how much the company charges for dispatching an officer.

The program is not new, but the company’s push to promote it has taken on a life of its own in recent months.

“It’s actually been around for a while, kind of as a sideline, but it’s only recently that we’ve made it into a core offering.” One of the reasons the program has received such a positive response lately is because customers are so sensitive to price, he said.

“With rising costs, customers can’t afford to hire an officer on their own, so they like knowing that there is an alternative out there that will make sure someone is keeping an eye out for them,” he said.

The timeshare program is based on a similar program that has been successful for Securitas in Europe. According to Smith, the service has grown to be one of the company’s most popular offerings.

“We’re hoping it takes off as well here in the United States,” he said.