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by: Daniel Gelinas - Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Got an email via the ACCENT Listserv the other day. Grace Fanzo who runs the list for the CSAA after SIA gave it up, wanted to let all us central station types know about an educational opportunity going down.

"What will central stations look like at the end of this decade--the equipment mix, the makeup of its workforce, the types of services that it provides?" The posting from Grace read. "Stay on top of this ever-evolving topic at ESX."

Now if all goes well, I'll be at ESX and I can tell you this sounds pretty cool and exactly like something I want to sit in on.

Actually, I just wrote a story about CSAA's new membership marketing campaign, which highlights the important role of the association as an educator. Here's the rest of Grace's posting:

The session, "Central Station 2020: Technologies and Operations of a Central Station of the Future," taps some of the industry's most forward looking technologists and operators to provide you with a vision. Get great input for your central station technology and a human resources roadmap.

Speakers include: Morgan Hertel, Director of Central Station Operations, Mace CSSS Inc.; AND Matt Riccoboni, Global Director of Marketing, Oz Vision.

For more information, including date/time and additional courses in the Central Station Operations Track, visit www.ESXweb.com.

Hurry! Discounted registration rates expire THIS FRIDAY, May 13.

I actually just wrote a piece for our Central Station Source Book (coming up in the June issue) that examined how the central station was changing in form and function and what changes were likely to take place in the near future. Look for that online in the premium section after the beginning of June. In the meantime, don't forget to register for ESX, which authorities say is going to be bigger and better than last year.

 

See you all in Charlotte!

by: Daniel Gelinas - Wednesday, May 4, 2011

So I was going through my email the other day and I came across a press release from video monitoring company Iverify. Seems they recently won a pretty hefty video monitoring and loss prevention services (LP) contract with an unnamed major U.S. retailer. I jumped right on it and got some fresh feedback from Iverify president Mike May. I'm still sort of hopeful that the reatiler will come around and release its name, but until that happens, here are the particulars written up along with some of the feedback I got from my interview with Mike:

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Iverify on April 27 announced it had been awarded a five-year contract valued at $39 million dollars to provide guard replacement and shrink-reduction services for an unnamed national retailer throughout its 550 stores. According to a release from the company, it’s the largest such video monitoring contract in the history of the industry.

Iverify president Mike May said Iverify brought big savings to the table for the client.

“The client is using a robust application that uses Cernium analytics for location-based risk assessment that triggers local announcements in the vicinity of high-shrink products. Further, with sophisticated time-based analysis it then escalates the risk profile and engages a live intervention from a protection specialist,” May told Security Systems News. “They then assess and respond to a protocol based in the actual risk. This is a best case model leveraging intelligent video coupled with a loss-prevention certified specialist that responds and reduces the customer’s potential shrink losses.”

According to May, Iverify will provide its “I Guard” and “I Control” products, delivering projected savings of $62.5–$70 million.  The suite of services will reduce guard costs, lower losses from theft, and improve employee safety, according to May.

“We think we have developed an effective forward-leaning service that drives value and safety to the point of protection,” May said.

Michael Barnes, a partner in the consulting and advisory firm Barnes Associates, which specializes in the security alarm industry, and co-sponsors the Barnes Buchanan Conference, felt Iverify had a lot to offer.

“Iverify has been at the forefront of delivering improved value in security operations for national retailers while reducing the cost of security expense,” Barnes said in a statement. “Mike May has built a sophisticated team of loss prevention professionals that remotely deliver security services at a very low cost. They have driven robbery and shrink rates down by over 50 percent at a number of national retailers.”

Iverify’s May made headlines in SSN a year ago when he was onsite doing a risk assessment for a client, a large, urban retail store in Detroit. While he was there a gang of youths attacked, and brutally beat a lone individual. May’s quick action—prompted by 10 years of law enforcement and EMT experience—very likely saved the victim’s life.

