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Key piece of ASAP puzzle now in place

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The CSAA has taken the next step toward bringing more participants into the fold with the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol by going "live" with a computerized message broker in Arizona.

The server at the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (Nlets) in Phoenix serves as a scrubber for transmissions being forwarded from monitoring companies to public safety answering points. It checks for errors and ensures that the information is properly formatted before sending it to the appropriate state control point and PSAP.

The Central Station Alarm Association reported that Vector Security and the 911 center for the city of Richmond, Va., switched to the message broker in mid-April. The move was seamless for the end users at Vector and at Richmond's PSAP, according to Bill Hobgood, project manager for the city's Public Safety Team.

Anita Ostrowski, Vector's VP for central stations, told the CSAA that operators at Vector required only very brief, informal training before the move was made to the server at Nlets.

Vector, UCC and Monitronics are the three alarm companies currently participating in ASAP, which speeds alarm notifications by providing information to 911 centers via computer instead of a phone call. Three municipalities are involved in the pilot program: Richmond, Houston, and York County, Va.

Ed Bonifas, vice president of Alarm Detection Systems and co-chairman of the CSAA's ASAP Steering Committee, told an audience at ISC West that Tempe, Ariz., was the next city signed up for the protocol. And there is plenty of industry interest: The CSAA had 75 companies waiting to adopt ASAP at the beginning of 2012.

With the message broker fully operational, one more hurdle has been cleared.

"This sets the stage for the future participation of additional alarm monitoring companies," Bonifas said. "Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available."

New partnership links alarm industry, police, insurers

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What may have seemed like a pipe dream to many a few years ago—getting the alarm industry, the law enforcement community and the insurance industry on the same page—is now reality with the Partnership for Priority Video Alarm Response.

The new public/private partnership brings together all of the stakeholders in property crime to reduce losses and increase arrests through the use of video intrusion alarms. Among the participants are the National Sheriffs Association and the National Insurance Crime Bureau, with Don Young of Protection 1 and Steve Walker of Stanley Convergent Security Solutions representing the alarm industry on the PPVAR board.

"We are beginning to have credible data with encouraging results of arrest rates hundreds of times what is found with traditional alarms," said Keith Jentoft, coordinator for the partnership and president of RSI Video Technologies. "We have been working with many alarm companies, law enforcement and PSAPs, as well as insurers who ultimately pay the bill for property crime. This partnership will help gather real-world examples of what is working best for all the stakeholders."

Jentoft said large third-party monitoring companies have also gotten on board, including CMS, UCC and Rapid Response. On the law enforcement side, the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department—the second-largest police organization in the country—has joined and has designated a representative.

"If you ask people, nobody has ever heard of an organization that has brought together all of the stakeholders, so we're pretty excited about it," Jentoft said.

I'll have more soon on the partnership in the online and print editions of SSN.

Taking it all in at ISC West

 - 
Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Quite the first day for a first-timer at ISC West, and for a first-timer to Vegas to boot. Now I can understand what all the fuss was about leading up to the show.

Day One started with a “Meet the Editors” session at the SSN booth—No. 27065, stop by if you get a chance—which was followed by a full slate of media gatherings and meet-and-greets. Here were a few:

— I got the lowdown from ASSA ABLOY on what it’s doing to fill the “medium security” gap for access control, or components targeting the void between $200 and $4,000. The company sees a growth market there and is moving to take advantage.

— Bill Hobgood, project director for the Department of Information Technology, Public Safety Team, for the city of Richmond, Va., gave a firsthand account of what ASAP can do for speeding the flow of information between central stations and PSAPs. If you’re still holding on to the phone as the future, Richmond’s experience will change your mind.

— Chris Holbert, CEO of SecuraTrac, told me how the company’s new app, SecuraFone, disables social media sites when in motion—hello, distracted teens—along with immobilizing email and texting. Other features include physical tracking and more importantly, emergency response for seniors. SecuraTrac is teaming with Mace CS to expand along this avenue in the future.

— Bosch acknowledged the hectic pace of the day with a 5 p.m. session that featured a truck giveaway and happy hour refreshments, which turned out to be a real crowd-pleaser. A great way to end a long day on the floor.

My day isn’t done yet—I’m about the step out the door to attend a UCC cocktail party—and Day Two and Day Three await, so I’ll sign off for now. Much more ahead, hopefully with a decent night’s sleep to take it all in. The young and lively door-bangers in the room next door may have something to say about that, though. This is Vegas, after all …    

CSAA sets Jan. 31 deadline for ASAP charter membership

Central stations that pledge will have the first opportunity to connect to the automated network
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12/01/2011

VIENNA, Va.—Thinking about getting on board with the CSAA to take advantage of the new Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) program? To be among the stations at the front of the line, you’d better act soon–a Jan. 31 deadline will separate the haves from the have-nots.

Natural disasters test concept for ASAP-to-the-PSAP program

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09/01/2011

PITTSBURGH—Vector Security CEO Pam Petrow said recent natural disasters on the East Coast have provided a proof of concept for CSAA's ASAP-to-the-PSAP program.

CSAA General Meeting: 'Overall, we're in a very healthy situation.'

Board of directors approves funding plan to build ASAP program proxy server
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06/16/2011

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—The Central Station Alarm Association held its general membership meeting on June 7 at the ESX show, and the message to attendees was that while the economy is tough, the monitoring industry's association is doing okay and is pushing for action in the form of a nationwide initiative to radically revamp public safety communications.

CSAA ready to press ahead with ASAP-to-the-PSAP program

New protocol looks to further industry/municipality cooperation
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06/02/2011

VIENNA, Va.—The Central Station Alarm Association is preparing to advance a next generation 911 communications program that benefits the security industry, emergency response centers (public safety answering points or PSAPs), and the public with a new protocol initiative.
CSAA is calling the initiative ASAP-to-the-PSAP. ASAP stands for Automated Secure Alarm Protocol and once fully functional will allow central stations to use the Monitoring Station to PSAP Data Exchange Program to deliver a data-slim link to bandwidth-rich multi-media content like video and audio to PSAPs and first responders.

Sonny Sampson joins United Central Control as national account executive

SSN Staff  - 
02/24/2011

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—United Central Control on Feb. 3 announced Sonny Sampson, a long-term member of the electronic security industry, joined UCC January 31 as a national account executive.

NMC appoints Chancy Pray new director of sales, Southern Region

SSN Staff  - 
01/27/2011

ALISO VIEJO, Calif.—National Monitoring Center on Jan. 26 announced the appointment of Chancy Pray as director of sales, Southern Region. Pray will support the growth of NMC and will be based at their Irving, Texas central station facility.

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