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April 21, 2011

Vector Security False Alarm Reduction -- Permit Compliance Coordinator Named

                     2011 FARA Associate Member of the Year

Recognized for her outstanding contributions in the effort to reduce false alarms, Vector Security's False Alarm Reduction -- Permit Compliance Coordinator, Kristina Walker, added "2011 FARA Associate Member of the Year" to her growing portfolio of achievements. Ms. Walker received the W. Rex Bell Associate Member of the Year award at the False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA) annual symposium held in San Antonio, TX, April 4-7th, 2011.

Gerry Miller, President of FARA, comments that "Ms. Walker’s award demonstrates her commitment to attacking the false alarm problem head on." The W. Rex Bell Associate Member award is one of the highest honors given to deserving individuals who demonstrate a significant commitment and contribute the most to their department or company, the community at large and FARA. "Not only has Kristina worked hard to bring many FARA projects to fruition, but she also helped to reduce false alarms by 52% at her own company's National Accounts Division."

The person for whom the award is named, W. Russell Bell, has even more to say about its value and symbolism. "The reason why Vector Security is one of the most highly respected alarm companies in America is because they truly place protection first and foremost in their business philosophy. Their customers are properly protected and instructed on how to use their alarms." Bell has been the false alarm reduction coordinator for the city of Huntsville, Alabama since 1997. "When I first arrived here, we had about 5,500 registered alarms and over 1,350 dispatches to alarms per month. Today, we have over 25,000 registered alarms and average only 310 dispatches per month." His program has reduced false alarm responses by over 70% while the number of homes and businesses using alarms has grown by five times in only thirteen years.

Ms. Walker manages Vector's false alarm reduction and permit compliance program for its National Accounts Division. She works diligently to ensure that Vector's national retail customers maintain the lowest possible false alarm rates, while remaining compliant with the ever-growing list of alarm management regulations currently on the books in a high number of cities, towns and boroughs across America. "False alarm reduction has been etched in my mind since I joined Vector," says Walker. "Our false alarm reduction program, which was championed in 2003 by our former president, John A. Murphy, has received national acclaim. When no one was talking about the short-and long-term impact of uncontrolled false alarms, we were out there preaching to our customers about the need to reduce them." Today, Walker is helping carry the false alarm torch which was first lit by Murphy and then passed on to Patricia Killian, who managed the program from its initial inception. Killian was the first to receive the FARA Associate Member of the Year award in 2006 and comments that, "2006 was a banner year for us. Not only did I receive the FARA award, but Vector was fortunate to follow up with winning the first Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) award and finally the Central Station of the Year award from the Central Station Alarm Association.

Vector's involvement didn't stop there. Following FARA, Pamela J. Petrow, Vector Security's current president and CEO, began working with the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International (APCO) in a program to improve the level, accuracy and timeliness of alarm dispatching information from private central stations to national 911 centers. Ms. Petrow and Vector's Central Station Administration and ISG departments worked to help produce the first American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard for Alarm Monitoring to PSAP -- CAD External Alarm Interface Exchange program. In fact, Petrow was honored by APCO as the 2009 recipient of APCO's President's Award. "We're indeed honored to see that a growing number of Vector people are carrying the false alarm reduction torch," says Petrow. "Kristina, however, has shown exceptional assertion and motivation in continuing the commitment."

When Walker accepted the appointment to FARA, she had two specific goals; to increase membership from police departments and to expand FARA's reach into reducing false alarms from fire alarm systems. She is the co-chairperson of FARA's Membership Committee along with helping develop FARA's Fire Committee with another Vector staff member, Michael Mahoney, who co-chairs FARA's Fire Committee and handles fire engineering at Vector's National Accounts Division. Walker has also conducted false alarm reduction seminars for her staff, featuring police departments based in Maryland and Virginia. Commenting that, "false fire alarms impact public safety departments in an equally significant manner; especially when communities are served by volunteer departments."

Walker's new goal is to help FARA develop new policies and procedures designed to reduce them.

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