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by: Daniel Gelinas - Monday, June 28, 2010


I wrote a while back about this company mobiDEOS that was allowing you to access your cameras from any web enabled device, including your iPhone. Now it looks like they’ve done up an app for the Android as well, which is good, since one of the many security guys I met at ESX said his only wish was that there were more security related apps for his Droid phone.

Well, here you go.

MobiDEOS is a provider of applications, technologies and services to help users realize the value and potential of live video streaming on their mobile devices. MobiDEOS claims to work with 95 percent of mobile device models, including but not limited to iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Palm, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson and now Droid.

According to a mobiDEOS press release, users can now purchase the MobileCamViewer directly from mobiDEOS and have the application up and running in three minutes. The release says the app will be available soon on Android Market place.

Interested parties can trial the app for free here.

From the release:

MobileCamViewer seamlessly connects with ALL Microsoft compatible webcams, popular IP Cameras and DVR/NVRs such as JVC, Panasonic, Axis, Dedicated Micros, Milestone, Vivotek, Sony,Toshiba, Canon and many more.


MobileCamViewer has been on the market for over two years and works on wireless networks from carriers across the globe such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint/Nextel, Telstra and Orange.

When I originally interviewed the folks at mobiDEOS, they said their mission was to open up surveillance everyone. “All of this already exists in separate pieces, or it’s bundled with specific hardware. They give you a live picture or a piece of video, but you have to buy their equipment. Or you have to have a specific phone,” Palasamudram said. “We don’t restrict the end user and say, ‘You must use this phone and buy our equipment.’ We don’t believe in that … If you want to give true value, you want to give them freedom to choose, whatever phone you carry. That’s where the value comes in.”

by: Daniel Gelinas - Friday, June 25, 2010


I got an email from CSAA VP of marketing and programs Celia Besore yesterday. Looks like the results of the CSAA’s first Security Trends Survey are in and ready to be acquired, digested and utilized by y’all.

From Celia’s email:

The monthly survey showed some interesting results for April and May and should become a valuable benchmarking and forecasting tool for your business going forward.

The first installment of the survey is 31 pages of industry-specific data designed to help you run your business more efficiently and smartly.

Celia makes clear in her email the fact that in order for this survey to continue to deliver the goods–good goods, worthwhile goods, timely and informative goods–you all need to participate!

Remember, the goal of the short online survey is to deliver real-time insights to CSAA members on a monthly basis. In order to continue to improve this product, we are looking to get increased participation in the coming months. Don’t miss out on future opportunities to participate in this valuable tool. 

If you’re interested in pitching in and helping to create this valuable tool going forward, please email Celia or give her a call at 703-242-4670, Ext. 16.

In other CSAA news, CSAA’s book, “A Practical Guide to Central Station Burglar Alarm Systems–4th Edition” is out now and available for purchase. You can obtain your copy either through contacting Celia (seriously, is there anything that woman DOESN’T do?) at the above number or email, or through this order form.

by: Daniel Gelinas - Monday, June 21, 2010


I came across this story in my Google Alerts back before ESX (during which time I was too busy to think much about it), and came across it again today in Ken Kirschenbaum’s email newsletter. Seeing it referenced again today got the story going through my mind once again.

Seems the integrator in question, Vanwell Electronics, was made aware by monitoring company, Criticom Monitoring Services, of a dysfunctional panic button tied into the security system a number of weeks and numerous times before the incident occurred. An employee, Kimberly Grajales, at the premises–a hotel–was attacked and injured. She pushed the panic button expecting help to arrive. None ever did. She’s now $2.5 million richer. CMS–who was not responsible for equipment upkeep and did not receive a signal–was dropped from her lawsuit.

I like the way Ken wraps up his coverage of the lawsuit:

remember you are in the life / safety protection business, so conduct yourself and your business with that in mind.

I mean, the panic button is a pretty important piece of the overall solution, especially in a business setting like a hotel where staff are required to be present and potentially exposed to risk and loss 24/7/365 (the story in says the employee’s finger was almost bitten off… yuck.) If you, as the installer/maintenance contact can’t keep that particular, essential piece functioning, perhaps you deserve to fail to the tune of multi-millions.

by: Daniel Gelinas - Wednesday, June 16, 2010


It’s been a busy day so far at ESX, and it’s not over yet. Going through notes both typed and recorded can be a time-consuming process… It takes a lot of love and devotion for the industry to get these posts and stories out. What I wouldn’t do for security!

