In Memoriam: TMA Past President Tom Lewin

TMA Past President Thomas Lewin passed away December 13 at the age of 86. Tom was president of the association from 1963-1965. Read more about Tom in his obituary. TMA sends condolences to the Lewin family and will soon publish additional information.

 

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TMA Announces Technology Summit in March 2018

Security Technology Professionals to Discuss Monitoring Center Tech Trends and Issues at the Inaugural TMA Technology Summit in March 2018

The Monitoring Association announced its first “TMA Technology Summit,” to be held March 19-21, 2018 in Salt Lake City, UT. This new event is coordinated by TMA’s Technology Committee, which is co-chaired by Sascha Kylau, Vice President of Sales, Onetel Security and Steve Butkovich, CTO, CPI Security Systems.

“We invite CTOs, CIOs, and IT directors of monitoring companies to participate in the first TMA Tech Summit to learn about and discuss technology issues that directly affect monitoring centers,” said Kylau.

Education is a prime component of TMA’s mission, and the association is well-known for the high-level educational offerings at its Annual Meeting, Electronic Security Expo (ESX), Fall Operations Management Seminar, and online courses. The Technology Summit will address the emerging education needs of security technology professionals. “By attending, these tech pros will learn about the newest technologies — hardware, software and services — to run their central stations securely and efficiently, minimizing downtime and protecting them from internal and external threats,” Kylau continued.

“We also welcome dealers, owners, and interested participants from manufacturing companies,” said Butkovich. “We’ll be talking about all the things that matter when it comes to technology and running and securing an effective business.”

Sessions and topics will include:

  • Intelligent Apps and Analytics
  • MPLS, SD-WAN, Secure VPNs (What are they and what is best for my business)
  • Contact Center 2018 (Speech Recognition for QC, text to speech, AI, and more)
  • Data Storage (New Storage options and best practices for storage and Data Retention)
  • 3G, LTE, FirstNet, 5G and beyond
  • Next Gen Linux Mainframe
  • CyberSecurity (Gap & Risk Assessment — It’s a Business Issue, Not Just an IT issue)
  • Next Gen Firewalls and other Cyber hardware tools
  • Data backup and recovery solutions
  • Data Encryption

The TMA Technology Summit is modeled after the popular annual TMA Fall Operations Management Seminar. Each of the two days will conclude with round-table discussions of the day’s presentations. Speakers, session leaders, sponsors and vendors will be announced in the coming weeks.

The housing block at the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek, 75 South West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 will open in early January. The registration fee is $595 for TMA members, $695 for non-members. For schedule details and to register and find the housing link, visit http://tma.us/tma-tech-summit/ .

 

2017: TMA’s Year In Review

holiday card 2017What an eventful year … we started out as the Central Station Alarm Association and finished as The Monitoring Association! We welcomed our first members in our expanded categories and our first Canadian president. Read on for our full recap of 2017. TMA thanks our members for their support and participation! To get more involved with TMA in 2018, contact Celia Besore at membership@tma.us.

January: Bucks County is the first ASAP implementation in the state of Pennsylvania, kicking off a year of significant growth for the service.

March: CSAA becomes The Monitoring Association (TMA).

April: TMA welcomes its first Non-Listed Non-Alarm member, Eyewitness Surveillance, and its first Security Technology Services Provider member, Guardian Alarm of Florida, LLC dba Guardian Hawk Security.

May: Doyle Security goes live with ASAP; Rochester/Monroe County is the first ASAP implementation in New York State.

June: TMA co-hosts the 10th annual Electronic Security Expo (ESX) in Nashville, TN.

June: At ESX, TMA announces the 2017 TMA Excellence Awards winners:

  • Monitoring Center of the Year: Vivint SmartHome
  • Monitoring Center Operator of the Year: Craig Pierce, Safe Systems
  • Monitoring Center Manager of the Year: Keith Godsey, Dynamark
  • Monitoring Center Support Person of the Year: Laura Jacobson, Cooperative Response Center

June: Rochester/Monroe County, NY’s John Merklinger receives the 2017 TMA Public Sector Award for his efforts to bring ASAP to New York State.

July: Dane County is the first ASAP implementation in Wisconsin.

August: TMA welcomes its first Non-Listed Alarm member, Western Alarm Services, Inc.

September: Johnson Controls Building Solutions, North America goes live with ASAP.

October: TMA holds its annual meeting in Scottsdale, AZ, highlighted by increased numbers of new members, first time attendees, and “TMA NextGen” professionals joining long-time attendees.

October: Rapid Response’s Morgan Hertel receives the Stanley C. Lott Award, TMA’s highest honor.

October: Onetel’s Sascha Kylau receives the TMA President’s Award.

October: TMA members at the Annual Meeting donate more than $2000 to the Hurricane Harvey relief effort in support of ASAP partner the Houston Emergency Response Center.

October: Sentinel Alarm’s Ivan Spector becomes TMA’s first Canadian president.

November: TMA releases a new training course for monitoring center operators, created to address the challenges of 21st-century monitoring.

