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Police department ceases monitoring

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Enterprise, Ala. police department will discontinue alarm monitoring of residences and commercial business.

The Enterprise City Council voted to discontinue the Enterprise Police Department’s involvement in monitoring burglary and fire alarms, according to the Enterprise Ledger.

The police department currently monitors 17 residences and six businesses in the city as an additional source of income. However, a $4,000 upgrade to the system is needed to keep the monitoring system working properly.

The police department has proposed giving the individuals and businesses being monitored a 30-day notice to find an alternate monitoring provider.

ADT puts muscle, aka Ving Rhames, into ad campaign

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

BOCA RATON, Fla.—He had commanding roles in “Pulp Fiction” and “Mission Impossible” and starred in HBO’s “Don King: Only in America.” Now award-winning actor Ving Rhames is putting his tough-guy persona and deep voice to work for ADT.

Well, wait a sec. According to Rhames, he’s not just working for the huge home security firm; he says in the new commercials that he “is ADT.”

The ad campaign seeks to set ADT apart from the increasing number of smart home products available to consumers. The spots are based on the premise that consumers often mistake convenience “with the added safety of professionally monitored security,” ADT said in a prepared statement.

In the ads, Rhames asks, “What good is a smart home if it’s not a safe home?”

“Our new campaign addresses the desire for connectivity, control and most important of all—security. Self-monitored security solutions do not provide police, fire or emergency medical response in the event of an emergency,” Jerri DeVard, chief marketing officer of ADT, said in the statement.

Rhames says in one of the spots I viewed: “Strong isn’t wrong, I’m ADT, I oughta know. But what makes brawn even better is brains. See, I’m both the big brain at the center of your peace of mind and the big muscle to keep the peace.”

Big brain, big muscle, gotcha. I'm not going to argue with Mr. Ving. Good ad campaign, I think. What do you think?

AICC takes on net neutrality, dropped signals

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

CSAA recently posted on its site about the matter of net neutrality, as well as sending out a message from Alarm Industry Communications Committee chair Lou Fiore concerning the topic. Capitol Hill has various items up for consideration on net neutrality, according to Fiore.

 “Our goal at this point is simply to let Congress know we are here again and what our needs are as primarily small businesses. At some point legislation will move forward, probably as a rewrite of the Telecommunications Act, and we want to ensure we are not forgotten,” Fiore said in the message.

Net neutrality is the concept that all Internet traffic should be treated the same by Internet service providers. This has been an ongoing issue for the security industry and carries with it serious implications.

“Our primary concern is that broadband and wireless network providers are increasingly offering services that compete with us in providing home and business security services. Without some protection for smaller players, these network providers will have an incentive to favor their own security services and ‘throttle’ or ‘block’ our emergency signals in order to gain a competitive advantage,” CSAA said on its site.

CSAA also provides a letter template to be sent to key members of Congress, along with contact information for these key people. CSAA urges its members to contact their local congressperson by Feb. 26, and to emphasize the personal aspect of their company's situation in this issue.

The association has also posted other stances the industry has taken on this issue, as well as a portion of the 1996 telecommunications act, on its site.

In addition to this push towards net neutrality, AICC announced today the start researching the matter of dropped signals from digital alarm communications transmitters. This will be done through a survey also available on CSAA's site.

According to a recent press release from CSAA, findings from this effort will be made available at the next AICC meetings in March and June of 2015.

Showing a new product at ISC West?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

We are putting together our April, ISC West Show Issue, and we have TWO opportunities for product coverage in that issue: The ISC West New Product section and the Product Spotlight on Mobile Apps.

FIrst: the ISC West new product section
It's time once again to submit your products for Security Systems News’ ISC West New Show Product section.

If you are exhibiting and debuting a new product at ISC West in April you may submit a product to be featured in SSN's New Show Product section. Companies that have more than one product division may submit one product for each division.

To take advantage of this free editorial opportunity, please send an email with the following information in the body of the text to

1.  Company name
2.  Company website
3.  Product name
4.  Three bullet points that describe your product, each 12 words or less
5. Company telephone number—only ONE please (to be published)
6. ISC West booth number (essential; you must be exhibiting at ISC West)
7.  Image of product ( JPEG file with a DPI of 300 or greater. No PDFs, please.)

The firm deadline is Monday, March 2. Space in the issue is limited, so submitting early ensures you a place in the section.