Anyway, I hit a few of the seminars today, attended the Icebreaker Luncheon, met with some industry folks and attended the CSAA General Membership meeting, which I found very interesting.

CSAA treasurer Daniel Demers with Montreal-based Reliance Protectron Security Services (I wrote about those guys last year), proudly announced that CSAA has been going gangbusters lately. “We’re very excited because it looks like this is going to be another really good year. CSAA is in really good shape … Look at the contributions. It’s really impressive. Growing dues and growing meetings,” Demers said. “We’re going to be over $700,000 for this year for the dues.”

CSAA president Ed Bonifas appealed to those in attendance to donate or loan classic pieces of security industry equipment to CSAA’s new industry museum which will be set to open next month–assuming there are pieces in residence to put on display.

Bonifas also officially announced the approval of ETL-listing as sufficient for an alarm company to join CSAA. I spoke with ETL’s national sales manager, Life Safety & Security Commercial & Electrical Jeff Baum and director, Life Safety and Security Services Global Commercial & Electrical Tom Connaughton later in the day. I covered some of ETL’s struggle for recognition earlier in the year.

CSAA EVP Steve Doyle talked a little bit about the CAD-to-CAD program Pam Petrow and others have been tirelessly working on. He mentioned that CSAA was forming three committees to help with the wide launch of the program. One committee, which Steve characterized as a Public Outreach Committee would be responsible for spreading the word about what the program was and what the recently established nationally recognized standard was for. If you missed out on any of SSN’s coverage, you can check out my writings on the subject here, here, and here.

SIAC executive director Stan Martin gave an industry/municipality relations update, noting in particular some tough goings on down in Arizona. “We’ve got about 10 municipalities down there who are thinking about going to verified response, but we’ve been working really hard and we’re sure they’ll all fall in line.” Martin said of the troubles I documented down in the Greater Phoenix area.

Lou Fiore delivered a standards committee update, in which he announced a video verification standard draft was in progress, an audio verification standard draft had been completed, a PERS response standard and video dispatch standard committees had been started. I wrote about MAMA’s Spring Meeting a short time ago and highlighted that one of their accomplishments had been the formation of a standards committee. Fiore said that CSAA hoped the two committees could focus their efforts and work together.

Then it was off to my sit down with Jeff and Tom from ETL. That was a very interesting talk, into which I’ll further delve in a separate post or story.

James Orvis at the cocktail reception immediately following his Weinstock Person of the Year Award win

James Orvis at the cocktail reception immediately following his Weinstock Person of the Year Award win

Then it was time for the CSAA 60th Anniversary Gala and the Weinstock Awards, which were cool. I was tweeting like a madman the whole time, so check those tweets out. James Orvis of Security Solutions won the coveted Weinstock Person of the Year Award. He seemed truly amazed, humbled and grateful. “Wow. ‘I’m shocked’ is a bit of understatement,” Orvis said. “I accept this on behalf of my family as well. Thank you.”

I got to hang out with Melissa Courville from DICE and CSAA’s Celia Besore for a while, which was cool since it’s the first time I’ve met her, despite calling her ad nauseam for just about everything since my first day here and my first blog post almost two years ago.

Overall a very satisfying and busy day. Tomorrow looks a little less busy and I’m anxious to walk the floor. We’ll see what happens.

by: Daniel Gelinas - Tuesday, June 15, 2010


PITTSBURGH–So I arrived in Pittsburgh for ESX a little later than planned today due to a protracted layover at JFK… But hey, let’s be honest, if you’re gonna be stuck in a protracted layover anywhere, shouldn’t it be JetBlue’s JFK terminal? Plenty of good food (I had some ginger chicken for lunch that was out of this world), free wifi, ample seating… It was kind of nice to sit, eat, catch up on email and read a book.


Anyway, I arrived in Pa. and was immediately impressed (and not a little relieved) to find out all the cabs in Pittsburgh (not so much in Vegas) accept credit cards, which was nice since I once again neglected to hit the bank-in-a-box on the way to the airport this morning.

