Subscribe to Monitor This! RSS Feed

Monitor This!

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


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:

 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:, 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.


    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.


    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.


    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?


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.






by: Daniel Gelinas - Thursday, March 24, 2011

I got an email from Lou Fiore recently and got right on the horn with him. He told me all about some rumblings in Congress about auctioning off a certain section of the radio spectrum to help pay for a Public Safety Network.

No big deal, right?

Wrong... Unfortunately, the section of the spectrum they're looking at invading has an indigenous population already... The security industry.

Lou told me that back in the day in the late 60s, the security industry began using the frequencies in question, between 450 MHz and 470 MHz and that particular stretch of spectrum has become home to a lot of big players.

"We first got access to the 400s in the late 60s and we got frequencies set aside for us. And we were using them through the 70s and 80s, but with cell phones, many alarm companiess switched over and abandoned the 400s," Fiore said. "But then we started using the 400s for data. Then AES came along and really hit it hard with a solid application. And now this."

Mace CSSS' Morgan Hertel agreed open auction of the 400s would have a big impact.

"This will effect systems ... that have been using UHF radio frequencies," Morgan said. "It’s a big deal since this is the area where those that didn’t want to use GSM are and have been using successfully for a decade or more."

Lou said every alarm dealer needed to get involved and write to the appropriate folks in Congress. 

Here's Lou's email in full:



Several bills have been introduced in Congress, both in the House H.R. 607and Senate S. 28 and S. 455 which could result in the auctioning of our valuable spectrum to the highest bidder. In the case of the House, the bill calls for the auctioning of the 450 to 470 MHz spectrum within which frequencies we use to transmit alarm signals from homes and businesses to our central stations. In the case of Senate, S. 28 and S. 455, these bills call for the auctioning of spectrum which could finance either the public safety network or raise money for other purposes.

ACTION NEEDED NOW: It is time to react and react aggressively to let our Representatives and Senators know that our industry and the service we provide will be seriously harmed and our businesses are at risk if our frequencies are auctioned.

Radio has become an important and growing component on how we move data either from sensors to control equipment or from premises equipment to central stations. In this current world where mobile cellular and broadband are invading our lives, the appetite for radio spectrum has become insatiable to the point where there is a high probability that Congress will attempt to invade our most important frequencies.

At risk are frequencies in the business band, namely 450 to 470 MHz, and the frequencies we use for short range devices in the 300 to 350 MHz band (Part 15 devices) and perhaps even at about 900 MHz (additional Part 15 devices). These short range devices are used for on-premises communications such as sensors and PERS devices. A comprehensive list is being compiled and will be presented to Congress.

Below is a link to two letters, one for Senators and the other for Representatives. You, your colleagues and employees should send the appropriate one to your Representative and your Senators. Personalize these letters as you see fit, but keep the basic message the same. Then place them on your letterhead or stationary. Make sure that your office or home address (whichever places you in the targeted members district) is on the letter. Below is also a link to a list of Members on the House and Senate Commerce Committees with jurisdiction over telecommunications issues.  The letter to the Representatives addresses H.R.607, while the Senate letter addresses broader spectrum issues.

*  If there is a member of the House or Senate from your state who sits on the Committees of jurisdiction, it is imperative that you send them the appropriate letter.

* BUT you should also send one to your Congressman and both Senators whether or not they sit on these Committees.


If you do not know the names and addresses of your Representative and Senators, a search at and respectively will yield their names and addresses.

Because of lengthy screening and security delays for the delivery of  US mail to congressional offices, the AICC asks that  letters supporting the AICC’s position on legislation be sent to CSAA at the address below so that we can hand deliver them to your senators and representatives.

Please send your SIGNED letter addressed to the appropriate member of Congress as follows:

By UL Mail:

Monique C. Silverio

Director of Marketing and Communications

Central Station Alarm Association

8150 Leesburg Pike, Suite 700

Vienna, VA22182

By FAX to:


By email

CSAA will collect the letters and deliver them to Congress.

