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Historic moment for security …

Historic moment for security …

Historic moment for security …

Names of individuals left to right in the photo with Governor Kemp: Dan Gordon, President, Gordon Security Systems, Inc., Doug Bassett, Executive Director, Licensing and Compliance, XFINITY Home, COMCAST, Becky Busby-Maiello, Co-Owner, VP Sales, SDI. (Systems Distributors, Inc.), Stan Martin, Executive Director, SIAC (Security Industry Alarm Coalition), John Loud, President, LOUD Security Systems, Inc., and Vice Chairman, ESA (Electronic Security Association), Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp, Joseph Gullett, Georgia House of Representatives District 19, Micah Gravly, Georgia House of Representatives District 67, and Randy Robertson, Georgia Senate District 29.

One of the first security professionals I interviewed when I started at Security Systems News just more than five years ago was John Loud, president of LOUD Security Systems, who took the time to tell a newbie some things about the industry. 

He told me about the big issue, of course, false alarms, and in the following years about the battle not just to minimize them, but to help state and local governments and municipalities understand the intricacies of the issue, so the proper steps can be taken to mitigate an ongoing issue that saps the resources of police and other first responders.

Georgia, the state where John’s company does the majority of its business, has been at the heart of a hotly contested alarm ordinance for years, which has unfairly fined the alarm companies for false alarms that these same security companies are fighting so hard to eliminate.

I also had the good fortune to sit down with Stan Martin, Executive Director of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), two years ago for a video interview on the Media Stage at ESX 2019, the Electronic Security Association (ESA) annual security conference. Martin, who has also been at the forefront in the effort to battle these types of false alarm ordinances on dealers, outlined the plan to win the fight against this type of legislation gaining traction.

So, to say I am a little proud of the work John, Stan and others in the industry have done is an understatement, as it became official this week with Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp signing a bill that bans counties or municipal corporations from fining alarm companies for false alarms generated by a customer and through no fault of the alarm system’s contractor. Georgia joins a list of states banning fines for alarm companies, as a number of other states have passed bills similar to the Georgia bill in recent years, including California, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Tennessee and Iowa.

“We appreciate the support of Governor Kemp and lawmakers in supporting our industry and the millions of citizens and businesses we protect,” said Loud, who in addition to being the president of LOUD Security Systems is the Vice President of the Electronic Security Association (ESA). “Lawmakers recognized that our industry has worked diligently with law enforcement leaders to develop and implement a Model Alarm Ordinance that significantly reduces the demand on police resources by penalizing individuals or businesses that cause false alarms primarily through user error.”

The introduction of the legislation follows a bitter three-year fight after the City of Sandy Springs passed a punitive ordinance that fined alarm companies. The city’s success in defending the legislation in court caused the legislature to act. Only one other Georgia city, Brookhaven, followed Sandy Springs’ lead.

“The model ordinance, which fines alarm users, obtains an average 60 percent reduction in false dispatches and impacts those causing most of the problems. In fact, 85 percent of alarm systems generate no calls to the police in any given year,” said Martin.

Under the law, companies are responsible for false alarms they cause due to faulty equipment or installation or failure to use a mandated system requiring two calls to an alarm site before notifying police.

“Common sense prevailed,” said Loud. “Our industry stands ready to work with any community that wishes to reduce unnecessary dispatches with a proven model and experts ready to assist.”

Industry comes together – again – and history made! Bravo!


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