TMA Mourns Rod Garner, Bill Moody, and Ray Adams

The TMA community is saddened by the recent deaths of three renowned industry members.

Rodney Grant Garner (June 11, 1948 – February 18, 2018) —  Rodney Grant Garner, of Pleasant View, UT, began his association with the alarm industry by working with his father-in-law at Mountain Alarm. Later, as President and CEO of Mountain Alarm, he grew the small family business to the 28th largest security company in America that employs more than 275 people. He was passionate about his work, and loved talking business and motivating his family to find success. His son Josh is the CEO of AvantGuard Monitoring Centers, Inc. Read Rod’s complete obituary and the statement from Mountain Alarm. 

William Moody (October 1, 1926 – March 1, 2018) of Lafayette, NJ died at the age of 91.. He began his career as an electronic design engineer and section chief at the Naval Ordnance Lab in White Oak, Md. While there, his projects included the design and development of a heat-activated homing torpedo and the firing systems for the Alias Betty atomic depth bomb project, the success of which earned him a commendation from the U.S. Department of the Navy. Following work as a designer, engineering manager, marketing director, and plant manager in a variety of Schlumberger locations on the East Coast, he became president of Dumont Electronics in 1972, followed by a move to ADT in 1981. While a vice president with ADT he held a variety of posts encompassing engineering, manufacturing and distribution. Bill enjoyed a long and illustrious career before retiring at the age of 80. He continued as a consultant to the alarm systems industry for several more years after his retirement. Read Bill’s complete obituary.

Raymond L. Adams (June 23, 1929 – March 8, 2018) began his career in 1953 as the first salesman hired to introduce Sam Bagno’s ultrasonic sensor to the alarm industry. In 1971 he joined Norman Rubin of the Supreme Burglar Alarm Corp. in a series of ventures, beginning with the formation of the Mutual Central Station Corp. in New York City. When Honeywell acquired Mutual, he stayed on to manage the central station. He rejoined Rubin in 1973 and together they formed Jewelers Protection Services Limited with Adams serving as president. He later became president of both Security Centres, Inc. and its subsidiary, Holmes Protection of New York, renamed HolmesLimited in 1989. A link to his obituary will be posted when available.


This post will be updated. 


Follow-Up Report: FCC Seeks Comments on Overturning of Copper Retirement Notice Requirements and Other Consumer Protections

As previously reported, on November 16, 2017, the FCC adopted an Order rolling back consumer protections in connection with the retirement of copper lines and the discontinuance of traditional telephone services. The FCC took this action even though the alarm industry, consumer advocates and members of Congress objected that the actions could lead to consumers losing their telephone service and could adversely impact alarm service.

This article provides a more detailed analysis of the Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) adopted by the FCC overturning a number of protections previously adopted for consumers and competitors in connection with copper retirement and the discontinuance of telecommunications service. The FCC’s Order is the culmination of the Technology Transitions Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), Notice of Inquiry (NOI), and Request for Comment (NPRM/NOI), in which the FCC outlined proposed changes to its rules ostensibly “to accelerate the deployment of next-generation networks and services by removing barriers to infrastructure investment.”

In the Order, the FCC eliminates the requirement that retail customers must be notified before their copper facilities are retired. The FCC eliminates the customer notification requirement even though AICC, many consumer advocates, state commissions and a number of U.S. Senators urged the FCC to maintain a notice requirement to protect consumers from potential confusion and the suspension or termination of their service. The Order limits a notice requirement to telephone exchange service providers that directly interconnect with the incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) network and reduces the amount of notice to 90 days after the FCC issues a public notice of the planned copper retirement.

The Order also eliminates the rule prohibiting ILECs from discussing planned network changes in advance of public notice. In an ex parte letter, AICC argued against this action because it would frustrate the nondiscrimination provisions of Section 275 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and would have a negative impact on competition in the alarm industry. Section 275 requires ILECs to “provide nonaffiliated entities, upon reasonable request, with the network services it provides to its own alarm monitoring operations, on nondiscriminatory terms and conditions,” among other things. By prohibiting ILECs from disclosing information about network changes ahead of public notice, the FCC’s non-eliminated rule, Section 51.325(c), supported Section 275’s goal of ensuring that all alarm providers – affiliated or not – would have an equal opportunity when it came to utilization of ILEC network services. AICC stated that the absence of Section 51.325(c) may be interpreted as permission for ILECs to give their alarm service affiliates a clear competitive advantage over non-affiliates by providing advance notice of network changes. AICC argued that, in order to meaningfully preserve the level playing field that Section 275’s nondiscrimination requirement creates, unaffiliated alarm companies should be accorded the same access to information as affiliates, and the Commission should not permit ILECs to choose who receives information about network changes and who does not in advance of public notice.

