NESA makes grassroots footprint

Friday, July 1, 2005

DALLAS--The National Electronic Security Association made its mark as an industry association. Six months after the formation of NESA, the group created a dues structure for members, signed on a lobbyist to work with the association in the capital and added to its state membership roster.
Currently six states--Texas, Maryland, Virginia, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma--have joined the association, said Rex Adams, president of NESA.
The association's intent is to assist members with building stronger state associations and provide member states with legislative information and networking opportunities in a grassroots effort. Each member state pays dues at the rate of $50 per regular and associate member.
The association met at the ISC West conference in Las Vegas in early April for its first meeting to discuss VoIP, legislative efforts like maintenance of the license laws and enhanced verification laws, as well as state training and recruiting efforts. It will meet again at the 2005 ASIS International Annual Seminar & Exhibits in Orlando, Fla., in September.
NESA, like other associations, is on the same page when tackling legislative issues affecting the industry such as VoIP.
"At a federal level, we want to find a solution for VoIP" said Brad Shipp, executive director of NESA. "We are asking if there is technology available to make VoIP backwards compatible."
Although, there isn't a quick solution for the VoIP matter, the group is active in industry discussion with help from a lobbyist. Earlier this year, the association joined the Security Companies Organized for Legislative Action, a coalition that employs lobbyist Larry Sabbath of Sabbath Government Relations.
"We hope we can add requirements for VoIP providers to support alarm communications, or at the very least require VoIP providers to disclose that alarm systems may not work on VoIP lines," Adams said.
However, if those measures are not taken, the next opportunity for change will be when the Telecommunications Act of 1996 is reviewed in 2006, he added.
"The more people that go to Washington, D.C., will speak volumes. By hiring a lobbyist, NESA will enable state leaders to be informed about federal activity and it will enable our collective industry to influence legislation and regulation," Adams said.