Reciprocity Act leads pre-NAMTSE buzz

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Thursday, April 1, 2004

VIENNA, Va. - As the North American Monitoring Technologies Symposium & Expo approaches, most of the talk among central stations has centered on the proposed licensing reciprocity bill that will be discussed at the meeting.

The Central Station Alarm Association and the Alarm Industry Communications Committee are pushing for passage of the Alarm Monitoring Licensing Standards and Reciprocity Act of 2004. If passed, the measure would allow monitoring companies and their employees to meet a federally defined minimum licensing standard in their home states, then have those standards recognized by other states. While companies would still be required to obtain licenses in states where they do business, they would no longer be forced to send their employees to each state in order to get licensed.

According to Steve Doyle, executive vice president of the CSAA, this is becoming a costly issue for central stations, both in terms of money and lost time.

Amanda Helmig, director of sales and marketing for Manchester, N.H.-based Cen-traLarm Monitoring, said her company, which may expand nationally in the future, is hoping the act will pass.

“This is going to be huge, and it will really help out central stations,” she said.

Leo Wanstreet, who operates Sonitrol Tri-County in Farmington Hills, Mich., and does business in Michigan and Illinois, said the Reciprocity Act would help out even those companies that do business in only a couple of states.

“I’m already set with my licensing, so it’s not really an issue for me, but interstate commerce issue does create some problems sometimes,” he said.

CSAA and AICC will hold an update session on the Reciprocity Act at the end of the opening session of NAMTSE on April 17. The conference will run from April 15 through 19 in Memphis, Tenn.