TMA Announces Awards Finalists

TMA is pleased to announce the finalists for its 2021 Excellence Awards and its Marvel Technology Award. The awards will be presented virtual on Thursday, April 15th at 3:30PM/ET, immediately following the General Membership Meeting. Registration is required for attendance. Register online at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6195707754569565199

Please join in congratulating our finalists. 

This year, the Excellence Awards competition received a total 39 entries across the four categories. Listed in alphabetical order by company within each category, the finalists are:

Monitoring Center of the Year – Enterprise Level:

  1. COPS Monitoring
  2. NMC
  3. Vivint Smart Home

Monitoring Center of the Year – Small-to-Medium Business Level:

  1. Engineered Protection Systems, Inc. (EPS)
  2. Universal Atlantic Systems (UAS)
  3. Wayne Alarm Systems

Monitoring Center Manager of the Year:

  1. Shelley McQuigge, Alarm Systems
  2. Jonathan Rainbow, Rapid Response Monitoring Services, Inc.
  3. Josh Sanders, EPS

Monitoring Center Operator of the Year:

  1. Diandra Dean, Affiliated Monitoring, Inc.
  2. Latisha Jenkins, UAS
  3. Jonathan Spruill, CPI Security

Monitoring Center Support Person of the Year:

  1. Deepak Bysani, Affiliated Monitoring, Inc.
  2. Michelle Quattrini, Rapid Response Monitoring Services, Inc.
  3. Nick Salmond, AvantGuard Monitoring

“This past year was an exceptionally challenging year for many monitoring centers within our membership community. The companies and the professionals in their employ demonstrated amazing courage, determination, and passion for their work and those in their care. Their commitment to excellence was never more evident,” stated TMA President Don Young. “This year we welcomed an outstanding pool of entrants to the awards competition – both in terms of the quantity and quality of the applicants. And, once again, their achievements challenge and inspire all of us to renew our own commitment to excellence in our work.”

NEW in 2021, TMA introduced a newly restructured Monitoring Center of the Year category for application, which segments entrants based on the size of their business. The new Enterprise Level category welcomed applicants with more than 40,000 subscribers, while the Small-to-Medium Business (SMB) Level category was established for those with 40,000 or less subscribers. In all, the Monitoring Center of the Year Award categories accepted 16 entries (Enterprise-9; SMB-7).

A specially-appointed Task Force thoroughly reviewed the TMA Excellence Awards competition earlier this year to evaluate all aspects of the application, judging, and awards process. The goal of the Task Force was to assess each individual portion of the competition to confirm that the criteria and valuation was in line with current monitoring center business, operations, and technical best practices. In terms of judging, the Task Force sought to increase transparency and broaden the number and expertise of its judging panel. The Task Force also sought input and validation directly from TMA members as part of the overall evaluation process.

The finalists for the TMA/SSI Monitoring Technology “Marvel” Award are:

  • Acadian Monitoring Services
  • ADT, LLC
  • General Monitoring Services, Inc. (GMS)

This award honors innovations in monitoring center technology. It is co-sponsored by TMA and Security Sales & Integration (SSI) and coordinated by the TMA Technology Committee.

The purpose of the Marvel Award is to provide recognition for monitoring centers creating and/or using cutting-edge technology to raise awareness of these new technologies. “Technological innovation is the cornerstone of our industry,” said TMA Technology Committee Co-Chair Sascha Kylau, OneTel Security. “We want to reward innovation with this award. This year’s entrants made some bold investments to bring about change and open new opportunities. We saw some definite game-changers for our industry.”

Georgia Joins List of States Banning Fines for Alarm Companies When Customers Generate a False Alarm

Atlanta, Georgia (April 1, 2021) – The Georgia General Assembly has approved a bill that would ban counties or municipal corporations from fining alarm companies for false alarms generated by a customer and through no fault of the alarm system’s contractor.

“This bill has wider implications than for just our industry,” said John Loud, Vice President of Electronic Security Association (ESA) and President of LOUD Security Systems. “The concept of fining a company for a problem caused by its customers is the equivalent of sending someone’s speeding ticket to Ford and sets a precedent that could be a threat to many industries.”

“These policies do little to change user behavior, deny the user the right to confront their accuser and access to due process, and fines an innocent party for the actions of another,” said Stan Martin, Executive Director of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC).

The introduction of the legislation follows a bitter three-year fight after the City of Sandy Springs passed a punitive ordinance that fined alarm companies. The city’s success in defending the legislation in court caused the legislature to act. Only one other Georgia city, Brookhaven, followed Sandy Springs’ lead.

A number of other states have passed bills similar to the Georgia bill in recent years including California, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Tennessee and Iowa.

“There has never been any evidence that fining alarm companies was any more effective than the model alarm ordinance that is widely utilized nationally and endorsed by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police,” said Martin.

“The model ordinance, which fines alarm users, obtains an average 60% reduction in false dispatches and impacts those causing most of the problems. In fact, 85% of alarm systems generate no calls to the police in any given year.”