And here's the second product coverage opportunity. It's the Product Spotlight on Mobile Apps
Security Systems News is featuring a Product Spotlight on Mobile Apps in our April issue. If you carry this product and want to be included, please send the following information about one product (a different one than submitted for New Products section, please) by Monday, March 2 to

1.  Company name
2.  Company web site
3.  Product name
4.  Three bullet points that describe your product, each 12 words or less
5.  Image of product ( JPEG file with a DPI of 300 or greater. No PDFs, please.)

We will print as many as space allows.

Confused? Have questions? Please contact Cath Daggett, advertising coordinator for SSN:

SIAC follows up with Carson City

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

About two months ago, Security Systems News spoke with Steve Keefer, national law enforcement liaison for SIAC, about the unique way the Carson City Sheriff’s Department approaches false alarms; by utilizing volunteers. Since, Keefer followed up with this sheriff’s office and found that while false alarms have dropped, it is difficult to determine how the volunteers were involved.

Upon looking at the figures over all reductions, “I told the sheriff, ‘I bet you’re close to a fifty percent reduction in your commercial [false alarms],” Keefer told SSN. Yet, because of how the data was organized, the exact influence of this volunteer program can’t currently be determined, Keefer said.

Keefer gave the sheriff recommendations, such as hand-outs, like flyers and printed statistics, as well as a heavier focus on false panic and hold-up alarms. “Those are probably more problematic for a police department, because you’re not getting, traditionally, two officers going to a robbery or hold-up—you’re probably getting three or four.”

A primary reason for Keefer’s follow-up was to investigate the viability this practice might hold for other jurisdictions, perhaps to be incorporated into SIAC’s recommended practices.

A positive aspect of this program is the small commitment for volunteers, Keefer said; they could finish a month’s duties in four hours, across two days. “It’s not draining by any means.”

According to Keefer, the city of 55,000 people saw about 1,300 false alarms last year. These false alarms are split about 70 percent commercial and 30 percent residential. While these volunteers exclusively visit commercial offenders, Keefer underlined that this method could benefit the residential sector as well.

The volunteers, a husband-and-wife pair, only visit businesses that have received two or more false alarms in a given month, totaling about 10 to 15 per month.

Diebold and Eagle Eye: API advocates ally

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Systems integrator Diebold has been talking about the importance of APIs for years and cloud-based VMS provider Eagle Eye, which opened its doors one year ago  has also been a vocal proponent of APIs.

This week, Diebold and Eagle Eye announced a national strategic alliance to deliver cloud-based video services.

The deal will allow Diebold customers to “stream and store live and recorded video, provide flexible cloud storage, and generate notification and real-time analytics.”

The alliance combines Diebold’s SaaS solution (called SecureStat—here’s a story about SecureStat) and Eagle Eye’s VMS  and API interface

The service is “easy to use, scalable, secure and reliable,” Diebold says and it’s particularly suitable for multi-location customers who may want to use “local and cloud-based applications that … [integrate] IP-enabled or legacy analog cameras.”

In a statement, Eagle Eye CEO Dean Drako lauded Diebold as the “first security integrator and alarm services company to leverage the power of an open API strategy and service offering.”

He added that this API strategy "has revolutionized other industries and will do the same for the security industry.”
Diebold EVP Tony Byerly in a statement called this strategy “the future of security as we continue to leverage APIs to create a connected security program for businesses, starting with easy-to-use cloud-based video services.”
Diebold will integrate Eagle Eye's cloud VMS  at its monitoring centers and customers will be able to see showcase demo applications at its Center of Excellence in Elmsford, N.Y.

At last week's TechSec conference, Diebold's Jeremy Brecher moderated an educational session about cloud-based security systems. Drako was one of the speakers on that panel discussion. Look for a report on that session in the next week.

What is it about Genetec that wins it top-employer awards?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Genetec, a developer of open-platform, hardware and cloud-based services for the physical security and public safety industries, based in Montreal, hosted a Press Summit this week. I was supposed to be there. But no! A snowstorm on Sunday prevented me from making my flight out.

I was disappointed. I was interested in learning and reporting about what Genetec has going on for 2015 in advance of its reveals at ISC West. I also was looking forward to finding out more about the corporate culture of the company, which was founded in 1997.

Corporate culture is worth knowing about. Just ask John Loud of LOUD Security, who spoke about it at Honeywell’s Connect2014 event.

Brian Katz of Google, keynoter at our recent TechSec conference, discussed that progressive company’s culture of security.

Attitudes all add up in making companies more successful.

When I visited Genetec’s HQ last year I was impressed with the atmosphere there, from the popular, low-cost gourmet food in its company cafeteria to its on-site gym. Then there’s the foosball- and X-box-equipped meeting areas. Employees trying to untangle snags in projects are encouraged to work them out over a game or two. (My teenage son has often told me that video games help him think, too, when he’s stuck on a homework project. Now I just might believe him.)

