CSAA Kicks Off CSAA/Verisk Data Exchange Project

The CSAA (Central Station Alarm Association) Board of Directors formally approved the CSAA/Verisk Data Exchange Project at its October 11 annual meeting in Sonoma, CA.

The project goal is to study the impact of professionally monitored alarm systems on insurance risk. This will be accomplished by combining CSAA member alarm system data with Verisk’s proprietary insurance data. Insights from this study could be used in filings for updated discounts with insurance department regulators. This project will also assess the relevancy and value of alarm system data in the insurance underwriting, pricing and claims handling process.

Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) is a leading data analytics provider serving customers in insurance, energy, healthcare, financial services, government, and risk management.

CSAA president Pam Petrow, president/CEO of Vector Security, related that “this project is the most important collaboration between the alarm industry and the insurance industry in a generation. Working together with Verisk will quantify the value of security solutions to reduce risk and give the insurers a reason to offer their policy holders incentives for professionally monitored alarm systems.”

Anthony Canale, vice president of Verisk Crime Analytics, added, “We’re excited to work with CSAA and use alarm system data to create risk models for our insurance stakeholders to help them quantify risk, reduce losses and improve their customers’ experience.”

Jay Hauhn, the executive director of the CSAA, stated that the CSAA/Verisk Exchange Committee (CVEC) will drive this data collection and analysis project and include several subcommittees.

Keith Jentoft, president of Videofied and a strong advocate of insurance/security alliances, has been appointed to chair the CVEC and is working with CSAA members to organize the committees and define project milestones. Don Young, COO of Protection 1, has been appointed as the board liaison giving the CSAA Board oversight and direction to the CVEC.


LMCC Asks FCC to Crack Down on Licensees that Failed to Narrowband or Forgot to Modify Their License

Reported by CSAA Counsel John Prendergast of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast.

On October 30, the Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) circulated a letter to be filed with the FCC concerning the continuing failure of some licensees to modify their licenses in accordance with the narrowbanding requirements. The letter states in part:

During the FCC panel at the 2015 annual LMCC meeting, the FCC specifically clarified that, pursuant to that rule, FACs [frequency coordinators] could ignore systems still licensed exclusively for non-compliant wideband channels when processing applications seeking FB8 frequencies, provided the incumbent did not meet the efficiency equivalency standard or have a waiver extended its time to narrowband . . . It is our understanding that such a wideband-only license is not an affected licensee under § 90.187(d)(1)(ii)(D), has no spectrum rights, and would be obligated to vacate the channel in order to address the interference it might receive and/or cause. The LMCC hereby requests FCC confirmation of this interpretation of that rule.

The above request does not seem unreasonable, and reflects growing frustration among coordinators that must try to coordinate new stations in the face of non-compliant licensees still showing up in the ULS database.  The next ask, however, may create problems for otherwise compliant licensees, who installed narrowband equipment and added the narrowband emission designator to their license, but left the wideband designator on as well (perhaps because they were not sure of the date on which the narrowband equipment would be in place).  LMCC also asks the Commission to eliminate the ULS tool developed by the FCC to facilitate the removal of non-compliant emission designators from licenses that also reflect compliant narrowband emissions prior to license renewal.  LMCC argues that if a licensee has both the wide band and narrowband designator on the license, it cannot remove the wideband designator, and renew the license, without prior frequency coordination.  While there may be some justification for this demand, it means that any straggler licensees that have narrowbanded but not removed the old wideband designator from their license should do so right away, before the FCC forces them to go through full blown frequency coordination to do so.

Stanley Security Implements ASAP®

“Automated Secure Alarm Protocol” is Spreading Nationwide

Stanley Security, one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive security providers, went live with ASAP® in the city of Richmond, VA on October 22.

“We understand that this program is an important step forward for both our industry and for law enforcement, and we are proud to be part of this transformational process in public safety,” said Steve Walker, Vice President of Customer Service for Stanley. “The electronic communication of alarm information will reduce dispatch times, improve the accuracy of data exchanged between the monitoring center and the PSAP and, most importantly, will create the opportunity for law enforcement to respond more quickly to alarms.”

ASAP-Concept1D“The addition of Stanley is a big step in the advancement of ASAP,” said CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn. “The growth of the program this year has been tremendous. With the numbers of ASAP-active alarm companies and interested PSAPs, I believe we have reached the point where we will see widespread deployment in 2016.”

“We have appreciated the capable support of Bill Hobgood (Project Manager, Public Safety Team Department of Information Technology City of Richmond, VA) in helping us to navigate through the procedural challenges of implementing the ASAP-to-PSAP program,” continued Walker. “We have also appreciated the support of our partners at IBS in adapting the SBN monitoring automation platform to successfully leverage the ASAP-to-PSAP communications.”

Looking ahead, Walker commented, “We’re moving forward to expand our ASAP implementation at Stanley to include the other PSAPs in the DC area and have set our sights on going live in Houston in early 2016.”