Under the law companies are responsible for false alarms they cause due to faulty equipment or installation or failure to use a mandated system requiring two calls to an alarm site before notifying police.

“Common sense prevailed,” said Loud. “Our industry stands ready to work with any community that wishes to reduce unnecessary dispatches with a proven model and experts ready to assist.”

Shared by: David Margulies, PRExperts

UL Releases Update on 2021 Audits

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 brought the concepts of remote inspection, virtual audits, and working from home into full-fledged practical use, at a speed few would have predicted. The experience was a dramatic demonstration of the value of collaborative problem solving and clear communications. In that spirit, UL would like to share plans for 2021.

Read the full update.

TMA will also be hosting a webinar to present and discuss these updates on April 26, 2021 at 11:00AM/ET. Please refer to our calendar for registration.

FirstNet Expands

FirstNet®, America’s public safety network, now covers more than 2.71 million square miles. As public safety’s network partner, AT&T* has moved quickly to bring more coverage, boost capacity and drive new capabilities for first responders and the communities they serve – rural, urban and tribal. In 2020, we added nearly 100,000 square miles to the FirstNet coverage footprint (that’s like covering the entire state of Oregon).

Today, more than 15,000 agencies and organizations – accounting for more than 2 million connections nationwide – have subscribed to FirstNet.

Read the full announcement on AT&T’s website – https://about.att.com/story/2021/fn_expands.html

Learn more about FirstNet certification for your company elsewhere on TMA’s website.

TMA’s ASAP-to-PSAP Program Marks its 79th and 80th ECCs

The Monitoring Association (TMA) is pleased to announce the addition its 79th and 80th municipalities to go live with its expanding ASAP-to-PSAP program. Launched in 2011 as a public-private partnership, TMA’s ASAP-to-PSAP service is designed to increase the accuracy and efficiency of calls for service from alarm companies to PSAPs.

“TMA’s ASAP-to-PSAP program experienced nice momentum in 2020 with a new annual adoption record of 18 ECCs across the country,” stated TMA President Don Young. “As the network of ASAP compatible ECCs continues to grow, those not yet using the service are learning firsthand from their colleagues about the time and accuracy improvements that come with ASAP and therefore the enhanced capability for saving lives in the alarm response process. TMA remains proud to deliver this unique service to its members and accomplish their mission for providing professional monitoring capabilities to help better protect life and property in both residential and commercial settings.”

TMA welcomed its 79th ECC, the Cayuga County NY 9-1-1 Center and the 6th ECC in the state of New York to implement ASAP. Cayuga County first went live with Vector Security and Rapid Response Monitoring. A second wave of companies including ADT, Amherst Alarm, Affiliated Monitoring, AT&T Digital Life, Guardian Protection, Brinks Home Security, National Monitoring Center, Protection One, Security Central, Tyco (Johnson Controls), Vivint, and Doyle went live with Cayuga County just days later.

“This is a seamless procedure allowing alarm companies to transfer alarm activations and the data associated directly to our computer aided dispatch system”, said Denise Spingler, Cayuga County 9-1-1 Administrator. “This allows for a more expedited dispatch of emergency services.”

The Paradise Valley AZ Police Communications Center is the 80th Emergency Communications Center (ECC) in the United States and 4th ECC in the state of Arizona to implement ASAP. Paradise Valley went live with Affiliated Monitoring, AT&T Digital Life, ADT, Alert 360, Guardian Protection, Brinks Home Security, National Monitoring Center, Protection One, Rapid Response Monitoring (plus A3 Smart Home), Security Central, Tyco (Johnson Controls), Vivint, and Securitas over a two day period in mid-December.

TMA Welcomes New Team Member

The Monitoring Association [TMA] is pleased to announce the addition of Ms. Tara R. Compher to its headquarters’ staff. In her new role as TMA’s Programs and Administrative Coordinator, Ms. Compher will oversee TMA’s Five Diamond, IQ, and FirstNet programs, in addition to assisting with CRM data management and other projects and serving as the staff liaison to TMA’s NextGen group.

“Tara brings a broad range of valuable business and administrative experience to TMA,” stated TMA Executive Director Celia T. Besore. “In her previous roles, Tara demonstrated an outstanding commitment to quality and to customer service, which make her ideally suited to this pivotal, customer-focused position within our organization.”
“I am excited for this new chapter in my life, but more importantly, I am looking forward to helping The Monitoring Association achieve their mission of creating a safer world for everyone,” said Ms. Compher.

Prior to accepting her new position within TMA, Ms. Compher worked for the U.S. Courts as a probation clerk and as a front office coordinator in a dental practice.

Ms. Compher can be reaching by email at tcompher@tma.us.

Support Industry-wide Appeal for AT&T 3G Sunset Extension

The Monitoring Association (TMA) is taking part in an industry-wide advocacy campaign calling for AT&T to delay their 3G sunset, which is currently set for February 2022. The campaign is being coordinated and led by the Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC), which is chaired by longtime TMA member Lou Fiore.