The cab driver shared with me some of the history of Pittsburgh, along with it’s geography, size, population and selling points… He was really pushing the curb appeal. I wondered if he maybe moonlighted as a real estate agent and was about to ask if I wanted to see a really nice loft downtown. Anyway in describing the city, he said it was “clean, green and secure.” That was his word: “secure.” I’m sure I wasn’t the first security dude he’d carted off to a downtown hotel today…


Anyway checked in here at the Westin and then went downstairs to have a look around. I promptly bumped into Gerry Duffy of Bloomfield, N.J.-based Spectrum Cable and Alarm Systems and Chris Mosely from Marlboro, N.J.-based Complete Security Systems–both active members of the NJBFAA. I spoke with Chris last year regarding a developing story that was near and dear to his heart as his municipality’s PD got into alarm monitoring, providing the service for free and effectively cutting out the alarm company. I followed up on that original story here early this year when the MPD began an aggressive marketing campaign for their free monitoring service. We walked around for a bit and checked out some of the conference rooms where CSAA has already been hard at work in board meetings and such. Then we decided to go have some dinner.


Chris and Gerry were great company and we had a good time talking shop and telling stories. We discussed communications mediums coming to the fore in the face of the impending POTS sunset. We talked about RMR and what may or may not happen to it as a business model as more and more telcos threw their hats into the game. We also talked about the lead paint issue now spreading. I talked about life in the northern reaches of the Union (SSN’s based in way up north of Portland, Maine), Chris told of his beginnings as a young man in the alarm industry after a stint on a turkey farm didn’t work out (”There were thousands–thousands–of birds… You don’t want to get into poultry.”), and Gerry regaled us with tales of his personal, home-based surveillance system being at the right place at the right time and baggin’ some bad guys–more than once.


After dinner I briefly bumped into Texana’s Sean O’Keefe, and met up with SSN associate publisher Gregg Shapiro (whom you’ll recall joined me on a wild tour of Texas a couple weeks back), CenterPoint TechnologiesMJ Vance, and DICE’s Cliff Dice and Melissa Courville for some casual conversation.


Nice start to the day. Now off to bed for an early registration and a session on making PERS a Profitable Solution.


by: Daniel Gelinas - Thursday, June 10, 2010

So anyone who follows my blog or has followed our polls and stories lately here at SSN knows that I’ve done some writing about resi security’s perception in mainstream media.

I came across another story today about an end user who claims to have not understood that when she upgraded her equipment for free she’d be changing monitoring companies from ADT to Florida-based Security Networks. I’ve written about Security Networks before… They seem like capable enough guys. She claims she was lied to, the integrator who updated her equipment did some damage control in a comment posted at the bottom of the story, which is good. The story makes it clear that the woman was taken care of and switched back to ADT since that’s what she wanted. However, the fact remains that another commenter, going by the handle KnoxResident, on the story claims in a broad generalization that security companies scam people.

This is a common scam ran [sic] by security companies. They specialize in targeting the elderly. They convince the homeowner its time to ‘upgrade’ their old system free of charge without specifically mentioning they would be switching monitoring services. There are almost as many crooks in the security industry as their [sic] are in the banking industry.

Cripes! No one wants to be compared to the banking industry! Seriously, whoever is still out there lying to the elderly and stealing accounts, cut it out. It kinda ruins everything for everyone… Take a look at ESA’s code of ethics, please. And by the way, I’m not saying that the integrator in the abovelinked story DID, in fact do anything unscrupulous. Probably something to do with the ADT/Broadview deal. Or perhaps with ADT’s recent lawsuit against Security Networks and subsequent dropping of said suit…

by: Daniel Gelinas - Saturday, June 5, 2010


I wanted to add some pics from NMC’s Dave Steinbrunner. They’re peppered throughout the post. Enjoy. Thanks for the extra pics, Dave!

The final day of the Texas trip was spent with the guys from NMC. Regional sales manager David Steinbrunner invited me down to tag along on their inaugural Annual Dealer Fishing Trip. Of course, my being located in Yarmouth, Maine was kind of an obstacle, but I mentioned it to Sam who thought it would be a grand idea to go out and hang with the NMC boys from Dallas, visit a few other companies and see what happened.


Those of you who have been following along with this blog know associate publisher Gregg Shapiro and I had some crazy times down there in the land where everything (including the Lincoln Navigator Hertz tried to give us at 3 in the morning) is bigger and more beautiful. The fishing trip was no exception.