Please contact Lou Fiore at if you have any questions.

So much has been happening in the industry as far as communications pathways are concerned. The FCC sunsetted AMPS, they're sunsetting POTS, there's been talk of GSM technologies phasing out, AT&T is buying T-Mobile, narrowing the competative field in the world of GSM (which may or may not be a big deal depending on who you talk with), and now this. As Lou said to me, "It was three years ago that we lost AMPS to a shutdown and many people migrated to these radio frequencies in order to not be beholden to a cellular carrier in hopes of getting away from future sunsets. It's like there's no port in the storm, here."

I also had a chance to speak with AES Intellinet president and CEO Mike Sherman. Avid readers of this blog will remember I've spent some time in the past talking with Mike about communications pathway alternatives as POTS has begun to go away, and GSM 2.0 has threatened to dwindle and broadband has had its problems.

Mike agreed with Lou that absolutely now was the time to get informed and contact your congressmen. However, he also said the magnitude of the suggested auction was so great that he couldn't imagine it happening any time soon. Here's a bit of our conversation:

I guess in theory it could be a big deal, but I don’t really believe it will be ... If the government does this—auctions off this section of the spectrum—the purchasers will probably have to pay to relocate the occupants of the bandwidth they bought ... That is what nobody in Congress really understands ... They're making sweeping statements not really understanding what it would take to do what they want to do. Even if they do do this, their timeline is over the next 10 years ... Let’s take a look at the 450-470—that’s where the security industry is. It’s where the vast majority of Intellinet radios are. This is the people’s frequency. There are millions and millions of radios on those frequencies owned by everyone from your local flower shop to McDonalds. When you pull up to McDonalds or Burger King or Dunkin Donuts and they have these wireless radios they’re wearing in a headset when you pull up to get your coffee at the window? Those are all on these frequencies. If the government sells these frequencies, somebody is going to have to replace all these millions and millions of radios. Who can pay to dot that? And it goes on and on. In these frequencies, you’ve got the forestry service, you’ve got all the railroads. Are they going to replace every radio in every railroad in the United States? Are they going to replace every radio in every ranger station in every park in the United States? Not only that, it’s the petroleum industry, too. These users are entrenched. They’ve been here since 1960 and before. To move them would take billions and billions of dollars.

Get in the know and get involved.

by: Daniel Gelinas - Monday, March 21, 2011

I got a release this morning letting me know that Honeywell had announced the release of its new Spanish language version of the LYNX Plus keypad.

I’ve written before about security industry entities broadening their demographic reach through expanding into languages other than English.

Good for Honeywell. Not everyone speaks English. As one who speaks English, has studied French, Russian and Spanish and knows a few words in Greek, I have to say I applaud any company that embraces a multilingual outlook to widen the accomodated demographic.

I’ve also written about the LYNX Plus before. It won a Maximum Impact Award from ESX last year. The new Spanish version is a combination control panel, keypad, siren, dialer, two-way voice system and speakerphone that has an internal GSM radio that lets dealers offer RMR-generating services like Total Connect.

Total Connect, of course, is the mobile aspect so many end users today are looking for, according to many with whom I’ve recently spoken.

The LYNX Plus can communicate using standard phone lines, IP transmission and GSM. Such versatility is something I’ve written about before, as well. With POTS lines disappearing and the Federal Government mandating a sunset of the PSTN, wireless solutions are a big thing these days.

Of course, I still think the security industry should design, implement and completely control its own communications path in order to truly overcome the uncertainty that comes with having to rely on another, non-security company’s technology to function.


by: Daniel Gelinas - Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I was contacted recently by Armstrong's GM Dan Small about some new initiatives they're taking up in the Great White North to help out their dealers and treat them right.

"Armstrong’s Communication Ltd. is adding some new services for our dealers, as well as having a major yearlong contest," Dan told me in an email. I called  him up and we talked for a bit.

Armstrong's is a Canadian central staiton with offices in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and Moncton and Coal Creek, New Brunswick. They monitor accounts in every province of Canada. I wrote about them a few years back when they started their FAST dealer financing program.

