Subscribe to RSS - Security Systems News

Security Systems News

DMP panels ‘newer, faster, more improved’

A dealer hails their speed, extra features and affordability
 - 
06/07/2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.—A new series of control panels from Digital Monitoring Products benefits dealers because the panels have extra speed and features and are affordable, according to the operations manager for Atlas Security, based here.

IFSS services revenue soars after business restructure

CEO Rob Hile says construction margins are in the mid-20s, services margins are between 40 and 70 percent
 - 
06/06/2013

FORT MYERS, Fla.—After restructuring Integrated Fire and Security Systems to “go after services business,” CEO Rob Hile said the company increased its services “by $155,000 or a total of 16 percent of our revenue, just by really focusing on it.”

Diebold names Andy Mattes new CEO

Mattes takes over for Thomas Swidarski, who left following poor earnings reports
 - 
06/06/2013

NORTH CANTON, Ohio—Diebold Inc., the parent company of systems integration company Diebold, today named Andy W. Mattes as its new president, CEO and board member.

DIRECTV gets into security, acquires LifeShield

LifeShield, formerly InGrid, is a self-installed digital wireless system with monitoring by Protection 1
 - 
06/05/2013

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.—Satellite TV provider DIRECTV is getting into home security with the purchase of LifeShield. Formerly known as InGrid, LifeShield is a self-installed, professionally monitored, wireless digital security system.

Surveillance cameras called ‘worse than useless’ in Philly

 - 
Wednesday, June 5, 2013

It’s not the kind of press you would expect for video surveillance, especially after all of the positive PR for helping bring down the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing. Only onward and upward, right?

Apparently Philadelphia didn’t get the memo.

Last week, City Controller Alan Butkovitz announced the results of an audit of the police department’s surveillance camera program. The news wasn’t favorable: Only 32 percent of the cameras reviewed were functioning as they should, down from 45 percent found to working properly during a random sampling last year.

“That means that at any given time when crime is occurring around our city, only a third of the cameras are able to capture criminal activity at camera locations,” Butkovitz told the Philadelphia Daily News. He said the system is “worse than useless” because it gives residents a false sense of security.

Butkovitz said the problems included blurry images with pixelated edges and condensation in camera domes, making it difficult or impossible to read license plates and identify crime suspects.

“Suppose that had been the quality of photos in the Boston bombing,” Butkovitz told KYW Newsradio, letting listeners draw their own conclusions.

Mayor Michael Nutter was quick to respond to the assertions, calling Butkovitz’s report inaccurate. Nutter said that by his administration’s count, 85 percent of the 216 police cameras were working as of May 27.

Asked by the Daily News why there was such a wide discrepancy in the figures, Nutter said, “I can’t account for the controller’s inability to count. … We know what cameras work. [Butkovitz] does some kind of sampling. We actually pay attention to all of the cameras.”

Regardless of who’s right, Philly’s spat highlights the benefits for the security industry post-Boston. For cities that don’t have a video surveillance system, the law enforcement benefits of adding one have never been more obvious. For cities that are already onboard, now is the time to make sure the systems are doing what they’re supposed to be doing. That goes for the monitoring side as well.

Readers divided on need for early termination fees

SSN News Poll finds sharp split on long-term contracts
 - 
06/04/2013

YARMOUTH, Maine—Early termination fees are a standard in the security industry, but now The ADT Corp. is facing a class-action lawsuit over them on consumer protection grounds. Are the fees necessary to help companies recover installation costs and the loss of profit, or are they just an anti-competitive tool used to lock in customers?

Iconic Chicago tower thrives on friendly security

Security director has ‘open’ philosophy while protecting 12,000 employees
 - 
06/04/2013

CHICAGO—At 110 stories, 1,450 feet tall and 4.5 million square feet, the Willis Tower is an architectural icon in the United States. Formerly known as the Sears Tower, the building’s area is equal to about 100 football fields or 17 Chicago city blocks if laid out flat.

SIA steps up fight for school security funding

Industry faces new hurdle on TWIC as report faults pilot program
 - 
05/24/2013

WASHINGTON—The Security Industry Association has expanded its fight for school security funding, taking the issue to the House and asking the Senate to consider a stand-alone bill after grant money was denied during the debate over gun control.

Oklahoma integrator High Tech Tronics rides out storm

Marc Bradley: ‘We’re thinking seriously about getting a [tornado] shelter at the office’
 - 
05/22/2013

OKLAHOMA CITY—All employees of High Tech Tronics, a PSA Security systems integrator based here, survived the May 20 tornado, but one employee lost his home, CEO Marc Bradley told Security Systems News.

New venture takes MJ Vance wherever she is needed

 - 
Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The last time SSN caught up with Mary Jo Vance, she was exploring opportunities in security consulting after a stint with 1 Time Inc. in Nevada and the Central American nation of Belize. Now the CSAA’s 2007 Manager of the Year has launched a venture that combines her love of travel with her dedication to the industry: plugging in as a temporary central station manager whenever and wherever she is needed.

“It’s a new concept and I truly believe there is a market for it,” Vance said last week from her home base outside of St. Louis. “When I came up with the idea, I asked myself what makes me happy and what am I good at. … I used to fly many years ago for British Caledonian, which is now British Airways, and I was always ready to pick up and go. And what’s my passion? The security industry. So what’s tying me down now? Nothing.”

Vance, better known in the industry as MJ, said the “have manager, will travel” concept will appeal to companies that need an experienced hand to fill in at vacation time, to help groom a new monitoring supervisor, or to handle more pressing concerns.

“I just got a call last night from a prospective client who said he had a central station manager who had some personal problems and just up and left,” she said. “Although that’s not the best way to exit, it does happen, so what do you do? Who fills in until a seasoned manager is hired? That’s where my services come in.”

Vance’s experience includes eight years at CenterPoint Technologies, where she was vice president of operations and business development. She also has served as the president of ESA of Missouri, president of the St. Louis Alarm Association, and treasurer of the Missouri Burglar and Fire Alarm Association. She received the Presidential Award from the Fire Marshals’ Association of Missouri in 2010.

Vance said she keeps the identities of her clients confidential and that her services aren’t limited to the United States. “I have passport, will travel. It’s current,” she said with a laugh. To find out more, drop her an email at mjvancemj@hotmail.com.

Pages