Grant, Stefan and David loading the luxury bus.

Grant, Stefan and David loading the luxury bus.

We arrived at the NMC monitoring center and met up with our NMC hosts, Dave, operations manager Grant Graham from the west coast office and Dallas-based central station manager Stefan Rayner, and director of telecommunications Scott Schubert. There were around 20 guys there, all ready to sing the praises of NMC and catch some stripers up on Lake Texoma on the Oklahoma border.


SSN's Gregg Shapiro is ready to catch some fish!... well, one fish...
SSN's Gregg Shapiro is ready to catch some fish!... well, one fish...

NMC bought everyone who needed one a special Texoma hunting/fishing license… Mine’s still good through the end of the year, which means, of course that I’ll have to get myself on the travel budget for ASIS. Wouldn’t want that license to go to waste. They also supplied boxed lunches for everyone, liquid refreshment, and a nice cooler pack to bring the cleaned catch home in at the end of the day (Gregg and I, foreseeing problems at security in DFW, graciously donated our take to the other participants).


Cedric gettting ready to head out on the lake.
Cedric gettting ready to head out on the lake.

The ride up to the lake, in a luxury, chauffeured bus was enjoyable, with camaraderie and anticipation palpable. I sat next to John Ybarra with Kings III Fire and Security. Nice guy. Good conversationalist, good fisherman. He said he got a call the night before to go on the trip. His boss was supposed to go, but something came up. Lucky guy.




We were divided into four guided boats. I was on boat three, which, if you follow me on Twitter, you KNOW caught the most fish because I tweeted said pronouncement post haste… And we all know once something’s written on the Internet, it’s true… Boats one, two, and four, you’re welcome to throw down. My boat comprised NMC’s Grant Graham, Action Fire Pros‘ Scott Hoppie and Daryl Barber, Cedric Bouligny with Comfort Security, Captain Johnny and me.

Captain Johnny puts a catch away

Captain Johnny puts a catch away

The goal of the trip, according to David (who was not on my boat, so I feel sorry for the small-sized crappies they hauled) was to attract new prospects through word of mouth from peers. “Our ultimate goal was to get a fire prospect, a burg prospect and a current fire and burg client on each boat and let them have some fun and talk,” David said. “They’re going to ask questions of their peers that they’re not going to ask me as a sales guy.”

Boat three was under the guidance of Captain Johnny Forrest. When I asked Johnny what company he worked for and if he had a title he said, “Sir?” To which I replied, “Do you work for a guide company or anything?” And he thought a second and said, “Yessir. Johnny Forrest Guide Service.” Johnny showed us all how to put shiners on the hook, though he’d bait it for us, show us how to measure out the pulls of line to get to the appropriate depth where the biggest lunkers would be sliding through the murk…

Cali central station operations manager Grant took no small amount of guff from a boat full of Texans for being from California.

Cali central station operations manager Grant took no small amount of good-humored guff from a boatful of Texans for being from California.

It was pretty thrilling to feel the massive pull on the line and wrestle and fight those fish into the boat… In all honesty, I’m not sure which boat caught the most fish, but I can tell you we all had a blast, cheering and jeering each other on. We all told stories; tall tales and fish stories; war stories (literally from Captain Johnny); shop talk. Cedric talked about family. We all learned a little from each other. Quite a team builder, indeed.

Cedric caught a real lunker!

Cedric caught a real lunker!

After we’d been out a couple hours, the captains took us back to shore and the fish were cleaned while the guys relaxed, talked and fielded calls from the office (”Work don’t stop just because you go fishing,” someone said to me when I asked about the urgent sounding call.)

Tough day to be a striper.

Tough day to be a striper.

Good day to be on the lake. Good day to be an NMC customer or prospect. Not such a good day to be a fat ol’ striper in Texoma.

by: Daniel Gelinas - Saturday, June 5, 2010
Posted in category Monitor This!
Beauty and funcionality are not mutually exclusive

Beauty and funcionality are not mutually exclusive

I blogged recently about my second day in Texas and my meeting with Safeguard Security. The day 3 wrap-up, complete with pics from the First Annual NMC Fishing Trip, is coming up (fear not), but I wanted to first do a kind of pictorial appendix to my day two post in which I mentioned how beautiful the new offices of Safeguard Security were. When Gregg and I commented on the inviting feel of the newly rehabbed building and were told that a member of the staff, Safeguard’s director of marketing Brian Cates, had done all the design and interior decoration, we were intrigued. Brian gave us a tour and later sent me a whole security office-full of pics.

