About Elizabeth Lasko

VP, Marketing and Communications for The Monitoring Association

ALAS Celebrates 20 Years, Recognizes TMA for Support

In July, TMA Vice President of Membership and Programs Celia Besore attended the ALAS Management Summit, the annual event of ALAS, the Latin American Security Association. The summit focuses on the executives and decision makers of Latin America’s most prominent security companies.

Reconocimiento a instituciones ALAS Celia July 2017

ALAS CEO Alberto Alvarez (far left) with TMA’s Celia Besore (center) and representatives from Al, UL, NFPA, SCALA (Smart Card alliance), CABA (Continental Automated Building Association) and CASEL ( Camara Argentina de Seguridad Electronica)  at the ALAS Management Summit. 

At the summit, ALAS celebrated its 20th anniversary and presented TMA, along with other industry partners, with commemorative gifts. TMA’s was inscribed: “On our 20th anniversary we would like to thank The Monitoring Association for being a valuable partner in our history.”

ALAS 20th anniversary gift to TMA

TMA congratulates ALAS on its 20th anniversary! Watch the video for a recap of the Summit.

Michael Arthur Bonifas (1993 – 2017)

BonifasObitPhoto

TMA is saddened to note the passing of Michael Arthur Bonifas, the grandson of TMA past president Bob Bonifas and nephew of TMA past president Ed Bonifas. Michael was born on August 30, 1993 in Aurora, IL to Dale and Jeanette Bonifas.  He died suddenly from a tragic fall on August 4, 2017 at the age of 23.  Michael graduated from Batavia High School in 2011. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a marketing degree in 2015.  He was employed as an account executive by FleishmanHillard in Chicago. Michael was an avid lover of the outdoors where he pursued his passions jncluding hiking, hunting, snowboarding, ice fishing. In lieu of flowers, the family wishes to honor his love of the outdoors with donations made to The Appalachian Trail Conservancy and specifying contributions in memory of Michael Bonifas.

Read Michael’s full obituary. 

 

 

Newport News, VA Goes Live with ASAP

Alarm users in coastal Virginia city to benefit from faster, more accurate emergency response

ASAP-Concept1DOn August 4, Newport News, Virginia became the latest municipality to go live with Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP), a technology that automates communication between alarm monitoring central stations and 911 centers, resulting in improved accuracy and speed of emergency response.

Transmitting data electronically speeds up alarm notification delivery and reduces the number of phone calls and processing times at emergency response centers. It also eliminates human error and miscommunication between operators; all pertinent data goes directly to first responders within seconds.

In areas where it is used, ASAP delivers alarm notification information from central stations directly to public safety answering points (PSAPs) via computer rather than by phone, eliminating the need for communication between monitoring center operators and 911 operators.

ASAP was created in partnership with The Monitoring Association (formerly the Central Station Alarm Association) and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO). Vector Security was the first alarm company to use ASAP in the City of Richmond, VA in 2012. Vector Security assisted with implementation in Newport News by helping to perform extensive testing prior to the system going live.

“Alarm users in Newport News, including several hundred Vector Security customers, will benefit from faster and more accurate emergency response with the implementation of ASAP,” said Anita Ostrowski, Vice President of Central Station Services, Vector Security. “We hope the positive impact that ASAP will bring to Newport News will encourage other major 911 centers in the nation to adopt this technology as well.”

“As a security provider, we seek ways to promote ASAP’s value to municipalities and public agencies, and help other alarm companies implement it for the greater good of the industry and the safety of our communities,” she added.

In addition to Vector, the following alarm companies are now live with ASAP in Newport News: Rapid Response, Protection1, Vivint, Moni, Guardian, and Affiliated.  ADT will be going live next week.

Newport News is the fourth largest city in size in Virginia, with its boundaries encompassing 69 square miles. Within Virginia, Newport News joins the City of Richmond, James City County, York County, and Henrico County, which are already online with the use of ASAP technology.

Other municipalities that have implemented ASAP include Rochester/Monroe County, NY; Houston, TX; Washington, DC.; Tempe, AZ; Boca Raton, FL; Delaware County, OH; Bucks County, PA; and many others.

For more information on the benefits and features of ASAP, visit www.tma.us/asap or www.vectorsecurity.com/asap.

 

Warning: Alarm Industry Needs to Draw “Line in the Sand” Now

The Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) is working to draw a line in the sand when it comes to the policy of municipalities fining alarm companies for false alarms. The most recent city to consider adopting the policy is Sandy Springs, Georgia (a suburb of Atlanta), which voted in July to begin fining companies on September 1.

“In most cases SIAC is able to move cities away from this type of policy through positive interaction with public safety and community officials,” said Stan Martin, SIAC Executive Director. “In a few instances we have had to engage legal counsel to make the case that these ordinances are unconstitutional.”

