Priority response to verified alarms marches on...


I got a call and an email from alarm verification's de facto spokesman, Keith Jentoft, president of RSI Video Technologies yesterday. He wanted to let me know that his priority response crusade is going well. He'd just finished up in Boston and was on his way to Idaho. He'd also spent some time in California. Looks like they're falling with what Keith and other proponents like Sonitrol have said is the priority response value proposition.

The big news appears to be that a lot of the southern part of the state is making official announcements of its backing of the priority response model, in which police grant higher response priority to alarms that are proactively verified by some kind of video or audio.

Here's what Keith had to say about Californina:

Boston has already moved forward on this and I just completed making presentations to the PSAPs in the 4 largest counties in southern California:

- Los Angeles County

- Orange County

- Riverside County

- San Bernardino County

All of them are moving forward with the Priority Response program. We go to every meeting with the larger security companies in the area. For the Southern California meetings we had:

- Stanley


- USA (George Gunning, the owner, is the past president of the ESA)

I've been writing about verified alarms and the priority response movement for a while. Keith wanted let me know he'll be conducting a priority response seminar at ISC West next month on Tuesday April 5 in the morning... Not sure if I can make it since I may be in transit at the time, but I'm certainly going to try.

Here's a little of what Keith sent me on his seminar:

I have been very busy on working with the PSAPs (public safety answering points) also known as the 911 dispatch centers. Here are the details on the seminar that I will be making at ISC West on the topic ...

Tuesday, 04/05/2011: 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM

Priority Response: More Arrests, Efficiency, Safety

Priority Response is being embraced by law enforcement as a painless alternative to non-response that delivers more arrests and greater life safety. Using Priority Response, new generic video alarm systems send video clips of what caused alarm for immediate review. This enables dispatchers to assess priority, using confirmation of the alarm. However, in order to be effective in the dispatch center (PSAPs), a policy upgrade is necessary. This presentation will provide case studies of 3 different alarm technologies that are already working. Attendees will learn the new code used in the dispatch center for video alarms, the email address that Central Stations should use to send video clips to PSAP, and how to make a formal policy announcement to the community.

Learning Objectives:

1.  Understand that Priority Response is vendor neutral

2.  Showcase the ability of Priority Response to improve life safety, increase arrests and provide greater crime deterrence.

3.  Learn how to implement Priority Response in the 911 dispatch center with a simple policy change.

Speaker: Keith Jentoft, President, Videofied - RSI Video Technologies

Instead of the cumbersome and difficult process of implementing alarm ordinances, the PSAP manager can simply make a policy decision to grant higher priority response to video intrusion alarms.

Priority response appears to be really moving forward. I've written before, when I did a story on AD Group's Dedicated Micros, that in the UK, priority response is already the standard... What's your opinion? Do you offer some sort of verified solution?

I also just found out from Keith that he'd been invited to speak at an upcoming APCO event. Security folks don't get invited to these things often--let alone asked to speak. I covered some recognition Vector's Pam Petrow got last year for her extensive work on a computer-aided dispatch system—the External Alarm Interface Exchange Standard—for PSAP to central station data exchange.

Here's what Keith had to say to me in an email last night:

"This just happened yesterday.  I was just invited to speak at the national convention of APCO.  This is the association of all of the PSAPs (911 centers) around the country who actually receive the calls from the central stations and dispatch law enforcement to the alarms.  I don’t think that the alarm industry has ever been invited to speak at an APCO event."

Let me know what your thoughts are on priority response.


Careful what we ask for....
A state Association of Police Chiefs is evaluating options for managing unnecessary alarm response for their membership (consumes 12% of patrol and communication resources). They are trying to understand the short and long term value of the video verification technologies, including the popular RSI "Videofied" products, when applied by local alarm suppliers.

I was asked if these technologies will have real impact on the real problem. My reply had to be NO......because these technologies, like Videofied products, are applied to a few new installations, not the imbedded problem, the mass of existing installed systems (20 million nationwide).

Police associations are pleased that major alarm suppliers like RSI, and some alarm associations, are now promoting Verified Response all across the country (see articles about "priority response crusade"). It will make it easier for municipalities to accept and start-up VR by policy and ordinance.

source: Lee Jones, Support Services Group, 949-361-3300

<p>Videofied is NOT promoting any policy limiting response to traditional alarm systems all across the country as you claim - this is not true. In fact, we oppose ordinances where law enforcement ONLY responds to verified alarms and stops responding to traditional blind alarm systems. Videofied IS promoting the concept of giving higher priority response to alarms that have been confirmed as suspicious activity through a video clip of what caused the alarm - an HOV lane for video alarm response. We do not advocate that law enforcement degrade or penalize their response to traditional alarms because this impacts the safety of the consumer and the community. Priority Response's goal is to make more arrests - and it does. Priority Response avoids the bloody and damaging political battles of non-response ordinances while encouraging consumers and the industry to upgrade alarm infrastructure for more arrests. Priority Response is a policy implemented in the dispatch center, not an ordinance pushed through city council. Priority Response preserves the value of the installed base of alarm systems. Priority Response is a positive message of arrests strengthening relationships between law enforcement/security industry instead of non-response ordinances that weakens life safety in a community. Also, you are also mistaken that Videofied (or similar systems) cannot economically address the millions of systems already installed. Videofied and other suppliers provide &quot;upgrade kits&quot; that can upgrade existing blind systems to video AND cell communications to the central station (providing an upgrade path to cell for systems using traditional telephone lines). Priority Response is a positive message and a win for all the stakeholders: consumers, law enforcement, and the industry. Ordinances limiting response to traditional systems are a net loss to all of these same stakeholders; the focus of needless and bloody political battles that harm both law enforcement and the industry at the expense of life safety for the community.</p>

<p>Hey Keith,</p>
<p>I just wanted to take a moment and point out that I at no point said Videofied is promoting verified response policies. I'm not sure where you saw that written in my blog. If you actually read what I wrote you'll see that I'm saying they're promoting alarms that are verified as a proactive thing the industry can do to be helpful to municipalities. In the process, they're checking in with PDs and PDs are saying &quot;Yeah, of course we'll respond more quickly to an alarm that is verified by video or audio as being a crime in progress.&quot; Videofied IS&nbsp;a video verified alarm solution... there's no getting around that.</p>
<p>I do appreciate your input, however and thank you for reading.</p>
<p>Thank you.</p>

<p>Hey guys,</p>
<p>I realize now that Keith was probably addressing his comment to Lee Jones... It's a tough position to be in. I <a target="_blank" href=" had this debate a while back</a> when Bart Didden from over at USA commented on the priority response issue in a different forum. Videofied is in a position where the solution they sell verifies--if not the absolute certainty of a crime in progress--at least that there is suspicious activity present. Police would be lying if they told you they would not respond more quickly to visual or auditory proof of suspicious activity than to a traditional, blind or deaf solution...</p>
<p>The technology's there.... Video is getting cheaper... I spoke with one security exec (who shall herein remain nameless... I don't want to drag said exec into a debate without permission) a while ago who told me that technology was to such a level and at such a price point that it was really pretty possible to put a camera on every PIR&nbsp;out there... It's just a question of whether or not the industry is prepared to take proactive steps to improve relations with municipalities and provide a more expansive level of protection.</p>