So without further ado, dig these digs… part museum, part home, part art, part functionality, part industrial, part organic–all business. Gregg’s comment as we winged our way home to Portland, Maine today was “A space like that is such an asset–to you, your employees, your clients–If I had an office like that I’d never go home.”


Now, of course, as you approach the offices, you would never suspect the beauty that waits inside the typical, block-y, warehouse-y facade. You’re thinking “Oh, another rehabbed warehouse full of suspended ceilings, florescent lights, cubicles, white plastic venetian blinds on the windows… probably toner-stained green or red carpeting… ick.” (at least that’s what I was thinking…) Nothing could be further from the truth. The first cool thing I saw, actually, was Jim Gang’s armored Ford pick up… this thing is saving lives and fending off 50 cal armor piercing rounds like a cakewalk. Of course, I didn’t know what I was seeing because from the outside it just looks like a pickup truck.



As you enter the lobby, however, you’re greeted with clean lines and art, and open, inviting space. And of, course, you’re also invited by the HD screen behind the receptionist proclaiming “Welcome Security Systems News!” It was nice to see. There’s also a large conference room to the right behind the comfy chairs, which Michael said should be completed in all it’s connected, grand glory by ASIS.



A trip up the just industrial enough stairs past all the metal and glass affords an open view of the lobby below, as well as the conference rooms and offices on the second level.


The space is open and clean and welcoming. A trip into Michael’s office gives one the feel of stepping into a museum.









There’s also a galley kitchen and a fuller-sized kitchen that Brian said would soon be outfitted with ovens and cooktops. Gregg’s idea of living there is starting to look pretty good… There aren’t any pictures of the bathroom, but trust me they were all executive-level.





by: Daniel Gelinas - Friday, June 4, 2010


Well, let me preface this by saying this will be, initially, just a bare-bones post. I’ll flesh it out with more art, more specifics and more Texas-sized hijinks with associate publisher Gregg Shapiro in the morning.

The headline for this particular post doesn’t really mean anything… Just that it’s been a very long, but productive and enjoyable day. I’ve managed to go over all my notes and get them separated out and filed according to topic and potential story. Gregg and I had dinner this evening with Michael Lagow and SGI Director of marketing Brian Cates. We talked a lot about their nascent plans for expanding their portfolio of services as well as the future of video.

I’ve gone through a LOT of pics from a combination of my cell phone, my camera and security execs’ phones & cameras.

Here’s the command center SGI built for their technology partner Stealth Monitoring. Nice place.


I have to go to bed because I have a big day tomorrow with the folks at NMC. However, today was devoted to SGI Protective Services, Stealth Monitoring and Monitronics.

Michael Lagow et al over at SGI really started things off right today. I showed up at their new digs (I wrote about their big move last year) and noticed the digital sign board behind the reception desk sported a big, flashy welcome message specifically for me. “Welcome, Security Systems News!” It said… Hey man, that was pretty neat… I mean, as a trade journalist, I’m pretty used to the rock star reception I get everywhere I go (please note the air of tongue-in-cheek), but it’s still nice to receive that kind of welcome!

I signed in and was welcomed to sit in the comfy reception area while the receptionist got me a cup of coffee and I checked my laptop, notepad and voice recorder. The first thing I noticed was that these new digs were fly. I mean they are beautiful… I’ve been to a number of security companies and central stations and command centers, and the new space (they’re actually still finishing up the 2nd floor walk-throughs to the Stealth Monitoring side) at SGI combined a lot of different little elements… It’s just industrial enough–with muted earth tones and grays and blacks and clean lines and lots of glass and metal–in concert with organic touches from furniture, art and spaces that invite sitting and lounging… I found out later the recently occupied space–once gutted–was placed in the capable hands of SGI director of marketing Brian Cates (who also runs his own architectural/interior design business). Brian beamed as he showed us around the facility, which felt like it was all business, all home, all high-tech… “I wanted to make it feel like a day-home,” Brian said as he showed us the sitting area outside Michael’s office.

