In thinking about GUARD RESPONSE as the end all answer to false alarms we have a conundrum here.
1-    Do I send and untrained and unarmed "Guard" to respond to an alarm and make sure a crime is in progress before dispatch?
    Panic alarm?
    Hold up alarm?
    Duress alarm?
All three above are potential hostage situations. While I am not happy that the police may take an hour to respond, is that better than an untrained individual without the power of arrest being the first on the scene?
Here in the northeast the average cost of guard response is $75.00 per week and $50 per call. Not an expense that I would want to pick up unless my client is paying an exorbitant amount for monitoring.  Clients are not pleased with those type of expenses either.
Rather than say one size fits all we must agree that a combination of means can lead to the BEST solution. For now we have:
    Cross zoning
    2 way voice (Siren is muted and operator asks for pass code over the siren speaker if activity is heard)
    ON SITE guard service.
2    Armed TRAINED guard response.
    This is a service that the business owner should contract for with a licensed agency.
    The question being one of liability if the guard were to injure someone while responding.
    You should make sure that your contract and insurance coverage address this. (((Call KEN....)))
3    In most states those that RESPOND to alarms must be licensed and trained as SECURITY GUARDS. Depending on the level of training and pay you would not want some of these people responding to your event.
4    Last, in some case we have had the guard response service only has 2 cars on the road in 25 square miles. The guard may not arrive for 20-40 minutes depending on his/her level of involvement in other alarm events.
We cannot direct how the police respond to alarms but by making sure that false dispatches are seriously reduced, those alarms that do not have a reputation as false alarm regulars get a little higher respect from authorities.
Joel Kent (FBN)
Lt (RET)
Windsor Ct Police
    Guard response is one of the options, separately itemized and separately charged, on the All in One forms - Residential and Commercial.  Just be sure you can provide the service and know how to charge for it.  Typically guard response is provided by a third party which dealers subcontract out to.  The central station should be able to help, though most don't provide the guards.  Some exceptions, such as some central stations in NYC who provide their own guards.
    Subscribers need to understand the limits of guard response.  It is intended to assist police if they ask for it; it's not intended as private police force.  Guards are not paid enough to risk their lives at a crime scene.  Some would argue neither are the cops, but they have different training and responsibilities and usually more resources.  The Standard  All in One forms cover guard response, define the duties, obligations and scope of that service.  Neither dealers or guard response companies should provide this service without a well written agreement.  
False alarms and take over opportunities
    I find it interesting that certain areas of the country and certain companies seem to have more false alarm issues than others. Our firm does a fair amount of business each year taking over alarm systems from other companies that have gone out of business or simply can't resolve a false alarm issue.  I continually find end of line resistors inside alarm controls, undersized standby batteries, PIR detectors looking out windows, poor maintenance and owners that were not properly instructed in the system use, to name a few.
    CT, a license required state with an apprentice program, also has a strong alarm association that continually schedules NTS and other training programs.  As an NTS and State Instructor for over 20 years I find the owners of many companies have the technical ability but, are reluctant to invest such training in their employees. To prove my point, at a past  association meeting we had drawing for a 50/50 cash award or a three day NTS level one class for his employee. A company owner took the cash. The company would have profited many times over what he received with a better trained employee.
    Apparently many companies with hold training for fear they are training someone who will become their competitor. Talk about a great business plan.
John W. Yusza, Jr
    Connecticut does indeed have a well organized professional alarm associations.  All companies in CT should be members and participate.  Join here: http://www.casiact.org/
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