 

by: Daniel Gelinas - Friday, April 29, 2011

So I'm getting ready for an interview I have today with Keyscan director of marketing Steve Dentinger when I notice an intriguing tweet from Monitronics. It linked to a sad (not sad as in, "oh, that's so sad, I think I'll cry," but sad as in "Wow... That guys a complete idiot... I'm amazed his head hasn't frozen from lack of neural activity.") story about this guy John Paul Rorech who purposefully perpetrated a false alarm in order to  escape being issued a speeding ticket.

I've written plenty about false alarms and how they're no joke. I've covered how they've lead end users to disillusionment and even inspired some to wax poetical about the false alarm.

I'm just glad they caught the guy... Calling in a fake shooting and wasting officer time and tax payers' money to avoid a speeding fine? Not cool, man, not cool.

 

 

 

by: Daniel Gelinas - Wednesday, April 27, 2011

MJ Vance accepts her Presidential Award from the Missouri Fire Marshal's Association.

I got an email from MJ Vance the other  day and leanrd that she's left CenterPoint Technologies. She's not sure where she's going yet, but is keeping all her prospects open. Asked why she was moving on, MJ said the departure was amicable and simply a sign of growth.

MJ also told me that she wants to stay within the security industry, and is particularly interested in the PERS industry. In the meantime, she said she "may take the summer off and ride cross country on my Harley."

I wrote not too long ago about another well-known and well-liked leader in the central station space moving over into PERS when Southwest Dispatch's VP Ty Davis moved to Life Alert.

I first interviewed MJ back during my first trip to ISC West in 2008. I interviewed her on camera for our then newly-launched ssnTVnews. That was a popular interview on our site--testament to MJ's stature in the industry.

I also spoke with MJ in 2010 when she hired a new operations manager and won the Presidential Award from the Fire Marshal’s Association of Missouri (pictured above).

Good luck MJ! 

 

by: Daniel Gelinas - Tuesday, April 19, 2011

So I'm looking at following up on the AICC National Monitoring License Subcommittee's work so far for a source book article. You'll recall that since the flap over Article 6-E proposed legislation in New York for licensing central stations, momentum has really shifted to a federal-level push.

I talked with AICC chairman Lou Fiore today about how things were going, where the committee was at, what work had been done and what remained.

First of all, Lou pointed me to the comment website that had been set up. This is the place you can--and should--go to read the proposed legislation, which is the proposal late Vector president John Murphy developed years ago, and offer your tweaks. The subcommittee hopes to get lots of feedback from all of you, so take some time, go to the site, download the proposal, read it, think about it and make some suggestions through the website's online form.

Also, I'd love to hear what you think about the proposal the way it stands. How do you feel about a national monitoring license? Drop me a line or give me a call (207-846-0600 ext. 254) and let me know.

by: Daniel Gelinas - Thursday, April 14, 2011

Recently, I've been doing some thinking about, reporting on, and writing about municipal video surveillance. Our upcoming source book is all about video surveillance. Our most recent poll is all about video surveillance. People sure do have varying and strong opinions.

We here at SSN received a well-thought out answer to recent Chicago-focused criticisms of the ACLU’s Illinois chapter from Iverify’s Mike May. Mike sent us a letter, part of which I used in the sourcebook but his thoughts are so compelling, I thought I’d post them up here for everyone to read in their entirety.

From Mike:

I am writing to comment on the position adopted by the ACLU regarding the City of Chicago video surveillance system. As a career security and law enforcement professional I have a deep and abiding respect for the constitutional protections that we as Americans enjoy. The world is fraught with example after example of human rights being trampled when adequate protection of people are not embraced as foundational principles of society.

The right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to the quiet enjoyment of our lives and the freedom to exercise free  speech are all part of the bedrock of  American society. Those protections also extend to the rights of our citizens to live free of fear from crime, to  live their lives peacefully in their neighborhoods, and the right of our children to travel the streets of our cities without being victims of drug addicts, career criminals and predators.

We seem to have lost our way when it comes to the protection of individual freedoms. Our society has an obligation to provide a safe and secure community that is free of intimidation, where predation by criminals is prevented and where our families can go about their daily lives earning a living, gaining an education, participating in their community or enjoying their retirement without fear.