I met with many of the executives at SGI including Michael, Brian, VP of ops Shelly Anderson, VP of engineering Max Cook, and former Dallas Police Chief Bill Rathburn who is the spokesman for SGI’s background check division PBS. Rathburn teleconferenced in from the road and discussed the importance of being a one-stop shop and offering a total, tailored solution.

I also met Jim Gang who heads up 21st Century, an engineering company that R&Ds and produces armored vehicles for military deployment and personal protection. Jim and Michael are in the process of working out a partnership which will allow SGI to further the complexity of solutions it can tailor and offer clients. I won’t do Jim the disservice of trying to explain the technology that guy’s cooking up in his Dallas facility. I’m not an engineer. The armored Ford pickup he showed me, however was impressive. Trucks just like it have been saving lives in war situations. In fact, Jim’s product has an impeccable track record with zero fatalities. I read an email from a grateful soldier who walked away from an IED (improvised explosive device) detonation at 12 feet from his vehicle with a couple scratches. Impressive stuff.

 Me and Jim Gang with one of Safeguard's guards in front of the armored vehicle, which can withstand a 50 Cal armor piercing round from point blank range.  
Me and Jim Gang with one of Safeguard's security officers in front of the armored vehicle, which can withstand a 50 Cal armor piercing round from point blank range.  

While with Michael earlier in the day, I got to tour one of their security officer training sessions, which was cool. We were pressed for time, otherwise I think I would have offered myself up for taser training. We WERE pressed for time, however, so I watched a little of the “how to cuff and stuff” action and we moved on. We were slated to tour the production facility where Jim Gang develops and tests (read blows up) his composite armor materials. I was really looking forward to seeing some stuff blown up.

Gregg and I caught up with Michael again later that day for dinner, which was also excellent. Jasper’s had an amazing appetizer that was basically homemade potato chips with blue cheese… fantastic. I got the surf and turf with goat cheese potatoes and Butterfinger creme brule for dessert. Again, I say, fantastic.

On second thought, looking back at the pics, I can’t lie and say that I wish I’d let training director Rob Deanda man-handle me… it didn’t look like fun.\

Security officer training director Rob Deanda about to lay the smack down with the cuff and stuff.   And director Deanda actually laying the smack down.
Security officer training director Rob Deanda about to lay the smack down with the cuff and stuff.   And director Deanda actually laying the smack down.

Look for more news on Safeguard Security in the future.

In the middle of my Safeguard Security day, Gregg and I took some time to visit with Monitronics and get a tour of their grounds and central station. Mitch showed us around the new Monix dealer training center. It was nice and had a homey feel. Mitch said his intent was to make dealers feel at home, help them to enjoy the mandatory training and realize that THEY were the element that made the difference.


Mitch hinted that there may be some exciting technology news from the the Monitronics camp come ESX. Stay tuned.

by: Daniel Gelinas - Wednesday, June 2, 2010


So I’m off in Dallas right now. SSN associate publisher Gregg Shapiro and I took a trip down here so we could each visit our different peeps. It has been an interesting trip so far, let me tell you.

Of course, we thought we’d beat the universe at it’s game, have our cake and eat it, too, so to speak and work a full day (a mostly full day) before heading over to the Portland International Jetport for a 6:45 p.m. flight out to Atlanta and a connection to DFW. No problem, right? Well, unfortunately, nothing ever goes as smoothly as we expect.

before the problems start popping up, I can say the trip started off nicely as I bumped into new up-and-coming MC Ryan Peters, AKA Spizzy Spose, on his way to Atlanta. We chatted a little bit at bag check in and he was originally slated to sit right behind me–we were going to talk rhymes and rhythms for the whole flight–but apparently they made a mistake and sat him in the wrong seat and he was displaced by some woman… oh well. He was a very polite and down-to-earth guy.

Anyway… Flight left Portland late, got into Atlanta late. We boarded the connecting flight at around midnight, sat there for a bit and then the copilot came over the speakers and was, like, “Two things: The captain’s not here yet and we came up with a discrepancy in the pre-flight check, so we may change planes.” Now, I’m not even really sure what it means that the captain isn’t at the plane yet: he’s a busy guy, I’m sure. And I’m not sure what a “discrepancy in the pre-flight check” is either, but neither bodes well, I’m sure… Oh, and as much as a pain in the neck as it is to change planes, please switch us if there’s even a chance there might be something wrong. So we deplane and replane at a different gate and by that time the captain has arrived and we can take off.