So what's new with Dan Small et al?

"It has been a wild couple of years.  Growth has been great and we have been working very hard," Dan told me. "We're promoting products and services to all our dealers." Small told me they were promoting discounted products and services from provider partners to their dealers--everything from software and hardware to insurance. "We're not doing any buying or anything, but we're telling product and service providers, 'If you'll give us a bulk discount, we'll promote your product to our dealers as a promotion. It'll get on our website, it'll get out to our dealers, we'll do a mailer.' We're just trying to say, 'Here's another reason, another advantage to using Armstrong's.'"

Dan also said Armstrong's is coming up with some other creative dealer incentives, as well.

"Technologically, we're all about the same. And that really has leveled the playing field. So you need to be a little more creative these days in saying, 'This is why you should use me," Dan said. "So we're doing a contest as well. We did one 10 years ago that was really succseful in which we gave away a van. This isn't really designed to help switch new dealers over to us--if it does, that's great--but what's it's designed to do is to get our dealers who maybe have a few drifter accounts left spread out at other centrals. And the dealer just never gets around to reprogramming those accounts. This contest has been motivating them to transfer all their accounts over. For every account they bring over, they get one ballot toward the car."

The car Dan's talking about is brand new Chevy Camaro. They've been running the contest since November 1. Avid readers of this blog will recall the security industry hijinks that ensued when SSN associate publisher Gregg Shapiro and I traveled down to Dallas last summer for a security roadtrip during which we found ourselves in a bitchin' Camaro, pictured below.


I wrote about some other creative dealer incentives a while ago as well when I covered AlarmWATCH's NFL-themed dealer contest.

Dan also talked a little bit about how the industry had been changing.

"Our industry has had to change our mind set," Dan said. "Years ago, it was: 'Let’s keep all the information to ourselves.' Now it’s: 'How fast can we get the info out?'"

True enought, Dan. I've been talking with a lot of security industry folks lately who are beginning to realize that they had better adapt to changing technology and changing end users quickly or find themselves scrathing their heads, wondering where their businesses have gone.

by: Daniel Gelinas - Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I got a call and an email from alarm verification's de facto spokesman, Keith Jentoft, president of RSI Video Technologies yesterday. He wanted to let me know that his priority response crusade is going well. He'd just finished up in Boston and was on his way to Idaho. He'd also spent some time in California. Looks like they're falling with what Keith and other proponents like Sonitrol have said is the priority response value proposition.

The big news appears to be that a lot of the southern part of the state is making official announcements of its backing of the priority response model, in which police grant higher response priority to alarms that are proactively verified by some kind of video or audio.

Here's what Keith had to say about Californina:

Boston has already moved forward on this and I just completed making presentations to the PSAPs in the 4 largest counties in southern California:

- Los Angeles County

- Orange County

- Riverside County

- San Bernardino County

All of them are moving forward with the Priority Response program. We go to every meeting with the larger security companies in the area. For the Southern California meetings we had:

- Stanley


- USA (George Gunning, the owner, is the past president of the ESA)

I've been writing about verified alarms and the priority response movement for a while. Keith wanted let me know he'll be conducting a priority response seminar at ISC West next month on Tuesday April 5 in the morning... Not sure if I can make it since I may be in transit at the time, but I'm certainly going to try.

Here's a little of what Keith sent me on his seminar:

I have been very busy on working with the PSAPs (public safety answering points) also known as the 911 dispatch centers. Here are the details on the seminar that I will be making at ISC West on the topic ...

Tuesday, 04/05/2011: 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM

Priority Response: More Arrests, Efficiency, Safety

Priority Response is being embraced by law enforcement as a painless alternative to non-response that delivers more arrests and greater life safety. Using Priority Response, new generic video alarm systems send video clips of what caused alarm for immediate review. This enables dispatchers to assess priority, using confirmation of the alarm. However, in order to be effective in the dispatch center (PSAPs), a policy upgrade is necessary. This presentation will provide case studies of 3 different alarm technologies that are already working. Attendees will learn the new code used in the dispatch center for video alarms, the email address that Central Stations should use to send video clips to PSAP, and how to make a formal policy announcement to the community.