November: Hamilton County/Chattanooga is the first ASAP implementation in Tennessee.

November: “Evolutionary Monitoring,” the TMA Fall Operations Management Seminar, features tours of UL headquarters’ testing laboratories and Walgreens’ Security Operations Center.

December: TMA announces the inaugural “TMA Technology Summit” to be held in March 2018 as part of its strategic goal to assist its members with technology challenges.

December: The number of students who have registered for TMA’s online training since the program’s inception reaches nearly 25,000.

December: 129 companies in 145 locations earned TMA Five Diamond® designation in 2017.

 

 

Monroeville, PA to Cut Emergency Response Times with ASAP

On December 19, Monroeville became the first municipality in the Pittsburgh area to implement the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP), a service designed to automate communication between alarm monitoring central stations and public safety dispatch/911 centers. Monroeville is the 32nd “PSAP” in the United States and second in Pennsylvania to connect with ASAP.

“Every second counts in emergencies,” said Monroeville Chief of Police Doug Cole. “With ASAP, we’ll be able to reduce call-processing times to provide quicker and more accurate emergency response to Monroeville citizens.”

Electronic data transmission results in the following benefits for residents and first responders:

  • Fewer phone calls to emergency response centers. Alarm center data is passed to public safety dispatch/911 operators electronically within seconds and then provided to first responders upon dispatch to the location.ASAP-Concept1D
  • Quicker processing times. Data doesn’t have to be input manually or communicated verbally, resulting in reduced hold times, less chance of human error and faster responses.
  • Greater accuracy of information transmitted.
  • More prompt action during natural disasters. It’s common for public safety dispatch/911 centers to be overwhelmed with calls during these types of emergencies.

Monroeville receives 2,500 calls at its dispatch center monthly. Historically, its average alarm response time has been between two to four minutes. With ASAP delivering alarm notification information directly from central stations to public safety answering points (PSAPs) and public safety dispatch centers via computer rather than by phone, the municipality expects alarm response times to drop to a minute and half or less. These benefits will extend across Monroeville police, fire and emergency medical services, and Pitcairn police and emergency medical services, according to Monroeville’s statement.

For more information about ASAP, visit tma.us/asap.

Source: PRNewswire

FCC Repeals Net Neutrality

As anticipated, on December 14, the FCC voted 3-2 along party lines to adopt an Order repealing the 2015 Net Neutrality Order. Among other things, the Order:

  • Reclassifies broadband Internet access service as an information service (removing it from Title II regulation);
  • Reinstates the private mobile service classification of mobile broadband Internet access service;
  • Eliminates the Bright Line Rules (no blocking/throttling/paid prioritization) and the Internet Conduct Standard (a general code of conduct for ISPs);
  • Adopts transparency requirements that ISPs disclose information about their practices to consumers;
  • Looks to the Federal Trade Commission’s to protect consumers online from any unfair, deceptive, and anticompetitive practices.

TMA’s Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC) filed reply comments in the FCC’s proceeding stating that its members compete directly with certain large broadband internet access service (BIAS) providers in the provision of security monitoring, installation, and other service while at the same time being dependent upon the BIAS carriers’ transmission services. Although AICC urged the Commission to maintain its Bright Line Rules, which prohibit BIAS providers from blocking or throttling traffic and also prohibit paid prioritization for broadband Internet access service, the FCC eliminated them. 

AICC also argued that the FCC should maintain Section 275 of the Act, which was adopted as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 as a compromise between the alarm industry and the Bell Operating Companies (BOCs) to protect the alarm industry from discrimination by the former BOCs. Section 275 provided four main protections for the alarm industry:

  1. It prohibited the BOCs from entering the alarm industry market for five years (which provision has since expired)
  2. It requires any incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) that is engaged in the provision of alarm monitoring services to provide non-affiliated entities the same network services it provides to its own alarm monitoring operations on nondiscriminatory terms and conditions
  3. It prohibits an ILEC from subsidizing its alarm monitoring services from telephone exchange service operations
  4. It required the Commission to establish expedited procedures for the receipt and review of complaints regarding Section 275.

The Order did not address Section 275, despite the pleas of AT&T and others to eliminate it, and its protections remain in place.

AICC will continue to follow and report on Net Neutrality developments and how they may affect alarm industry businesses.

Sarasota, FL Is Live with ASAP

ASAP-Concept1DOn November 28, Sarasota County, FL went live with ASAP — the 31st PSAP to implement ASAP, and the 3rd in the state of Florida.

By connecting directly with our CAD, ASAP-to-PSAP will relieve Sarasota’s emergency call takers of approximately 3400 alarm calls monthly, leaving them available to answer 9-1-1 calls quicker,” said Sally J. Lawrence, 9-1-1 Coordinator, Public Safety Communications  for Sarasota County. “Additionally, the direct messaging between the dispatcher and alarm company makes for clear, direct and documented communication without the need for a phone call, leaving the dispatcher available to listen to the radio.”

2017 has been a momentous year for ASAP. To read about the alarm companies and PSAPs that have connected this year, click here. For more information, visit tma.us/asap/.