'Alarm industry technology is so outdated and sloppy'

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12/21/2009
I was reading through my Google Alerts this morning and came across a story from NorthJersey.com about the false alarm ordinance in Englewood, N.J. There are some interesting points addressed in the story. One resident complains that just because there is no damage to her window or door, does not mean someone didn't try to break in. That's true. The same resident also said that every time she attempted to take the educational, online alarm course offered by her municipality at the police department website, the site was down. This problem continued, she said, until the the full fine she could have avoided through taking the course was finally levied. I think it's probably normal as an end user to get angry with the police for not showing up at your property after you've had too many "false" alarms. I think it's probably also pretty normal to get angry with your town or city when they bill you for excessive "falses." Industry attorney Ken Kirschenbaum, Esq of Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC recently pointed in his industry-related email newsletter to an online essay on what he thinks of the false alarm problem. Some interesting thoughts there. What really caught my eye, however, was the comment on the story. A comment from someone calling him/herself (probably the former, though it's hard to tell when people use aliases online...) Popeye points out the truth that the alarm industry is a private industry, and not a division of publicly-funded law enforcement. Popeye warns people to blame their alarm companies and not the police. I really liked where he said:
don't blame the cops, blame your alarm suppliers. Remember, alarm systems are private contracts for private service from a private firm. Police are not part of the contract. Nearly all calls for help from alarm monitoring firms simply mean they want help to complete their monitoring process with a free site inspection to determine IF it is an emergency, not because of an emergency. Said differently, the alarm industry technology is so outdated and sloppy that nearly all site inspections (police response) are unnecessary.
Just more proof the industry needs to be proactive in working with municipalities and law enforcement agencies, and support associations like SIAC and FARA in order to assure it's not perceived as a nuisance.