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physical security

Security Partners deploys new video verification service from Alarm.com

The residential service is based on image sensors, which detect motion and serve video clips to central stations in an alarm event
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06/04/2014

LANCASTER, Pa.—Security Partners, a wholesale monitoring company based here, is optimistic about the potential of video verification in the residential market. That’s one reason they’re an early adopter of a new video verification service from Alarm.com, an interactive services company with an established presence in the home.

Toronto police considering non-response

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Toronto, the largest city in Canada, is mulling the possibility of not responding to private alarms, citing a false alarm rate that looks bad even within that context.

According to a report from the Toronto Star, just 300 of the 20,000 private alarm calls Toronto police responded to in 2012 turned out to be legitimate. As a result, an internal police steering committee is reviewing the cost-savings that could be reaped by scaling back on alarm response (among other services), the report said.  

By doing so, the committee estimates the police force could realize $613,222 in savings, according to the report. That amounts to 10,960 officer hours.

Additionally, the committee recommended police stop taking reports on lost or stolen property whose value does not exceed $500.

From a law enforcement perspective, it’s sensible to do away with writing redundant reports for lost property, particularly when other institutions are better suited to deal with such events. But what could a non-response policy portend for alarm companies who would then have to provide private response services themselves? Not only do companies stand to incur the costs associated with this; they also stand to lose what many in the industry view as the most vital element of the value proposition of an alarm system—the guarantee of police response in the event of a legitimate alarm.  

False alarms (and what to do about them) remain among the most polarizing issues in the alarm industry today. It continues to define, and sometimes roil, the relationship between private alarm companies and law enforcement.

So what’s can be done? The theories about how to mitigate false alarms tend to diverge and dovetail, making the issue especially complex and difficult to navigate, much less reach a conclusion on. Some believe a clear and properly enforced ordinance, bolstered by measures such as cross-zoning and enhanced call verification, will do the trick, with fines for offending alarms helping to offset the losses. Others say private response is the inevitable long-term solution.

Others still, such as PPVAR, believe the relationship between law enforcement and the industry can and should remain intact so long as the alarm installed base evolves technologically and municipalities move toward a verified response approach (that's not to say the industry is in full agreement over what constitutes a verified alarm). The organization also espouses new video verification standards.

The issue continues to be a fraught one, with no definite solution in sight. To be sure, many cities have made great strides with false alarm reduction. But cases such as Toronto are a resounding reminder that there’s room for improvement.

SIAC urges compliance with best practices to avoid false panic alarms

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06/03/2014

FRISCO, Texas—The Security Industry Alarm Coalition, a North American industry organization focused on alarm management, is urging the use of best practices to reduce false panic alarms triggered by key fobs, according to a news release.

2014 year of acquisitions for B Safe

The Delaware company just acquired in its backyard after buying in New Jersey and says more buys are expected
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05/30/2014

WILMINGTON, Del.—B Safe, a regional security company based here, has acquired Total Security of Newark, Del. The acquisition comes on the heels of two recent buys B Safe made in New Jersey, and the company has its sights set on more.

Samsung leader departs

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Samsung Techwin America’s EVP Frank De Fina announced May 28 that he is leaving Samsung for personal reasons.

"As of June 2, I will no longer be there. I made the decision on my own, the departure is amicable," he said. A replacement has yet to be named, though De Fina said there are "a couple of obvious potential choices. There is a very capable management team there."

De Fina joined Samsung in February 2010, and said he is proud of how far Samsung has come in the security industry since then. "Five years ago we didn't even appear on the IMS [Research, now part of IHS]  list [of top IP camera providers]," he said. "This year our business grew over 75 percent." And he expects to "move up a couple of notches on the IHS list."

De Fina, who has "retired" twice before, said he is not even going to say he's retiring now. He is simply "taking a breather" and will likely return to the industry, perhaps in a consulting role.

Asked about the biggest challenges getting Samsung up to speed, he said "building the brand and credibility in the security space."

"I will take credit for organizing a great team," De Fina said. "But the credit for building the business goes to [that team]," he added.

"I'm leaving Samsung in much better shape [than when I arrived] and the team is spectacular," he said.

Before Samsung, De Fina was the long time president of Panasonic Systems. He retired from Panasonic Systems in 2008 to run Paul Reed Smith Guitars for two years before joining Samsung.

De Fina can play guitar in case you didn’t know. Here’s a video that my former colleague Sam took at the PSA-TEC jam a few years ago. Scroll down to the video; it features Paul Michael Nathan on harmonica, Frank De Fina on guitar, Daved Levine on bass, and Jerry Cordasco on drums.

The biggest opportunities in the security industry? De Fina said he did lots of research during a recent month-long tour of the Silicon Valley. "I spoke to big name companies [Google, Yahoo, others] and asked them what their [security] concerns are. "They look at us [the security industry] as a bit naive" in terms of cyber security. They also are concerned about the physical security of some critical infrastructure in this country such as data centers and cell towers, De Fina said.

De Fina identified the biggest challenge for integrators as shrinking margins. He recommends that integrators "pay attention to solving the problems that are not so easy to solve ... to reinvent themselves to mimic the growth opportunities I mentioned earlier."

De Fina is vice chairman of the Security Industry Association Board of Directors Executive Committee.

He was instrumental in the establishment of a security degree program that will be launched in 2015 at Mercer Country Community College.

He also holds positions in the International Biometrics Industry Association (IBIA) and is a board member of the Paley Center for Media (formerly Museum of Television and Radio) as well as a member of the board of the New York Friar’s Club Foundation.

Eagle Eye debuts 'modern, open' API

Drako: ‘You don’t have to use Windows to program’; he hopes lots of non-security applications are developed
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05/28/2014

AUSTIN, Texas—Cloud-based VMS provider Eagle Eye Networks on May 27 announced the launch of its Eagle Eye Video API, which CEO Dean Drako hopes will be used to “develop lots of applications that are not security-based.”

ADT offers up to $25K to expose security sales scams

Whistle-blowers can collect if they provide evidence leading to successful civil prosecution of offending companies
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05/28/2014

BOCA RATON, Fla.—ADT is offering as much as $25,000 to anyone willing to blow the whistle on security companies that train their door-to-door sales teams to use deceptive sales techniques, the home security giant announced this week.

Bay Alarm makes 'strategic move' with SDA buy

Super-regional adds commercial strength, density
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05/28/2014

SAN DIEGO—Super-regional Bay Alarm’s May 21 acquisition of SDA Security, based here, adds commercial strength and density in southern California, David Carter, CEO of NetOne, told Security Systems News.

Making money on mobile monitoring

Monitoring company execs extol the benefits of mobile PERS and mobile apps
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05/28/2014

YARMOUTH, Maine—Whether the talk is about mobile PERS devices with geo-fencing, speed alerts and lone-worker monitoring, or about smartphone apps that better connect subscribers with central stations, the takeaway is that the monitoring space is going mobile, and the transformation is happening fast, according to central station executives who are using these newer technologies.

Cloud-based smart home installed base to grow to 44.6 million by 2018

Key elements of growth: platform that can integrate many devices, resistance to cyber hack
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05/28/2014

LONDON—The security industry is just one business sector expected to play a role in the rapid expansion of the global market for cloud-based home management systems, whose installed base is poised to skyrocket over the next five years, rising from 5.6 million at the end of 2013 to 44.6 million by 2018, according to a new report from IHS Research, a market research firm whose U.K. headquarters is based here.

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