Annual CSAA meeting hits Rome

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Monday, January 1, 2007

VIENNA, Va.--For the Central Station Alarm Association, there was no place like Rome for its annual meeting, held in the eternal city Nov. 3 through 8.
There, 300 members of the CSAA, along with the presidents of the international chiefs of police, the sheriff's association, the association of fire chiefs, and Emergency 911 workers met and mingled over good food and a lively educational program.
"If I don't see any pasta or red wine for a few weeks, I'll be happy," laughed Steve Doyle, executive vice president of the CSAA. "Seriously, I think it's the best meeting we've ever done in our 57 years. The educational program was exceptionally well done and we had some great speakers."
Edward Turzanski, senior fellow at the Center for Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, gave an assessment of the current situation with the Islamic Jihad, and Detective Inspector Brian Howat from the British Transportation Police presented on the use of CCTV in the British transport system.
"They are years ahead of us in the deployment of this stuff," said Doyle.
Mel Mahler, chief executive officer and president of ADS Security in Nashville, and also a CSAA officer, also gave a glowing report of the meeting. "It seemed like in Rome, more than any other meeting, there was a lot more networking than ever before."
Mahler, who is the CSAA representative to SIAC, said "Brinks, ADT, ADS, and the big associations, CSAA, SIA, it's the one time you get everyone together going after a common cause, the biggest problem facing the industry: false dispatch."
He added, "It's amazing how you think that you're competitors, but when you have a common cause, as in the case of false dispatch, you're friends."
Said Doyle, "What comes out of this is a much closer working relationship with the private security industry and all the chiefs of police, fire chiefs, and emergency folks--we've really developed much of a private-public partnership. If we're all of the same mind, we can represent together in Congress."
"We brought together the top people for four to five days and it's amazing what comes out of there. I think it's one of the best things we have ever done to create this public-private dialogue," said Doyle.

Next year's annual CSAA meeting is set for Oct. 19 through 24, in Kohala Coast, Hawaii.