The flight to Dallas was actually pretty relaxing despite the fact that probably 45% of the passengers were toddlers. Once we get to Dallas we sit on the runway for a while waiting for our terminal to be cleared of a sitting plane… lots of sitting and waiting…

Thankfully, Gregg’s taken advantage of some awesome deal at Hertz where you check in ahead of time and your car’s waiting for you at the rental center and all we gotta do is hop in our Nissan Sentra and go… Unfortunately, they’ve never heard of Gregg and they certainly don’t know about any Nissan. Gregg handled the situation like the consummate gentleman, which is better than I would have handled it… Keep in mind that it’s like 2:45 in the morning…

Gregg filled out some paperwork and we were told to go to slot 42, where our Lincoln Navigator was parked… Lincoln Navigator? Keep in mind, I drive a little Japanese import and Gregg’s cruising the streets of Maine in a hybrid.

We stumble outside to parking space 42. No Navigator… We put the bright idea together that we should start looking around the lot for the specific license plate number of our behemoth. We do that for about 5 minutes before we realize, “Hey we could be out here all night.” Keep in mind it’s 2:45 a.m., which is really 3:45 a.m. Gregg went back in and I don’t know what happened, but when he came out he had the keys to a bright red 2010 Chevy Camero. Free upgrade to replace our Sentra-cum-Navigator. Nice.


There was something surreal about driving around the industrial complexes surrounding DFW at 3 a.m. listening to the GPS tell us in a British accent where to turn, the snarky-toned direction floating through the dash-lit cockpit of our bitchin’ Camaro

We got to the hotel and checked in for a few hours sleep before the sun rose on our first day of meetings. And what a day it was.

I began with a trip to Texana and a sit down with Sean O’Keefe. We talked for a bit about this and a bit about that. I’m working on a market trends piece to which Sean contributed greatly. The two of us then headed to nearby Denton where we had lunch (blackened catfish, garlic mashed potatoes and fried okra with sweet tea) with Denton Police Chief Roy Minter.


Chief Minter also provided an interesting law enforcement perspective to my particular topic of verified alarms, false alarm reduction and industry/municipality relations.

Sean was hard at work when I arrived at the Dallas office of Texana Security.

Sean was hard at work when I arrived at the Dallas office of Texana Security.


After lunch with Sean and Chief Minter, it was back to the hotel where I met up with Gregg so the two of us could pay a visit to Southwest Dispatch.

Gregg and I compared notes about our meetings so far and Gregg revealed he also had a meeting with a law enforcement individual–though his was not planned beforehand and did not involve corn bread and fried okra… too bad… There may or may not have been hand cuffs involved. Keep in mind, Gregg WAS driving a pretty awesome Camaro… It was totally the car’s fault.


I met Southwest VP Ty Davis back in November 2008 at CSAA’s Fall Ops Management meeting in Peabody, Mass. It was nice to see him again and meet another Southwest VP Brant Pierce. They also provided valuable input and source material. They gave us a tour of the center, as well–a pass time I always enjoy. I wrote about Southwest and their quest to become a completely paperless central station last month. Ty and Brant say the battle to go green is going well.

We were with Ty and Brant for a while during which time the conversation covered many topics of interest. We left that meeting with barely enough time to make it over to our next meeting: A dinner appointment with MonitronicsMitch Clarke, Leah Shafer and Renee Mallonee. I wrote about Monitronics quest to ‘create good citizens’ last year in the wake of all the door knocking hubbub. I also interviewed Mitch for ssnTVnews at ISC 09 and have had the opportunity to catch up with on the phone many times since then. It was really nice to catch up and talk about trends in the industry, where technology was (or was not) leading us, and what we could all do to stay relevant. Another good meeting characterized by valuable insight and good food. (the Seafood Angel Hair at Brunos was excellent!)

Tune in tomorrow to see how my meeting with Safeguard/Stealth goes… I’ve heard from Safeguard’s Michael Lagow, and he’s promised me meetings with a whole bevy of security execs. I most recently wrote about Safeguard & Stealth’s quest to bring stability to Mexican city of Hermosillo. Tomorrow promises to be another productive day!