ASAP was launched in 2011 as a public-private partnership, designed to increase the efficiency and reliability of emergency electronic signals from central station alarm companies to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). ASAP utilizes ANSI standard protocols developed cooperatively by the Association of Public Communications Officials (APCO) and the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA).

With ASAP, critical life safety signals and accurate information is processed more quickly, through the Nlets system of state-to-state PSAP communication, insuring that complete and accurate information is transmitted to the PSAP every time. The ASAP program has the potential to save PSAPs and emergency services millions of dollars.


For more information on ASAP or to access ASAP resources (videos, webinars, training and outreach materials), contact CSAA at asap@csaaintl.org or 703-242-4670, or visit csaaintl.org/asap.


CSAA’s Hauhn to Moderate Panel at Cloud+

CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn will moderate a panel at “Cloud+”, the security industry’s first conference dedicated to all things cloud on December 7-8 in Silicon Valley at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City, CA.

CSAA members can register for a special rate. Click here  to register and enter CSAA15 promotional code to get the CSAA discount.

Cloud is the new frontier in physical security, and Cloud+ is the only event where security dealers, integrators, monitoring companies and other security professional can delve into how cloud technology is now reshaping the security industry, what the potential is for the future and how cloud will affect companies’ bottom lines. Cloud+ is the only place to see physical security cloud technology in one room: The conference exhibit hall will be focused solely on cloud-based technology.

Click here to see the educational program, which will explore ROI, business models and technology. It also includes an educational session on central stations in the cloud. It will feature frank discussions, spirited debates and speakers who are among the industry’s most knowledgeable and well-respected cloud experts. Jay Hauhn will moderate “The Central Station Transformed” with panelists Cliff Dice, President and CEO, Dice; Hank Goldberg, Vice President, Secure Global Solutions (SGS); and Jens Kolind, President and CEO, Innovative Business Software (IBS).

CSAA “Fall Ops” Attendees Get an ASAP Close-Up at Safeguard

ASAP-Concept1DOn November 8, CSAA Fall Operations Management Seminar attendees were invited on a tour of Safeguard Security, a CSAA Five Diamond-certified, ASAP-active central station, in Scottsdale, AZ. There they got a first-hand demonstration of the features of ASAP. Fall Ops 4

“We are proud to have been asked to host the Fall Ops Central Station tour,” said Paul Sargenti, President and CEO of SAFE Security. “It gave us the opportunity showcase our facility, technology and programs that we believe should be the industry standard of how we may best serve our customers.”

“Mark Demler, Scott Thompson, Josh Jalowiec, and Melinda VanEpps were at the top of their form showcasing our new Scottsdale Central Station,” continued Sargenti. “Robin Bisbing’s demonstrations of the life-saving and efficiency features of the ASAP interface sent a strong message to all that this is a critically beneficial technology to be employed in all PSAPs and Central Stations. It has been very gratifying to hear the positive buzz from the attendees on these events as well as the follow-on sessions. It is our sincere hope that this event and the technology demonstrations and discussions associated with it will prove to be a point of departure for PSAPs and Central Stations to get on board with ASAP.”

CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn, right, presents a thank you gift to Safeguard's Mark Demler.

CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn, right, presents a thank you gift to Safeguard Vice President Mark Demler.

Find out more about ASAP.

Photos by Julie Webber and Becky Lane.

ASAP® Network Widens with Addition of CMS

Implementation of the “Automated Secure Alarm Protocol” is Building Nationwide

ASAP-Concept1DCriticom Monitoring Services (CMS), one of the largest wholesale alarm monitoring companies in the United States, went live with ASAP® in the city of Richmond, VA on October 21. “Awareness of ASAP’s very real benefits to PSAPs is spreading,” said Jay Hauhn, executive director of CSAA. “The program gathers momentum with each prestigious national monitoring company that comes on board. Having CMS go live is a big step in the process of implementing this service around the nation.”

“CMS is now live with its ASAP-to-PSAP adoption,” commented Tony Wilson, President, CMS. “Our hope is that the ASAP program will increase the speed and accuracy of our dispatches.” CMS serves more than 3,500 alarm companies and their 800,000 customers. Their broad range of monitoring services includes response to security, fire, Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS), environmental and interactive services such as two-way voice and remote video.

“It took about a year to launch the ASAP program,” continued Wilson. “We did this intentionally so that we could minimize the impact to our dealers. ASAP-to-PSAP is currently implemented for our 21 dealers located in the city of Richmond, VA; this affects approximately 500 subscriber accounts. Our Richmond contact, Bill Hobgood, was an excellent resource and helped to make this project easier. Our operators are excited for this new technology to communicate dispatches electronically and can’t wait for more and more PSAPs to follow suit. Over the next few weeks we will begin working on expanding our ASAP implementation to include our dealers located in Henrico County, VA and Washington, DC.”

Read the complete announcement at CSAA News.