Learning Objectives:

1.  Understand that Priority Response is vendor neutral

2.  Showcase the ability of Priority Response to improve life safety, increase arrests and provide greater crime deterrence.

3.  Learn how to implement Priority Response in the 911 dispatch center with a simple policy change.

Speaker: Keith Jentoft, President, Videofied - RSI Video Technologies

Instead of the cumbersome and difficult process of implementing alarm ordinances, the PSAP manager can simply make a policy decision to grant higher priority response to video intrusion alarms.

Priority response appears to be really moving forward. I've written before, when I did a story on AD Group's Dedicated Micros, that in the UK, priority response is already the standard... What's your opinion? Do you offer some sort of verified solution?

I also just found out from Keith that he'd been invited to speak at an upcoming APCO event. Security folks don't get invited to these things often--let alone asked to speak. I covered some recognition Vector's Pam Petrow got last year for her extensive work on a computer-aided dispatch system—the External Alarm Interface Exchange Standard—for PSAP to central station data exchange.

Here's what Keith had to say to me in an email last night:

"This just happened yesterday.  I was just invited to speak at the national convention of APCO.  This is the association of all of the PSAPs (911 centers) around the country who actually receive the calls from the central stations and dispatch law enforcement to the alarms.  I don’t think that the alarm industry has ever been invited to speak at an APCO event."

Let me know what your thoughts are on priority response.

by: Daniel Gelinas - Thursday, March 3, 2011

TRENTON, N.J.—Hot on the heels of the New York licensing flap over Article 6-E, proposed legislation in New Jersey that looks to restrict doing business in the state to alarm companies that have business offices here has at least one alarm company owner concerned.

“This is being done quickly and quietly,” said Peter Rogers, COO of McLean, Va.-based FrontPoint Security of A-2394. “What it really comes down to is making life more difficult for any out-of-state competitors. Think of all the companies in New York or Pennsylvania, or Delaware and even farther afield who are following all the rules, but suddenly they can’t operate. It’s anti-competitive and bad for consumers.”

FrontPoint is licensed to do business in New Jersey, but maintains no brick-and-mortar presence there.

The NJBFAA said it proposed the legislation to protect consumers from out-of-state companies that could potentially operate “under the radar.”

“The benefit from this is that it will substantiate the regulations to make sure that permitting for jobs is being properly done by a business qualifier or a licensed individual and to provide onsite supervision,” NJBFAA president Rich Trevelise said. “That way if an issue comes up on a project it can be addressed in a timely fashion by an onsite license holder.”

Eric Pritchard, attorney with Kleinbard Bell & Brecker, said A-2394 is not groundbreaking.

“States are permitted to regulate these sorts of activities, and in fact many do regulate security and fire services,” he said. “Many states have requirements like that being considered in New Jersey.”

The legislation continues to go through revisions and gain momentum. Particularly onerous according to Rogers is a recent amendment that removes a clause allowing out-of-state companies to do business if they at least maintain a power of attorney in New Jersey.

What will be the impact of this legislation if it passes?

“The question becomes, what’s driving this. And from an outsider’s perspective this will be viewed as an anti-competitive effort on the part of those within the state. The impact will certainly be that it lessens competition,” Pritchard said. “Part of what I’ve been told is that what’s driving this is regulating the summer programs. I have tell you, if I represented a summer model company that was trying to do business in New Jersey, I don’t think it would be that difficult to comply with this law. I think this will lead to office-sharing arrangements—which exist in other states already—where a number of alarm companies get together and rent space or pay a service fee to a service provider to act as the local office. It happens in all industries all the time in all states.”

What’s next for A-2394?

“We passed the first milestone in mid-February when it made it through the assembly,” Trevelise said. “The next step is for it to go to the Senate.” The NJBFAA said it welcomes all comments from the industry.