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.

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.

 

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.

Why Monitoring Center Personnel Should Attend TMA’s “Fall Ops”

By Chris Newhook, Central Station Manager, American Alarm

The Monitoring Association (TMA, formerly CSAA) is my number one resource – my one-stop shop — for industry feedback, as well as educational and operational best practices. As if this wasn’t enough, it also serves as the backbone of my peer network.

While its strength lies with its members, it is TMA’s sustained commitment to actively listen to that membership, gather the insight and effectively channel this wealth of knowledge into a platform for industry growth and development that serves as the organization’s greatest triumph.

For me, the culmination of its collective efforts manifests itself each year with the TMA Fall Operations Management Seminar.

Newhook

Chris Newhook (pictured second from right with trophy) was TMA’s 2014 Monitoring Center Manager of the Year.

The 2016 “Fall Ops”, with its theme Monitoring Excellence, was no exception!

TMA focused its usual world-class coordinative talents last year, directing a stellar line-up of speakers and timely topics ranging from ASAP-to-PSAP, PERS monitoring, UL Standards updates, and a real show-stopper on cybersecurity. The event was thoughtfully balanced with a selection of dynamic round-table exchanges and lively break-out group discussions.

The TMA Fall Operations Management Seminar is my annual reload – a getaway to assess my current objectives, develop my goals and rethink my direction; all in the company of the industry’s best talent.

TMA Fall Ops Tag 2017Register now for the 2017 Fall Operations Management Seminar, featuring tours of UL Headquarters and Walgreens Security Operations Center, November 5-7 in Rosemont, IL. Visit http://tma.us/2017-fall-ops/ .

ASAP Goes Live in Manatee County, FL

MASAP-Concept1Danatee County 9-1-1 recently became the 25th agency in the United States and second in Florida to adopt ASAP, the service that will save emergency responders precious moments when home alarms sound.

The Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) allows outside alarm monitoring companies such as Brinks and Vector to send information directly to call takers in the 9-1-1 Call Center, shaving up to three minutes from call processing time. Homes alarms for fires, medical emergencies, burglaries and more will now result in an emergency dispatch more quickly with fewer chances for errors, according to Manatee County Public Safety Director Robert Smith.

“Every second matters in an emergency, so it’s incredibly helpful when a new piece of technology can save on time,” Smith said. “I’m proud of our Emergency Communications team for keeping us moving forward to continually enhance our level of service.”

Half of all Manatee County property owners with emergency monitoring systems — an estimated 75,000 homes and businesses — will benefit from the new technology according to Manatee County Emergency Communications Chief Jake Saur. That number will grow to 75 percent of Manatee County homes and businesses with an alarm system when ADT Alarm Monitoring joins the new protocol.

Watch video of Manatee County’s Jake Saur discussing the benefits of ASAP.

“This new technology eliminates the need for alarm companies to physically dial into the Emergency Communications Center to relay alarm information,” Saur says. “They’ll now electronically send alarm info to the ECC, reducing call processing times and communication errors. We’ll also improve efficiency in dispatching first responders to the alarm.”

Not all Manatee County alarm monitoring companies are part of the new program but as the technology grows, Saur expects more monitoring stations to participate.

ASAP is a computer-aided dispatch system for processing information from alarm monitoring stations that require an emergency dispatch. It was designed by The Monitoring Association (TMA) and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO Int’l). For more information, visit www.tma.us/asap.

Media coverage: 

Fox 13: New system helps alarm companies communicate with 911
http://www.fox13news.com/news/local-news/265897784-story

Bradenton Herald: Changes at Manatee County 911 will save minutes in emergencies, officials say
http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/article159756704.html

News 10: Technology speeds up alarm calls to 911 by 2-3 minutes in Manatee Co.
http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/technology-speeds-up-alarm-calls-to-911-by-2-3-minutes/454436232

ABC 7: Faster response times to some Manatee County home alarms
http://www.mysuncoast.com/news/local/faster-reponse-times-to-some-manatee-county-home-alarms/article_80a29de4-61ba-11e7-a6a5-8b9f7a9fabf0.html