The ACLU has been a bright beacon for individual rights and the balance of governmental authority. I believe the ACLU needs to have its leadership walk the streets of Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Columbus. Our core rustbelt cities are fighting a death struggle every day to maintain a semblance of freedom for its residents and its businesses. Our company works in the most challenged urban locations in the country and we see the impact every day to those folks who are working hard to make a living in the face of violent unconstrained crime.

The City of Chicago has established itself as a leader in the use of modern technology solutions in an effort to identify those involved in urban crime and terrorism. The ACLU should step back and thoughtfully look in the mirror and adopt a position that they are as concerned about the rights of the folks who strive to get by and make a living every day in our cities as they are about public positioning. Only then will they be living up to their name as the American Civil Liberties Union and could legitimately claim the moral high ground in this important dialogue.

Mike May

President and CEO

Iverify

Check out the Video Surveillance Source Book for more on the civil rights story playing out in municipalities around the country.

 

by: Daniel Gelinas - Tuesday, April 5, 2011

So I'm in sunny (and HOT) Las Vegas. It's been one heck of a long day of travel. I left my house up in Raymond Maine (on the shores of Sebago Lake) at around 4 a.m. this morning and headed to the airport in Portland.

The trip was pretty uneventful except that my connection in Minneapolis/St. Paul was delayed for a bit. Gave me a chance to catch up on some reading.

I sat next to an interesting and congenial (not to mention attractive) young woman named Meghann on the way out to Vegas. We talked the entire flight, which was nice. She told me about her industry that she was in, and I got to tell her all about the show going on in Sin City this week. She promised to check out the Security 5K Thursday morning (providing she's up and at 'em).

Anyway, I checked into the Mirage, unpacked, ironed my jackets and shirts and headed over to the Sands to see if I could hook up with any of my fellow Newsbreakers. As luck would have it, I stumbled upon SSN publisher Tim Purpura and associate publisher Gregg Shapiro. Now all my loyal readers will remember that Tim and I and Gregg and I have had some wild security adventures over the last couple years.

Let me tell you, setting up the ssnTVnews booth where we'll be hosting the Meet the Editors event tomorrow morning from 8:30-10:30 a.m. was no less of an adventure. Location is everything, and we're right there when you round the corner to head downstairs and register. We'll be there with complimentary coffee ready to shake hands and chat you up about your plans for the show. Don't miss it!

See you bright and early tomorrow! Of course, first I'm hitting the CAA Industry Breakfast with ADT's Jon Sargent to get a little omelet on, but then I'll be over for coffee and lots of introductions.

I look forward to meeting you all tomorrow!

by: Daniel Gelinas - Monday, April 4, 2011

Well, it's the North American security industry's big week this week out in Las Vegas. A bigger, bolder, rebounded ISC West is ready to go down in Sin City at the Sands Convention Center, and the editors of Security Systems News and Security Director News will be there, talking with industry players and bringing you the news you need as it happens.

If you'll be traveling out to Vegas to take in the show, please stop by and see us at our Meet the Editors event, which will take place at the ssn/sdnTVnews desk (right outside the exhibition hall) on Wednesday morning from 8:30-10:30 Pacific. We'll be handing out complimentary coffee and asking people about their plans for the show and for the coming year.

Start your day off right with the News!

Of course, we'll all (Martha, Tess, Leischen and I) be tweeting and blogging live from the floor, as well as interviewing select luminaries on camera for ssnTVnews and sdnTVnews. Drop by SSN and SDN often for updates.

Now, recently I told you all about the Security 5K happening on Thursday morning. There's still time to register if you want to walk or run in this great charity race to benefit Mission 500. If you can't make the show or the race, but want to tune in live, you can check out SSN's live Security 5K Channel at Ustream. You can check out SSN publisher's assistant Cath Dagget and I kicking the race off with our rousing rendition of the National Anthem, followed by the starting gun, the launch of the pack (the SSN/SDN Newsbreakers will be at the tip of the phalanx, I'm certain) and live highlights throughout the race. Watch Twitter for a tweet when the Security 5K Channel goes live on Thursday morning.

