Senator Roy Blunt Addresses AICC Quarterly Meeting

Attendees of the Alarm Industry Communications Committee’s quarterly meeting on September 17 in Washington, DC, had the opportunity to sit down with Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) for a wide-ranging discussion of some of the most pressing issues facing both the alarm industry and the country.

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(From left) AICC Chair Louis T. Fiore; CSAA/AICC member Terry Shelton, DMP, Springfield, MO; Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO); CSAA/AICC member Al Yarbrough, DMP, Springfield, MO

Senator Blunt stressed the importance of security, both at the individual and the national level. His positions on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence put the Senator in a unique position to be aware of both the threats to security that the American public faces and the technologies and systems that are being developed to limit those threats. He described his work on the Select Committee on Intelligence in one word – “scary” – and emphasized that the alarm industry’s role in the security and emergency response network continues to be essential in the face of the many evolving threats the country faces.

Senator Blunt also discussed his “many and long” personal connections to the alarm industry, noting that his predecessor as the Representative from Missouri’s Seventh District, Mel Hancock, had been a significant player in the alarm business. “Telecommunications issues are issues that I’ve been interested in and concerned about for a long time,” he told the group.

Also front and center during the conversation were federal overreach and excessive regulation. Senator Blunt expressed his view that, “[federal] regulators are out of control,” and have recently imposed onerous burdens on industries across the country, including the alarm industry. The Senator shared his belief that regulations such as the FCC’s February decision on Net Neutrality would never happen if they were subject to Congressional approval: “Nobody would want to go home and explain these things [to their constituents].”

Senator Blunt expressed hope for the future, and the next administration, however: “We’re in a place in our economy where lots of good things logically should happen…the only way to lose here is if we deal ourselves out.”

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–Thanks to Lauren Baumgartner, the Carmen Group, for this report. Photos by Elizabeth Lasko, CSAA.

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CSAA Remembers Jerry O’Brien

CSAA is saddened by the news that former AICC Chair Jerry O’Brien died August 30 from a heart attack while in Tampa, Florida.

“I assumed the role of chair of AICC from Jerry some 21 years ago,” said current AICC chair, and past CSAA president Lou Fiore. “He was a communications expert and worked in the alarm side as well as the communications side of technology. Jerry was a friend to many of us and will be missed.”

Jerry had a unique knowledge of telephone company tariffs and interconnection policies which affected the alarm industry and used his knowledge not only to benefit the company for which he worked in California, but the industry at large when he was later Chairman of AICC. Jerry was recognized for his extensive knowledge of private line tariffs, largely self-educated on the subject, and indeed, was acknowledged to have mastered that subject matter better than one of the major carriers whose tariff Jerry had challenged.  Subsequently, Jerry used his subject matter expertise to assist a start-up wireless company which later became a major wireless carrier in its own right and today constitutes  a core network component of T-Mobile.

He was also an Air Force combat veteran, having flown F-4 Phantom jets in the Vietnam conflict.

“Jerry was a good friend of mine,” said past CSAA president Bob Bitton. “Not only did he contribute greatly to the alarm industry with his extensive telecommunications expertise, but he lent that skill to my company when we were constructing our new building, and then recommended us to a new startup cellular telephone company that eventually went nationwide and took us with them.”

“Jerry saw the transition to digital as a communications medium many years before its eventual takeover,” said Fiore.

Jerry had many friends in the alarm industry and the wireless industry and is remembered, no doubt, by all of them.

Elizabeth Lasko, CSAA, September 15, 2015.  Many thanks to Ben Dickens for contributing to this article.

Hotel Block is Sold Out at CSAA Annual Meeting

Sonoma LabelDemand for the unique education and networking opportunities at the CSAA 2015 Annual Meeting is so high that more than a month in advance, our hotel block at the Fairmont Mission Inn & Spa is completely sold out.

If you haven’t already registered for the meeting, please make sure to confirm alternative accommodations before registering. If you have questions, contact meetings@csaaintl.org.