I was going through my email this morning and I have to say, I'm digging what the associaitons are doing these days with outreach.
I enjoyed reading my latest edition of Signals last week where I learned that Major General Aharon Zeevi Farkash, founder, chairman and president of award-winning biometrics-based access control company FST21, will present the Keynote Address at CSAA’s Annual Meeting in Venice this October.
I've met with and interviewed General Farkash a couple different times, at ISC West and at ESX. Talk about a guy with a presence. If you have the travel budget to go to Venice, that will be a talk not to be missed.
When I talked with Farkash in Charlotte, he explained to me that the real-life, political setting in Israel and his experience in the Israeli military helped to forge a company and solution that had to work, and had to work quickly and well.
Farkash explained the impetus for the SafeRise solution to me in Charlotte.
"Every day there are 40,000 Palestinians who come to work in Israel," Farkash told me. "How do you find the one suicide bomber without making everyone feel they're not welcome to come and work?"
I've written about FST21's smart building solution SafeRise a number of times and even took the ssnTVnews cameras on the road to visit and installation. It's a slick solution.
Here's a little bit from Signals:
Farkash has held numerous prominent positions with the Israel Defense Forces in his distinguished 40-year career of public service. From 1990-1993, he headed the prestigious Israel SIGINT National Unit (8200), after which he held senior positions in the Planning Branch for five years. Promoted to the rank of general in 1998, he subsequently served as head of the Technology & Logistics Branch until 2001. He was then appointed to lead the Directorate of Military Intelligence (Aman), where he served until retiring from the IDF in 2006.
I also liked looking through ESA's Integrator, the current edition of which has a legislative focus. The first item on that mailing is the State Legislative Report, brought to us by ESA's director of government relations John Chwat. I had a chance to sit down one-on-one with John at ESX recently, and he told me about one of his primary foci as of late.
"We have a primary federal bill that would permit ESA members ... to access the FBI database for criminal background for licensing ... we have a bill--HR1331--that would allow non-state governmental bodies, or non-law enforcement entities--in other words the security industry, which would normally need to go through congress to gain access to the FBI database--to gain access ... We have nine cosponsors so far and it's bipartisan ... My main concern was I wanted to secure initiall support from the FBI to gain acess, and we got that."
Here's a little bit from the Integrator on what the 2011 State Legislative Report covers:
The June 1 - July 1, 2011 State Legislative Report, researched and compiled by the ESA Government Relations department, is now available online. You can access the report at www.ESAweb.org from the Members Only Resource Center. To access the report, you will be required to log in using your member user login and password.
Included in this state legislative report are the following key issues being monitored:
19 bills related to Licensing
19 bills related to Fire Sprinklers/Suppression Systems
13 bills related to Alarms
8 bills related to Automatic Contract Renewal
4 bills related to CCTV
5 bills related to Taxes
3 bills related to State Regulations
2 bills related to Contracts
1 bill related to Electronic Monitoring Devices
1 bill related to Lighting 1 bill related to Exit Doors
1 bill related to Fire Districts
1 bill related to Emergency Communications
1 bill related to Private Security Companies
I also have been enjoying reading through SIA's Daily Update, which while not original reporting, sure does collate and centralize some pretty cool and topical security-related news stories. One in particular caught my attention today:
Police Deaths Up 14% This Year
For the second year in a row, law enforcement fatalities rose sharply nationwide during the first half of 2011, including 40 officers killed by gunfire—the highest number in two decades, according to a release.
It's always concerning to hear (in this case the SIA blurb is from a USA today story) about an uptick in crime, particularly violent crime towards police officers. No wonder PDs are so willing to throw their support behind solutions that are fortified with video or audio verification. It could be the difference between life and death. I got an email from RSI's Keith Jentoft recently in which Keith forwarded on a notice from the Washoe County, Nevada Sheriff's Dept. The notice concerns a change in response policy to alarms. Here's a bit from the notice:
Because the vast majority of intrusion alarm responses are for false alarms, Patrol Deputies will no longer respond to residential or commercial alarms unless there is additional information from a responsible party that indicates an actual crime may be in progress or have occurred.
I asked SIAC executive director Stan Martin what he thought and here's what he told me:
Sheriffs have much more flexibility with how they run things ... so this type of significant change is unlikely in a municipal or city setting ... City councils/managers are more demanding and chiefs work for them who in turn represent the citizens ... However, I do believe we will be seeing more departments moving in this direction, more subtle--a bit at a time ... budgets are tight, resources diminishing--all of them are asked to maintain services with less ... you can only divide a pie into so many slices ... This is why it is imperative that dealers do everything they can to reduce alarm dispatches ... top three 1) 2-call verification 2) Use ANSI SIA CP-01 approved control panels 3) Train all users of the alarm system properly