NBFAA’s AAA program is no more

Thursday, October 23, 2003

October 23, 2003

WASHINGTON - At its annual meeting held here during the National Summit on Security show in early October, the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association voted to discontinue its Affiliated Alarm Association program effective Dec. 31, 2004.

According to NBFAA Executive Director Merlin Guilbeau, the board made the decision after analyzing whether the AAA program had met the goals set forth when it was created a few years ago. Guilbeau said the AAA distinction was added to help states that didn’t have chapters yet come into the association and to serve as a stepping stone for chartered state status.

As a CSA, state organizations get exclusive rights to NBFAA products, such as NTS training, Guilbeau said. The association also agrees that neither the state or national chapters will accept members unless they are members of both organizations. Members of AAA chapters are not required to also be members of NBFAA.

Guilbeau places the blame for these downgrades squarely at the feet of NBFAA.

“There was really no incentive built in to the program for them to ever leave AAA status and go to chartered status,” he said.

The decision to discontinue the program has met mixed reaction among those states that currently participate in a AAA capacity. Five states – Arizona, Florida, Nevada New Hampshire and Massachusetts – face a decision in the next year about whether they will upgrade to CSA status or drop out of NBFAA altogether. Three of those states became AAA chapters by downgrading.

One of those downgraded associations, the Alarm Association of Florida, has already made its decision clear. On Oct. 3, the association sent a letter to NBFAA’s executive committee that effectively severed ties with the national organization.

“As a result of this horrendous business decision, the AAF Executive Committee, via teleconference, has reluctantly directed our staff to notify NBFAA of our intention to disassociate the state of Florida from further participation with them,” AAF President Ron Toole wrote in the letter.

The main reason for this course of action, according to AAF Vice President Roy Pollack, was the feeling that AAF’s members would lose the ability to choose whether they join NBFAA.

Despite AAF’s decision, Guilbeau said he hopes all NBFAA’s chapters will see the value in being members and in turn promote that value to their state-level members.

“There are a few states that felt as though we were trying to send a message that we didn’t want them involved, and that’s not the case,” he said. “We want chapters involved in all 50 states and we’re going to work hard to get that.”

For more of this story, see the November issue of Security Systems News.