CSAA gets down to business

Following soon after treasurer Daniel Demers' (Reliance Protectron) report that the CSAA now has a year's worth of dues in reserve, it was hardly a surprise to hear that next year's annual meeting will be at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, and that they'll travel to Athens, Greece, in 2009. Still, the 150 members in attendance here were all business this morning, toiling through a business meeting run by CSAA outgoing president John Murphy (Vector Security) that also saw presentations from NBFAA president George Gunning (USA Alarm Systems) and newly elected SIA president Wendy Diddell (Richardson Electronics/ADI). Some notable items: • Everyone moved up one step on the chain of command: Bud Wulforst (A-1 Security) moved from vice president to president, Ed Bonifas (Alarm Detection Systems) from second VP to VP, Bob Bean (Alert Alarm) from secretary to second VP, John Lombardi (CIA Security) from assistant secretary to secretary, with Pam Petrow (Vector Security) stepping into the assistant secretary's role. Demers will continue as treasurer. • Executive director Steve Doyle announced plans for a new web site to be launched this year, which will offer five languages of translation. This is partly due to an increased interest by foreign counties in the CSAA programs. Did you know Brazil alone has 2000 centrals? That was schocking to me. • Stan Martin, executive director of SIAC, outlined a number of efforts for false alarm reduction, including www.pleaserespond.org, where you can download any number of tools for fighting verification efforts in your home town. • There was discussion of the legal implications of the AMPS sunset. Specifically, could you be punished by the FCC for not notifying your customers of the sunset? Probably not, since centrals are commonly believed to exist as end users and not carriers, and the FCC only has jurisdiction over carriers, but it's better not to test it. If some event happens where the analog backup doesn't work following the sunset and you've neglected to alert your customers, however, it's likely you'd be liable for damages, so there's another good reason to get the word out. • There are now more than 80 Five Diamond certified central stations, those that have lived up to a number of CSAA requirements and have had all of their operators trained. Following the business meeting, Ed Turzanski, senior fellow, Center for Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security, at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, delivered a keynote address that outlined a plan for winning the war on Islamic extremists that resonated strongly with the members, even if it touched only slightly on the sort of security practiced by alarm dealers. If anything, the most relevant portion of the keynote dealt with encouraging energy independance and conservation and breaking our ties with Middle East oil supplies. Then, with that presentation pushing the conference a half-hour behind schedule, the heads of AHJs APCO, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the National Sheriff's Association outlined their goals for the coming year, and how the CSAA might be able to collaborate in accomplishing some of those goals. Finally, Chief Harlin McEwan, chair of the communication and technology committee for the IACP, spoke about the impending national wireless public safety broadband network and the very interesting Public Safety Spectrum Trust, a new non-profit organization that will hold the license to a very powerful piece of wireless real estate. How this will affect the security industry remains to be seen. With that completed, attendess dispersed for lunch, next to meet at the Turtle Point Beach Party. I'll have a report of those activities anon.