For example, such ordinances violate the due process clause of the Constitution because they make alarm companies responsible for the actions of a customer over whom they have no control. It would be the equivalent of fining Ford for a driver caught speeding in an Explorer. There are numerous other issues SIAC attorneys have raised based on the proposed ordinance and state law.

“These detailed letters from our legal counsel citing numerous relevant precedents in federal and state law are a key factor in getting cities to back away from fining alarm companies,” said Martin.

“The bottom line is that when positive interaction and information sharing doesn’t work, we need the resources to hire legal counsel to address specific ordinances,” said Martin. “This is a real threat to our industry — and unless we have the support from the industry to stop these ordinances now it will become a growing problem.

“Having an attorney to engage a city is always the last resort,” said Martin. “Yet, it is critical to prevent allowing a precedent to be set and preserving our right to conduct business on a fair and level playing field.”

Your contribution is needed now. Please visit SIAC to make a donation in support of the effort to protect alarm companies.

More Sandy Springs information:

Contributed by David Margulies

TMA Will Spotlight ASAP at APCO Conference in Denver

ASAP-Concept1DThe Monitoring Association (TMA), the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) and Nlets are bringing the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) to municipalities around the country. PSAPs and alarm companies throughout the U.S. are seeing the value of ASAP’s winning formula for error reduction, cost containment and faster responses to dispatch.

At the upcoming APCO conference in Denver, PSAP representatives will have two opportunities to learn about ASAP:

  • TMA staff will be at Booth 527 in the exhibit hall sharing how the technology works and how the service is implemented.
  • A special session ” The Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP to the PSAP): A Win-Win for Public Safety and the Alarm Industry” (Sunday, August 13 at 1:30 PM in Convention Center 503/504) features subject matter expert Bill Hobgood, TMA Executive Director Jay Hauhn, and representatives from PSAPs in New York, Arizona and Washington, DC. Participants will see how the program reduces 9-1-1 processing and response times to alarm events while eliminating telephone calls, miscommunication errors, between alarm monitoring companies and 9-1-1 PSAPs.

PSAP representatives, don’t miss your chance to get informed about ASAP at the APCO conference in August! For advance information, visit www.tma.us/asap.

 

Engineered Protection Systems Earns 2016-17 Police Dispatch Quality Award

 

 Customer Education a Key Focus

In June, the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) recognized TMA member Engineered Protection Systems, Inc. in Grand Rapids, Michigan with its prestigious 2016-17 Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) award. The PDQ award is given to the company that promotes best practices working with law enforcement to reduce the number of unnecessary dispatches to alarm customers. The award was presented at the ESX – Public Safety and Networking Luncheon at ESX on June 16 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Stan and Josh at ESX PDQ Dispatch Award by Lasko

SIAC Executive Director Stan Martin, left, and EPS Monitoring Center Operations Manager Josh Sanders following the presentation of the award. Photo by Elizabeth Lasko.

“Engineered Protection Systems has consistently shown itself to be extraordinarily conscientious, exacting and effective where it comes to alarm management and dispatches,” said Stan Martin, SIAC Executive Director. “These efforts have garnered EPS Security recognition as a PDQ runner-up on multiple occasions, which is quite an achievement in itself.”

“Winning this award was the result of focus towards dealing with alarm issues for the benefit of our valued customers and the community as a whole,” said Kevin Carlson, EPS Security President. “Reducing unnecessary dispatches is vital to the health of our industry and our ability to serve and protect the community.”

EPS Security strategies for reducing false alarms include two call confirmations, customer education at installation, detailed user guides and specific procedures for problem alarm sites. “When a pervasive false alarm problem is discovered, EPS Security has a number of procedures to make a correction,” Carlson said. “These include a member of the EPS Security Monitoring Center team calling customers, downloaders checking on the programs, service techs coordinating onsite visits to check equipment, or providing a full re-education of the system to the customer along with a possible extension of delay times.”

“The fact they continued to push themselves for additional improvement and further refine their tactics, practices and results to break through as the best alarm dispatch program in the U.S. and Canada is an amazing accomplishment for which EPS Security management and every associate should rightly be extremely proud,” Martin said.

Their meticulous entry crosses every ‘T’ and dots all the ‘I’s in addressing, and sometimes exceeding the PDQ criteria. The company encompasses all that the award stands for in cutting false dispatches, and building relationships with the community and first responders.”

The PDQ Award is given annually by SIAC and the False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), and co-sponsored by Honeywell Security, Security Sales & Integration Magazine, and the Installation Quality (IQ) Program.

ABOUT SIAC
SIAC represents one voice for the electronic security industry on alarm management issues – communicating solutions and enhancing relationships with law enforcement.  SIAC is comprised of four major North American security associations–Canadian Security Association (CANASA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA), and the Electronic Security Association (ESA).  For more information, go to www.SIACinc.org, www.siacinc.wordpress.com, or follow us on www.twitter.com/siacinc.

