SIAC spins off from AIREF, will continue CARE program

Thursday, January 2, 2003

January 2, 2003

VIENNA, Va. - Seeking a new vehicle for the Coordinated Alarm Reduction Effort (CARE) program and a way to engage in legislative lobbying, the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation (AIREF) has formed a separate entity which will be known as the Security Industry Alarm Coalition, Inc. (SIAC).

The one major change is that SIAC will now be able to engage in legislative lobbying, something it was unable to do under AIERF, a non-profit foundation that is banned by law from lobbying.

According to Stan Martin, SIAC executive director, SIAC will now have the ability to lobby on behalf of legislation it supports. Under AIERF, the group’s arms were tied when it came to lobbying.

“There are times when we would want to be able to be more proactive in helping a state get an ordinance passed,” Martin said. “We felt uncomfortable as we approached that line with AIERF.”

Martin did not specify any specific lobbying plans that SIAC is currently considering.

The educational mission of the CARE program will remain the same. “Our focus is still educational,” said Martin. “The primary focus is to work with law enforcement in alarm management reduction.”

“(The program is designed to) enhance police and dealer relationships,” continues Martin.

“The program really hasn’t changed, we’ve just changed the parent corporation to allow us more flexibility,” Martin said.

The SIAC board will be made up of nine members, a chairman and two members each from the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association, the Security Industry Association (SIA), the Central Station Alarm Association, and the Canadian Alarm and Security Association.

Leo Guthart, former vice president of Pittway Corp., has been nominated by the board to serve as chairman.

All four organizations deserve to be praised for their commitment to the new organization, said Martin.

“It’s a milestone, I think in the history of the industry that four organizations would agree (to participate in a program such as this).”

One of SIAC’s goals for 2003 is to find new sources of long-term funding from sources other than ADT, Ademco/Honeywell, Brinks, and SIA, which are currently funding the program.

SIAC is looking for additional funding sources not because of any problem with the current funding structure; the group is simply seeking a way to more fairly distribute the burden throughout the industry.

“Only in fairness to them (the current funding group), they’re major players in the industry…but the fact is we’ve got tens of thousands of dealers out there, everybody should be chipping in.”

“Our goal is to find another funding mechanism by the end (of 2003),” Martin said.

“We’re exploring all sorts of possibilities,” said Martin, adding that SIAC has not formulated a plan to secure other funding sources. “We really need to look at some other options that will allow for better support from a broader base of security dealers across the country.”