While the AICC has been in communication with the various House and Senate Committee staff with jurisdiction over telecom issues, it is important that Committee staff for the members hear from you directly – especially if you have a significant presence or customer base in their state, or even better, House members in your district. They need to know that this is a real problem that will impact the safety of life and property, as well as the safety and health of the homebound individuals who they represent.

AICC has put together a list of key members on the House and Senate Committees, as well as the Committee staff that is working on these issues and a letter template for you to send. It is important that you contact both the staff of the representatives on the key committees and the full Committee staff.

A number of you have responded to an earlier request, but we need what has been a trickle to become a flood. We are seeing some positive responses from Members of Congress, but it’s not enough. Please, if you haven’t done so, send an email as directed and ask all your employees to do the same.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Our lobbyist Bill Signer, AICC Chair Lou Fiore, or I will endeavor to assist you.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Sincerely,

Celia T. Besore
Executive Director, TMA
cbesore@tma.us | (703) 660-4913

OUR ASK:

Send the letter template, linked below, to the House and Senate representatives in states where your company does business, as well as the full Committee staff. Pass along the resources to your employees to do the same.

RESOURCES:

  1. Full Introduction Letter
  2. Contact List
  3. Letter Template
  4. Industry and Issue Backgrounder

ABOUT AICC:

The Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC), a committee of The Monitoring Association (TMA), is composed of representatives of TMA, the Electronic Security Association (ESA), the Security Industry Association (SIA) and major alarm companies and manufacturers. The AICC chair is Louis T. Fiore, L.T. Fiore, Inc. (ltfiore@aol.com).

 

Honoring Our Veterans, November 2020

TMA is proud to honor those within our community who have served in the U.S. and Canadian military today, Veterans’ Day, November, 11, 2020.

We invited members to share details of their service and photos to mark this special day.

You may view a presentation of our 2020 honorees HERE.

The TMA Board of Directors and staff extend heartfelt gratitude to all of those who have served and sacrificed.

Spector, Schmit Honored For TMA and Industry Contributions

On October 21, 2020, in the course of TMA’s General Membership Meeting, TMA President Don Young had the honor of presenting TMA’s two highest awards – Stanley C. Lott Award for Exemplary Service and the Mel Mahler Award for Outstanding Service to the Monitoring Industry.

Stanley C. Lott Award for Exemplary Service Presented to Ivan Spector, President, Sentinelle Alarms
In presenting the award, President Young stated, “This year the award is given to a man who has not only served TMA through many leadership positions on committees and the TMA Board, but who was a founding member and longtime board member of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC).

In addition, he has been a leader in advancing alarm management in both Canada and the United States. For CANASA, he served on the Board of Directors, was national president, and chair of the Response Committee. In that role he proved instrumental in driving many false dispatch reduction initiatives. He is also a Superior Court of Canada-acknowledged and accepted expert witness.
This year’s winner is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal and is the owner of Sentinel Alarm. I am pleased to award the 2020 Stanley C. Lott Memorial Award to Ivan Spector.”

Mel Mahler Award for Outstanding Service to the Monitoring Industry Presented to Steve A. Schmit, Senior Staff Engineer, UL
In presenting the award, President Young commented, “When deciding on a recipient for this year’s Award, one name came immediately to mind. He is an individual who has served our industry for more than 39 years, but with the onset of Covid 19 earlier this year, he worked tirelessly on behalf of the TMA membership to develop work at home standards that would allow our industry to continue to operate under safe conditions. This year’s winner is an experienced Engineering Manager with a history of working in the public safety industry.

He holds a BS in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and serves as Senior Staff Engineer for Underwriters Laboratories. I am very grateful for all of the help and guidance this year’s recipient provided on the establishment of the new standard and I am honored to present this year’s Mel Mahler Award to Steve Schmit.”

Please join TMA in congratulating Ivan and Steve on these esteemed honors.

TMA Welcomes Texas PSAP

The Galveston County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) is the 72nd Emergency Communications Center (ECC) in the United States to implement the (ASAP) and the 10th ECC in the state of Texas to implement ASAP. The GCSO went live with Vector Security and Rapid Response, at 8am CDT on Wednesday, July 22nd followed by Security Central, Guardian Protection, Tyco (Johnson Controls), the National Monitoring Center, AT&T Digital Life, Vivint, Affiliated Monitoring, and Protection One.  Alert 360 and ADT are scheduled to go live with the GCSO within the next 2-3 weeks. 

“The implementation of ASAP to PSAP within the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office ECC is anticipated to provide improved efficiency, accuracy and expedition responding to Police, Fire and EMS alarm calls.  This includes business and residential alarm calls within the unincorporated communities of Galveston County, the City of Hitchcock, the City of Clear Lake Shores, the Village of Tiki Island and the City of Bayou Vista”, said Lt. Margo Ihde, Division Commander of Communications. “The Sheriff’s Office is enthusiastic about this advancement to better serve our community; increasing our ability to assist in saving lives and protecting property by decreasing the amount of time it takes to dispatch and subsequently respond to in progress alarm calls.” 

Learn more about ASAP-to-PSAP.