I'm looking forward to seeing you all in Vegas!

by: Daniel Gelinas - Friday, April 1, 2011

I just got an email from Mission 500 Volunteer and Advisory Council member George Fletcher. I wasn't the only one. Everyone who has registered for the upcoming 2nd annual Security 5K road race, which is happening at this year's ISC West in Vegas, got the email, I assume. It's nice to see the industry pulling together for a good cause and raising some money for the needy.

I think this year's race will be even better than the inaugural installment last year. That first race raised around $30k. Let's hope we do equally well this year.

Though I haven't been promoting this fact, I feel I should perhaps mention it now. Following in the footsteps of SSN editors before me, I'll be singing the National Anthem before the race along with my colleague, SSN publisher's assistant Cath Dagget. I'm not promosing an overwhelming emotional response to our well-rehearsed, on-key, on-target, patriotic portrayal, but I think we'll at least get the words right. I hope.

Good luck to everyone who registered to walk or run in the race. Let's do some good and have a great ISC West!

Here's the email from George Fletcher. Thanks for the props, George!

A warm welcome to all of you who have registered for our second Security 5K at the ISC West in Las Vegas, and a big THANKS in advance for making this commitment. We look forward to seeing you bright and early on Thursday April 7 for the run: race details are in attached document, or you can also see at: 

 http://www.security5k.com/faqs.php

 For the fourth year ISC and Reed Exhibitions have kindly helped promote Mission 500 - we thank them again for their commitment to our cause. Security Systems News  has also been instrumental in the creation of the Security 5K, and in promoting the event throughout the industry. We also acknowledge all of our sponsors and thank them for making it possible: Alarm.com, Altronix, Axis Communications, DMP, Deister Electronics, Ditek, HID, Honeywell, LRG Marketing Communications, Panasonic, Pelco by Schneider Electric, Pivot3 and Safety Technology International Inc.

 Please remember to mark you calendar for our celebratory cocktail reception on April 7 at 5.15 pm, at room 301/302 in the Sands Convention center (near the registration area): we will hand out medals, acknowledge our top fundraiser, best Team run, sponsors, and this years Mission 500 Humanitarian Award and Corporate Social Responsibility Award honorees.

 Looking forward to meeting many of you on race day and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns

 

George Fletcher

Volunteer and Advisory Council member

Mission 500

by: Daniel Gelinas - Thursday, March 31, 2011

There's been a lot of online chatter out there about the false alarm ordinance in Avondale, Ariz. I wrote last summer about some ordinance wackiness in neighboring Goodyear. I spoke with Arizona Alarm Association president Maria Malice. She and SIAC worked pretty hard with the folks in Goodyear to make sure the municipality understood the possible problems with going to verified response. 

At the time, I was told there were a whole bunch of municipalities in the metro Phoenix area that were thinking about harsher ordinances, Avondale among them.

Now, earlier this month, Jon Sargent over at SIAC gave me a call to let me know Avondale had hired CryWolf as a third party administrater of the alarm ordinance. The city council has decided to hold alarm companies responsible for the false alarm fines.

Ken Kirshchenbaum has a nice collection of commentary from alarm industry folks. Maria started the ball rolling by pointing out how important it was to take action.

Ken,

    Thank you so much for putting this out for us!  We are working hard to fight this issue as we know there are other Cities here in AZ who will want to follow in Avondale's footsteps if we do not take action now.

    One other notable is that we have SB-1277 for statewide alarm licensing in process.  We hope to have this passed this year.

    Love your daily emails they bring such great topics to light.  Keep up the great work!  Thank you!

Maria Malice

Vice President Special Projects

COPS Monitoring

Scottsdale, Arizona office

Arizona Alarm Association, President

Randy Larkam from north of the border up in Calgary ponits out that they've been fined for false alarms for years and that that tructh has lead to kind of an evolution, where private security officers vet alarms before dispatch. It's the way Mike Jagger runs Provident, too. I've written about them before when discussing verified alarms and priority reponse.