It’s not only about good food and fun and games for Gentec’s 620 employees, though. Those perks, along with generous vacation time and benefits and company-sponsored outings, are designed to promote a work environment that fosters “a strong culture of innovation, which is essential to the growth and future of [the] business,” the company says.

Genetec this year was named one of the top employees in Montreal for the ninth consecutive year by MediaCorp Canada. The contest evaluates employers on criteria that includes physical workspace, work atmosphere and social, health, financial and family benefits, vacation and time off, employee communications, performance management, training and skills development and community involvement.

The award isn’t just about good external public relations, the company told me when I inquired. In addition to prompting more visitors to the Genetec website and boosting job applications and greater, favorable awareness about the company overall, it has made current employees proud to work at the company and, Genetec says, employee retention will grow because of it.

I’ll be writing more about Genetec’s corporate culture, so stay tuned!








Award-winning '20 under 40' end users at TechSec2015

Friday, February 6, 2015

TechSec2015 is now past, but here's a photo of some of our "20 under 40" end user award winners just after our poolside award ceremony on Day 1 of the new technology conference.

Half of the winners couldn't make it to the conference, and we missed them! But the 10 who were in attendance contributed greatly to an awesome show. One was our keynote speaker, Brian Katz of Google, and five others sat on panels for our education sessions. A winner from last year was our second-day speaker opener, that would be Ralph Nerette of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Thanks to all, congratulations again and keep in touch!

Don't forget to pay it forward and be thinking of peers that fit the bill for next year's awards.

Nailing it at TechSec 2015

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.—I’m writing this midway through the second and final day of our TechSec Solutions conference. So far, so great!

This is my third TechSec conference, and as always, I am impressed, albeit blown away, by the passion and commitment that participants and panelists have for the jobs they do.

My favorite part of TechSec is meeting and getting to know in person our “20 under 40” award winners. If you, out there in the physical security world, have any doubts about the future of the industry, you can rest assured it’s under control. These young people, the future security leaders, are more than smart and certainly dedicated to their profession.

Our keynoter, Brian Katz from Google, a “20 under 40” winner, was outstanding. Following his speech I don’t think he had a moment to himself. Whenever I’d look his way, he was surrounded by people asking him questions, seeking his insights. That’s what TechSec is all about.

During one of the sessions yesterday, “Who’s the boss of video surveillance? IT vs. physical security,” Les Paul Vernon, vice president, enterprise solutions, for Protection 1, and Kelly Klatt, area director of safety and security, Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando, stressed that having a good relationship with IT departments from the start of projects is the only way to go. It’s not us against them anymore, they said. Both benefit each other.

My panel, “NextGen: Security practitioners’ perspective” with David Avedikian from Southwest Airlines and Brad Reeves of A&P, was, without being biased in the least (!), a highlight of the first day. These two young pros, minus the third scheduled panelist who was stranded in snow-plagued Boston, talked about their biggest challenges of the past year and those they face in the year ahead; how they deal with emergency situations; and the security technology they want along with the technology they’re not all that interested in at the moment.

We capped off the day with the “20 under 40” awards ceremony. A great turnout along with great appreciation for the winners made for a fine evening in Delray Beach.

Today’s opener from Ralph Nerette, former 20 under 40 winner and director of security and emergency management for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, did much to shed light on what today’s end users have to deal with, especially when it comes to the unexpected. In the space of two weeks, Nerette and his team, in addition to their plethora of daily duties, had to deal with the fallout of an active shooter at a next-door hospital and the impending consequences of a huge storm bearing down on his area.

I also sat in on the “Student Innovation: Young Minds with fresh ideas” session, with Mark Robinton, the manager of technology innovation, strategic innovation team, for HID Global, and Jeff Hale, an MBA student at Chapman University.

And we’re not done yet! Stay tuned.

TechSec 2015, Day 1 in photos

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

TechSec 2015 is in full swing today.

The security industy's leading conference about new and emerging technology kicked off yesterday, Feb. 3 with a keynote speech by Google's Brian Katz. Click here to read that story.

Below are some photos from the day. From the top:

"20 under 40" integrators Class of 2014 winners were honored at TechSec.

"20 under 40" end users Class of 2014 winners were also honored at TechSec.

TechSec attendees show support for Mission 500's #Show Orange campaign. Read about that here.

Speakers on the "Get off of my cloud" educational session, from the left: Christian Morin from Genetec; Dean Drako from Eagle Eye; Steve Van Till of Brivo; Jeremy Brecher of Diebold.