The Order eliminates the “functionality test” standard for determining whether an ILEC must obtain section 214 authority to discontinue a service. Among other things, the functionality test required an ILEC to ensure that third-party devices, including alarm systems, would continue to work on a service intended to replace existing services. Instead the FCC only will require the new service to meet the carrier’s description of the service being terminated in its tariff—or customer service agreement in the absence of a tariff.

In its ex parte letter, AICC argued that the Commission’s decision to reverse the “functional test” is not in the public interest because alarm customers rely on their alarm equipment and services to protect their lives and their property and, therefore, before a service is discontinued there must be a service that continues to be compatible with alarm equipment and service. The FCC, however, has now found that “service providers do not bear the burden of ensuring compatibility with third-party devices.” According to the FCC, “carriers cannot know all of the myriad ways in which their services are used by customers, and it would be impracticable to require them to account for all these many uses in deciding whether a planned discontinuance triggers a requirement to file an application with the Commission. Carriers have no means of knowing what devices their customers are using and therefore cannot be expected to account for their proper functioning.” The FCC also found that it “makes more sense from a cost and efficiency perspective to require third-party manufacturers of ancillary devices— as opposed to telecommunications carriers —to bear the cost of ensuring compatibility. As the manufacturers of such devices— and the parties who know their operation and uses first-hand—these companies are in the best position to adapt such devices to changes in the underlying telecommunications service for the least cost and with the smallest disruption to consumers.”

The FCC also streamlines the discontinuance application process for carriers seeking to grandfather any voice and data services at speeds below 1.544 Mbps and the discontinuance process for applications seeking authorization to discontinue legacy data services that have previously been grandfathered for a period of at least 180 days; the FCC adopts new streamlined processing rules for applications to discontinue low -speed legacy services having no customers for the prior 30-day period; and the FCC finds that a carrier need not seek approval from the Commission to discontinue, reduce, or impair a service pursuant to section 214(a) of the Act when a change in service directly affects only carrier-customers.

In the FNPRM, the FCC seeks comment on a number of issues including whether a single interconnected VoIP service (without any service quality or other requirements) should enable streamlined discontinuance of legacy voice service. It also seeks comment on whether the FCC should streamline discontinuances for higher-speed data services.

Specifically, the FCC seeks comment on “Verizon’s proposal that the Commission streamline processing of section 214(a) discontinuance applications for legacy voice services where a carrier certifies: (1) that it provides interconnected VoIP service throughout the affected service area; and (2) that at least one other alternative voice service is available in the affected service area.” According to Verizon “adoption of this streamlined test ‘would compel carriers to maintain legacy services only in those rare instances . . . where their absence would cut consumers off from the nation’s telephone network’ and would ‘free[] carriers to focus on rolling out and improving the next -generation technologies their customers demand.’” The FCC seeks comment on the benefits and burdens of streamlining section 214(a) discontinuances for legacy voice services and on the benefits and burdens of Verizon’s specific recommendation.

In the FNPRM, the FCC also:

  1. Proposes to streamline the approval process for applications seeking to grandfather data services with download/upload speeds of less than 25 Mbps/3 Mbps, so long as the applying carrier provides data services of equivalent quality at speeds of at least 25 Mbps/3 Mbps or higher throughout the affected service area.
  2. Proposes a uniform reduced public comment period of 10 days and an auto-grant period of 25 days for all carriers submitting such applications. Under this proposal, such services must be grandfathered for a period of no less than 180 days before a carrier may submit an application to the Commission seeking authorization to discontinue such services.
  3. Seeks comment on AT&T’s proposal that the FCC eliminate the requirement that incumbent LECs provide public notice of network changes affecting the interoperability of customer premises equipment.

Comments on the FNPRM are due by January 17, 2018. Reply comments are due by February 16, 2018.

Thanks to Mary Sisak, attorney at Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP, for this report. 

CSAA Education Program Answers Members’ Demand for Up-to-Date Operator Training

Revised Level One Operator Training Course to Launch in 2016

More than 20,000 people in 30+ countries have registered for CSAA Online Training. CSAA members have been clamoring for the all-important Level 1 Online Operator Training course to be updated to reflect today’s central station environment. That demand is about to be answered as CSAA prepares for the launch of the revised course in summer 2016.

Watch our video summary below. 

“Education is one of the CSAA programs that brings the most value to members, and one of our most important focus areas,” said CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn. “With the coming launch of the revised course, CSAA has made great strides in providing education opportunities that are of value to our members and their employees.”

The Level 1 review and revision began some 18 months ago and resulted in a complete reorganization of all the course content. The original plan to simply correct dated content was changed when it became apparent that both the content and the student interface were in need of overhaul.