Ken

    Here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada alarm co’s have been billed $75 for every false alarm for the last 5+ years…

This has led to a lot more guard response/verification (unarmed).

Randy S. Larkam

Many in the industry are using the analogy of the car manufacturer or the car dealer being made to pay for end users' speeding tickets. I see where that anaolgy makes sense. However, I don't really think it's exactly apples to apples. When I buy my car from the dealership, my relationship with them truly is over (unless I stupidly financed through them rather than through a local credit unio or AAA). In the alarm industry, dealers or central stations still have regular contact with the end user, and in fact, it's the central sttion that dispatches on the alarm signal.

Ken:

    The best analogy that I have heard on this approach is..."Should Ford and other auto makers have to pay the speeding tickets that you and I receive for disobeying the speed limit"  Maybe if the alarm companies in Arizona can convey this line of reasoning to the elected officials they will re-think this ordinance.

Michael Samulin

Intruder Alert Systems, Inc.

San Antonio, TX

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying alarm companies should pay for false alarms, but there IS a continuing relationship wherein the alarm company via monitoring and dispatch is directly involved in sending the police to a location where an emergency might not exist... Not really apples to apples unless I regularly am allowing the car salesman to ride with me and play really rockin' driving music and egg me on to speed.

Luis Arellano, president of Reliance Alarm Company in Pennsylvania makes a good point that ordinances often times function to keep lazy or disinterested alarm users in line. Sometimes people just don't care that they're wasting officers' time and municipality resources...

Honorable friends,

    By way of amicus curiae I would like to express the opinion that your recent false alarm ordinance, requiring the alarm company to pay false alarm fines for its customer, is a bad idea.

    For starters, your ordinance may eventually have the effect of delaying or preventing the reporting of a true alarm condition, and has the potential to cost lives.

    The end user should be held responsible for purchasing and installing false-alarm-resistant system technology; for updating obsolete technology; for keeping it in proper operating condition; for learning the proper operation of the system; and for using the premises and the system in a way that does not provoke false alarm incidents.

    While the alarm company can and should assist in the above, it does not control the end user's budget; who will be on the premises; and the broad variety of things they might do to provoke false alarms including raising dust, spray painting, burning things in the kitchen, improper testing, renovations, roof and plumbing leaks, animal and insect infestation, insect fogging and more.  The alarm company usually does not know in advance that such events are taking place on the premises and therefore cannot identify false-alarm-provoking activity until after the alarm has been tripped.

    The alarm industry as a whole has been struggling with these false alarm problems for all of my thirty-one years in business and in recent years has become increasingly aggressive in its efforts.  While great strides have been made in false alarm reduction, we have yet to find the magic bullet.

    Economically, the starting assessment of $150 is disproportionate to the fee that alarm companies charge for monitoring service, approaching and probably significantly exceeding the ultimate profit on a year's monitoring service for many companies.  Putting the burden of reimbursement on the alarm company will create friction between all parties that will ultimately prove to be counterproductive.

    Although I'm not in your area, there are some municipalities in my market area that my company simply won't serve at all for lesser reasons.  You are therefore jeopardizing the availability of affordable service in your community by driving away potential vendors; and you're giving the companies that do stay the leverage to raise their installation, service and monitoring fees substantially to compensate for the extra risk and expense.

Our friend Dusan is a little less balanced, in my opinion, shouting for revolution. Che may have had his impetus down in BA, but it doesn't compare to how heated alarm guys get about false alarms and fines and unAmerican legislation. I've commented on some of Dusan's input on the Article 6-E debate before.

Welcome to COMMUNIST STATES OF AMERICA. We need to overturn this idiotic government just like people do it in other countries. It is ridiculous that we let people who steal, cheat, even pay hookers with our tax money like former New York governor rule our lives. Are we bunch of kids to let anyone order us around?

Dusan

There are many other voices to be heard. Has yours been heard yet? Get involved and let the industry and your municipality know what you think when it comes time for ordinances. This kind of thing has happened before and will happen again. The best thing alarm companies can do is be invovled in their community, know the ordinances, know the city council meeting agendas. And ACT.

 

 

 

 

 

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