In Memoriam: Patricia M. Smith

The TMA community remembers Patricia M. Smith, who died on April 17, 2018, in Bethesda, MD. An industry and community leader, Pat held leadership roles with many associations and charities. With her husband, Thomas F. Smith, she ran a successful family business, Security, Inc. She was elected president of the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (1988-1990) and received the Weinstock Award in 1989, among other awards and honors in her career.

Her husband Tom (who passed away in 2016) was president of TMA (then CSAA) in 1989-91. “Pat followed me as President of NBFAA,” remembered TMA past president Robert Bonifas. “Their presidential terms overlapped for a short while. When NBFAA was in serious financial shape, Pat, who lived nearby, would go to the NBFAA office every week to talk to and manage the few employees remaining until Chuck Lavin was hired as executive director.”

“Pat was a very important figure in the history of our industry. She was a respected, much-loved person who worked tirelessly for the industry for many years,” said TMA past president Louis T. Fiore.

Read Patricia Smith’s obituary for more details about her life and family. TMA extends our sincere condolences to Pat’s children and grandchildren.

Tom Smith Funeral 2017

From left: Bob Bonifas, Michel Fiore, Lou Fiore, Patricia Smith, Pat Egan, Ben Dickens, and Susie Dickens in April 2016. 

Amherst Alarm Steps Up to Help SIAC Fight Harmful Ordinances That Target the Alarm Industry and Its Customers

Frisco, Texas (April 19, 2018) – Industry leader Timothy M. Creenan, CEO of Amherst Alarm, Inc., is calling for others in the alarm industry to join the fight against harmful ordinances that threaten the industry’s ability to protect lives and property, such as the ordinance put in place by Sandy Springs, Georgia.

Tim_Creenan

Tim Creenan

Creenan says that his company will donate 10 cents for each of its customers to the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), resulting in a substantial donation. The donation will be divided between the fund established to fight the Sandy Springs ordinance and funding for SIAC’s ongoing nationwide activities to promote a “Model Alarm Ordinance” that has dramatically decreased false alarms in communities nationwide.

“There is no question that cities such as Sandy Springs negatively impact our business and our customers with ordinances based on misinformation or animosity toward our industry,” said Creenan. “A small investment now will pay tremendous dividends if ordinances that fine alarm companies, impose outrageous fees for registration and false alarms, and generally discourage or punish people from protecting their lives and property go unchallenged.”

SIAC is providing the background information for and organizing the legal challenge to the Sandy Springs ordinance in U.S. District Court. In addition, SIAC’s professional staff meets with public safety leaders throughout the United States and interfaces with leading public safety organizations to promote proven solutions that include the Model Alarm Ordinance, created with input from law enforcement.

“Let’s not kid ourselves,” said Stan Martin, SIAC executive director, “there are individuals in the country who spend a considerable amount of their time trying to undermine our industry’s credibility and promote ordinances that either fine alarm companies or severely limit police response to alarms. Their misinformation campaigns can take root when there is no alternative voice to provide expertise on the issue.

“Without a proactive program to engage the nation’s 18,000 public safety agencies these efforts will gain momentum, harm our relationship with customers and place excessive administrative and financial burdens on our businesses,” Martin continued.

Creenan urges other companies to make the same donation of 10 cents per customer:
“I can’t think of any investment with a higher potential ROI than funding SIAC’s well-established track record for promoting the Model Alarm Ordinance and fighting back when our industry and those we serve are attacked. It is clearly a case of pay now or pay much more later.”

Donate to SIAC Now

From TMA President Ivan Spector: Register Now for ESX 2018

Passionate security professionals will convene in Nashville this June for ESX 2018. TMA President Ivan Spector invites you to join us there — register before April 22 to take advantage of early bird rates! Find the latest ESX news here. 

For more information, including the program of education sessions, networking events, general sessions, and travel information, visit www.esxweb.com.

 

TMA Response to Sandy Springs, GA Action Against Alarm Companies

Earlier this week, the City of Sandy Springs, GA revoked the registration of 39 alarm companies operating within the city “due to delinquent payment of fines for violations” of the Sandy Springs false alarm ordinance. Alarm companies which do not have a current, valid registration with the city are not eligible to request emergency personnel response in connection with their activated intrusion (burglar) alarms systems within Sandy Springs. The registration is revoked when an alarm company does not pay fines for alarm user-caused false alarms.

Among other troubling legal concerns, this ordinance, which went into effect in September, violates the due process clause of the Constitution because it makes alarm companies responsible for the actions of a customer over whom they have no control. That hasn’t stopped Sandy Springs from revoking registrations from TMA member companies.

Sandy Springs’ actions are a threat to public safety. Other municipalities are watching what happens in Sandy Springs. We must prevent this from becoming a precedent for other municipalities — and preserve our ability to provide services to those who use security systems to protect their homes, businesses and properties.

TMA and our partners are fighting this ordinance through the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC). Contributions are needed now to fund our legal action.

Please visit SIAC to make a donation. Should you have questions or need guidance, contact TMA Executive Director Jay Hauhn at jhauhn@tma.us.