The new modules are:

  1. Industry Overview
  2. Code of Excellence
  3. The Alarm Process
  4. Effective Communication
  5. Technology and Professional Monitoring
  6. Automated Security Alarm Protocol (ASAP)
  7. NRTLs and Industry Standards
  8. Disaster Preparedness

 “The first two modules have been updated to reflect the current industry and to emphasize the importance of professionalism and integrity in the Central Station,” said CSAA Education Committee Co-Chair Teresa Gonzalez, President, UCC. “Modules 4 and 6 on communication have been combined and renamed Effective Communication. In addition to a complete update of the Technology module, a separate module on ASAP has been added. Revision recommendations were incorporated from ETL, FM Approvals and UL for Module 7.  And Module 8 on Emergency Procedures was revised and renamed Disaster Preparedness.”


Course Capture

To see the CSAA members who generously have given their time and expertise to the Level 1 revision project, check out your Summer 2016 issue of CSAA Dispatch. Stay tuned for updates on the launch date of the course later this summer.

AICC: Wireless Disaster Resilience and Information Sharing Proposal

AICCLogofullcolorWireless Industry Seeks to Avoid Unwanted Regulation Following System Failures after Superstorm Sandy

On April 28, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issued a Public Notice seeking comment on the ex parte presentation made by wireless providers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon, together with CTIA, in which they announce a “Wireless Resiliency Cooperative Framework” described as “a voluntary initiative that will enhance coordination and communication to advance wireless service continuity and information sharing during and after emergencies and disasters.”

In the letter, the carriers detail a five-pronged approach to enhance industry coordination to “facilitate greater network resiliency and faster restoration of service” which they assert will “obviate the need for legislative action or inflexible rules that could have unintended consequences.”  Specifically, the five prongs include: (1) providing for reasonable roaming under disaster arrangements when technically feasible; (2) fostering mutual aid during emergencies; (3) enhancing municipal preparedness and restoration; (4) increasing consumer readiness and preparation; and (5) improving public awareness and stakeholder communications on service and restoration status.  Under each prong, the carriers provide specific actions that they will undertake designed to “enhance coordination among wireless carriers and all key stakeholders, improving information sharing and making wireless network resiliency more robust.”

The Disaster Resilience Proposal is clearly an effort by the wireless industry to avoid unwanted regulation in the wake of notorious system failures after Superstorm Sandy and other recent disasters. Since many alarm companies rely on the existing cellular network for customer premise alarm radios, as well as communications with field personnel, this matter is of obvious interest to the alarm industry. Since the FCC is fond of adopting “industry consensus” proposals on thorny issues that draw a lot of public complaint (such as network outages), AICC and alarm providers should review the proposed approach to see if it is something that they can live with (or if it instead ignores the need for protecting and rapidly restoring wireless alarm operations).

Opposition comments, or suggestions on how to remedy any shortfalls in the industry proposal, can be submitted to the FCC. AICC is planning on providing feedback on this matter to the FCC by the end of June.  Please contact CSAA Counsel John Prendergast at if you have any concerns to include in such comments.

Chief Harlin McEwen is Recipient of 2016 CSAA Public Sector Award

Chief Harlin McEwen is the recipient of CSAA’s 2016 Public Sector Award. This special honor is given by CSAA in recognition of a public sector individual’s contribution to the alarm industry. He will be presented with the award at the 2016 Electronic Security Expo (ESX) Public Sector Luncheon on Thursday, June 9, at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

Harlin McEwen headshot June 2016

Chief Harlin McEwen at the June 2, 2016 meeting of the Alarm Industry Communications Committee at which he briefed members on FirstNet developments. Photo by Elizabeth Lasko.

“It is our pleasure to recognize Chief McEwen for his tireless efforts to advance the relationship between monitoring companies and our partners in the public sector,” said CSAA President Pamela J. Petrow.

Chief McEwen served for 13 years as the Chief of Police for the Cayuga Heights, New York Police Department before moving on to serve as the Deputy Commissioner for the NY State Division of Criminal Justice Services. He later returned to police work, serving as the Chief of Police for the City of Ithaca, NY, before taking the position of Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI.

In addition, he served for more than 37 years as the Chairman of the International Association of Chiefs  of Police (IACP) Communications & Technology Committee. During that time he was the principle representative and spokesperson for the IACP on matters relating to Communications & Technology. For this ongoing work, in 2000, the IACP honored him with a presentation of the first (and only) Lone Star Distinguished Award, and in 2006 he was elected as IACP Honorary President.

McEwen has also served as a distinguished Member of the Executive Steering Committee of the Global Advisory Committee, a Federal advisory group to the U.S. Attorney General. The GAC has been responsible for the development and implementation of numerous innovative justice information sharing standards and programs.

Since 2012 he has served as the Chair of the FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee. In this role he is leading the efforts of the 42-member PSAC to interact with the FirstNet Board and staff and the nationwide public safety community to develop and implement a new Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Wireless Network.