 ABOUT FARA
The False Alarm Reduction Association, established in 1997, is an organization of public safety false alarm reduction professionals and alarm industry representatives, whose main mission is to provide a forum for the exchange of information on successful false alarm reduction programs, to serve as a clearinghouse for agencies seeking to reduce false alarms and to foster an environment of cooperation among law enforcement, the alarm industry and the alarm user.  For more information, visit www.faraonline.org.

 ABOUT Engineered Protection Systems, Inc.
Engineered Protection Systems, Inc. was founded in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1955. What began as a modest, local operation with a handful of employees has blossomed into a multi-state company with more than 225 employees and approximately 20,000 customers, three additional Michigan branch offices and thousands of satisfied customers. In 2017, EPS Monitoring Center Operations Manager Josh Sanders was a finalist for TMA’s Monitoring Center Manager of the Year, and Dielle Holmberg was a finalist for Monitoring Center Operator of the Year.

 

 

5 Questions for alliantgroup’s Dhaval Jadav

Meet Dhaval Jadav, CEO of new TMA member alliantgroup.

  1. What is your company’s mission and how does it intersect with the alarm industry? Dhaval Jadav

alliantgroup’s mission is simple—it is to strengthen U.S. businesses and to ensure that technical jobs remain here in the United States and are not outsourced. We do this by educating U.S. businesses on the various federal and state tax incentives that our government has put in place specifically for U.S. businesses to make them more competitive in the global marketplace.

As a premier tax consultancy, we help businesses from a range of industries claim the full value they are entitled to through these credit and incentive programs. The alarm industry happens to be one of the many industries that we serve as the everyday activities of these companies and TMA members traditionally make them excellent candidates for the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit. The R&D Tax Credit is specifically designed to incentivize and reward companies for the technical enhancements they make to their products, processes or services—the latter two being exactly how TMA members and other alarm and monitoring companies spend the majority of their days.

The technical steps that are taken to perfect an alarm or a security system, the design and development work that is done to integrate multiple systems or to ensure these systems communicate with one another—these are the sort of things the R&D Tax Credit is designed to incentivize and reward. By claiming the R&D Tax Credit, we have seen countless businesses generate the spending capital that is needed to invest in future R&D initiatives and hire more technical employees.

  1. Share a personal experience you’ve had with alarm monitoring or public safety.

Our firm has had the opportunity to work with several companies in this space, and what has always stood out to me was the truly dynamic and innovative nature of their services. From the design and programming of complex control systems to harnessing the full capabilities of the cloud and the Internet of Things, these companies are truly on the forefront of innovation and represent the current direction of American enterprise.

It’s an honor to be able to work with such a cutting-edge industry, and I look forward to all that we can accomplish for TMA members.

  1. What are your goals for your membership in TMA?

There are numerous studies out now on our nation’s STEM-labor shortage and the growing “Engineering Gap” between the U.S. and countries such as China and India. There is no doubt that the lack of domestic technical talent has been detrimental to our economy and for the job prospects for many Americans, with many companies feeling forced to outsource technical jobs overseas given the current labor market.

This gets to the heart of why alliantgroup is joining TMA. By joining TMA, we are expanding our footprint in a very technical industry and we hope that we can help your members claim the dollars they need to hire more American workers, thereby keeping these lucrative jobs on U.S. shores. It is my goal that every TMA member claims the full value they are entitled to under the tax code because not only is this a win for their businesses, it’s a huge win for American workers and the economy at large.

  1. What makes your company special?

Our people. A company is only as good as its people, and our professionals are 100 percent committed to the firm’s mission and to 24/7 client service. Our mission is to make sure that each and every client we engage from TMA becomes a Raving Fan of alliantgroup and a client for life.

alliantgroup would not be where it is today without the passion and investment of our employees. Their drive to be the best and the culture of accountability that we have established—those are the things I am most proud of since inception.

  1. Tell us something about yourself that drives the way you do business. 

I am a big sports fan and something that I have learned over the years is that many of the traits that drive a successful team are the same as those that drive a successful business. Competition, teamwork and complete investment to achieve a common goal are the main ingredients to any winning team, and the same goes for the business world. Friendly competition between employees drives everyone to be their best and creates a culture of accountability. In the same vein, I find that learning to collaborate and work as a team brings out fresh new perspectives and fosters community within a company. This in turn leads to greater employee engagement as individuals become more invested in their ideas and in seeing one another succeed.

As I see it, the key to a successful company is to empower people, to get people to buy in and feel passionate about a common objective. In our case, that mission is all about strengthening American businesses and doing our part to help keep some of the best and lucrative jobs here in the United States.