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ASAP to PSAP: Full speed ahead

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

For central stations wondering if they’ll ever be part of ASAP to PSAP, there was good news from ESX 2012: Progress continues to be made.

Show attendees got an update on the protocol at a seminar led by Mark McCall of United Central Control, Glenn Schroeder of the Security Network of America, Pam Petrow and Anita Ostrowski of Vector Security, and Melissa Courville of DICE Corp.

While ASAP might not be advancing fast enough to satisfy everyone in the industry, the panelists in Nashville listed a number of bullet points that detailed the gains. Among them:

—A CSAA-owned message broker is up and running at the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (Nlets) facility in Arizona. The server acts as a scrubber for transmissions being forwarded from monitoring companies to public safety answering points.

—A trademark process has been completed to certify the ASAP name and logo.

—ANSI version 3.3 of the protocol is currently live in Richmond, Va., and it is scheduled to go online in other pilot project locations by the end of the year.

—ASAP leaders have expanded their outreach to the PSAP community in 2012, with presentations to groups including the Texas Police Chiefs Association and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

The three municipalities involved in the pilot project—Richmond, Va., York County, Va., and Houston—are scheduled to be joined soon by Tempe, Ariz., and James City County, Va. On the monitoring side, Alarm Detection Systems and ADT are in line to join pilot participants Vector Security, UCC and Monitronics.

McCall, director of information technology and facility security officer at UCC, told the seminar audience that central stations planning to become part of ASAP may find that the requirements “are a little bit more than what your operation is used to now.”

“Remember what we’re connecting to,” he said, referring to Nlets. “We’re connecting to the same network that every police department, every fire department and every emergency agency is connected to. Nlets is responsible for the integrity of that network, and for us as an industry to play in their sandbox, we have to meet their security requirements.”

On the plus side, most of those concerns were alleviated with the deployment of the message broker, McCall said. Other ASAP issues involving the preparation of automation vendors and CAD providers are being addressed, and the CSAA is creating a new website—www.asaptopsap.org—to keep interested parties informed.

“The materials are continually being added to and the CSAA will let everyone know when [the information] is ready for public consumption, as it will be sending out ASAP-dedicated email blasts to confirmed charter members at that time,” said Courville, co-chairwoman of the ASAP to PSAP Outreach Committee.

In the interim, she said inquires about the protocol should be addressed to Becky Lane (membership@csaaintl.org) or Monique Talbot (communications@csaaintl.org) at the CSAA.

Bay Alarm exec on state board overseeing alarm companies

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Monday, January 9, 2012

I’ve written about Pacheco, Calif.-based Bay Alarm before. The company, which is more than 65 years old, says it’s the largest independently-owned and operated alarm company in the nation. It’s certainly a competitive player in California, and now the company’s co-president has been appointed by that state’s governor to an important committee that oversees alarm companies in the state.

Here’s more from the news release Bay Alarm sent out early this month:

In one of his final appointments of 2011, California Governor Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown Jr. named Matthew Westphal to the Alarm Company Operator Disciplinary Review Committee (DRC), part of the Department of Consumer Affairs, on Friday, December 30.

Westphal, co-president of Bay Alarm Company, the largest independently-owned and operated alarm company in the United States, has been a board member of the Security Network of America since 2001 and the California Alarm Association since 2000, where he served as president from 2009 to 2010.

"Because of my in-depth knowledge of the industry, and the California Code of Regulations, I feel well equipped to help steward this important Consumer Affairs Committee through the years ahead," Westphal said. "I am honored to serve on the DRC, and look forward to sharing my ideas and expertise."

The five members of the Alarm Company Operator DRC are appointed by the Governor of California and include three alarm company operators and two members of the public. The committee reviews appeals of fines against alarm company operators or their employees, and denial, revocation, or suspension of licenses, certificates, registrations or permits issued by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.

Advice from PSA-TEC 2011: Embrace change

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05/26/2011

WESTMINSTER, Colo.—What’s the biggest challenge for independent integrators today? According to Bill Bozeman, “it’s not the need to learn the latest and greatest technology,” and it’s not learning how to sell better or more efficiently. Rather, it’s understanding how to run and adapt their business models so they can run profitable businesses.

SNA upgrades Keyscan relationship

Fully hosted, centrally managed access control now available
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05/06/2011

MONTREAL—The Security Network of America (SNA) has announced an evolved partnership with access control provider Keyscan for centrally hosted access control. The central station group announced the partnership at its annual CEO & sales manager’s meeting here on April 14.