Armed Response Firm Expands by Acquisition

An Armed Response Team officer as seen in one of the company’s local TV commercials. The company dispatches retired, 20-year veteran police officers when burglar alarms go off. (COURTESY of ARMED RESPONSE)

A fast-growing Albuquerque security company that sends veteran police when burglar alarms go off is expanding, for the first time, through acquisition.

Armed Response Team, a venture capital-backed firm that launched in 2004, acquired Select Security Systems last week for an undisclosed price. Select Security, which installs and maintains surveillance cameras and burglar and fire alarms, will merge into Armed Response’s 3,000-square-foot facility near Interstate 25 and Osuna Boulevard, said president Dave Meurer.

“We’re acquiring all of Select Security’s assets and bringing their personnel into our business,” Meurer said. “We’re also looking at expanding our office space.”

The acquisition is expected to grow Armed Response’s customer base by 7 percent to 8 percent. The company currently has “several thousand” residential and commercial clients, up from about 1,000 in 2006, when the firm starting selling its services directly to customers rather than providing retired police personnel through existing security dealers.

“We’ve literally grown every month since we began marketing our services directly to the public,” Meurer said. “We offer something that no other alarm company in Albuquerque offers – an in-person response by 20-year veteran police officers every time an alarm goes off.”

The service allows customers to avoid fees charged by the city when the Albuquerque Police Department repeatedly sends officers to homes and businesses for false alarms, Meurer said. It also provides customers with an immediate response.

About half of Armed Response customers are homeowners, who pay $45.95 a month for the service.

“We provide alarms and monitoring services, and an unlimited number of in-person responses every time an alarm is triggered,” Meurer said.

Select Security will add new, fire-related security to Armed Response.

“We do a lot of fire intrusion and fire systems work, which is something they are just getting into,” said Select Security president Michael Caldwell.

New Mexico Community Capital invested $650,000 in Armed Response Team in 2007. NMCC managing director Michael Schafer said the company has done well despite the down economy, in part because they help communities deal with declining police budgets.
— This article appeared on page B1 of the Albuquerque Journal