McEwen played a critical role in the launch of CSAA’s ASAP program and has worked tirelessly in its promotion.

“I am deeply honored with being selected for this prestigious award and have enjoyed working with the members of the Central Station Alarm Association for many years,” said McEwen.  “The continued close working relationship between the public safety community and CSAA is resulting in greatly improved public safety services to the public.”


The award recipient must be nominated by one or more CSAA members in good standing. Two CSAA Past Presidents, Lou Fiore and Jay Hauhn, put McEwen’s name forward for consideration. Fiore noted that, “An essential component of ASAP is its connection to the Nlets network. Chief McEwen was instrumental in bringing CSAA’s ASAP program together with Nlets.”

“Chief McEwen’s leadership of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)’s Public Safety Advisory Committee, and his commitment to engaging the alarm industry in FirstNet’s activities, has been critical to the advancement of our relationship with FirstNet and our favorable positioning for the future,” said Hauhn.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at CSAA, 703-242-4670 or



CSAA Annual Meeting 2016 Keynote Speaker Dr. Tasha Eurich Will Share Strategies for “Bankable Leadership”

2016 is Second Year of Multi-Year Reimagining of CSAA’s Signature Event;
Adjustments to Traditional Schedule Will Enable Full Participation in Fewer Days

VIENNA, VA (April 25, 2016) – With a sharp focus on technology and on business and performance management, along with the networking opportunities for which the event is famous, the 2016 CSAA Annual Meeting will give participants the kind of value in both content and engagement that is unmatched at any other industry eventMarco-Island-Logo_vert.

The 2016 meeting will be held at the Marriott Resort Marco Island, Marco Island, FL, on October 22-26. Last year’s Annual Meeting in Sonoma, where a revamped education program took center stage, garnered rave reviews from attendees. “CSAA is entering the second phase of the reimaging of its Annual Meeting,” said CSAA President Pamela J. Petrow. “In 2015 a new emphasis was placed on educational programming, and the General Sessions were a hit with attendees. CSAA intends to bolster that emphasis on fresh, meaningful education in 2016. In addition, we are changing the traditional scheduling by reversing the program for Saturday and Sunday. The schedule change will allow attendees who are not on the Board of Directors to shorten their stay at the meeting by one day — and still participate in all educational programming and committee meetings as well as the high-level networking opportunities that the Annual is known for.”

Tasha Eurich low resKeynote speaker Dr. Tasha Eurich is an organizational psychologist, speaker and New York Times best-selling author of Bankable Leadership — and a fresh, modern voice in the leadership world. By pairing her scientific grounding in human behavior with a pragmatic approach to business challenges, she has helped thousands of leaders over the last fifteen years. With a PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Colorado State University, Eurich serves on the adjunct faculty of the Center for Creative Leadership, one of the top ten executive development institutions in the world. She’s also the principal of The Eurich Group, an executive development firm that helps companies succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders and teams.

As a passionate, often humorous and always enlightening speaker, Eurich travels the world spreading her message. She contributes to Entrepreneur Magazine, has been featured in outlets like ForbesThe New York TimesCNBCUSA Today, INC., and CNN. She has been named one of Denver Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” as well as a “Top 100 Thought Leader” by Trust Across America, alongside Stephen Covey, Jim Kouzes, and Bill George. In 2015, she was named a “Leader to Watch” by the American Management Association along with notables including Patrick Lencioni, Ram Charan, and Chip Heath.

“We are pleased to feature a ‘next-generation’ speaker at the Annual Meeting,” said Petrow. “CSAA members are always looking toward the future, and Dr. Eurich is sure to provide them with new strategies to stay ahead of today’s leadership challenges.”

Education sessions (October 24-26) at the Annual Meeting will focus on how alarm industry leaders can address critical issues and challenges facing the monitoring industry, including workforce development, executive management, technology updates, and telecomm issues. The complete roster of speakers will be announced over the summer.

To further assist attendees, CSAA is offering a limited number of rooms at the headquarters hotel at rates as low as $185/night.  “2015 saw the largest attendance CSAA has had in recent years, and we are confident our reimaging of the meeting will top last year’s record when we convene this fall in Marco Island,” said Petrow.

To register for the CSAA Annual Meeting, visit The Marriott Resort Marco Island in southwest Florida is on the Gulf of Mexico, just 55 minutes from the Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) or a short drive from Naples, FL. Visit for the special reservations link, or call 1-800-GET-HERE (1-800-438-4373).


 About CSAA International

The Central Station Alarm Association International (CSAA) is an internationally-recognized non-profit trade association that represents professional monitoring companies that are listed by a CSAA-approved Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, such as FM Approvals, Intertek/ETL or UL. CSAA is legally entitled to represent its members before Congress and regulatory agencies on the local, state and federal levels, and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) over the industry. Since its incorporation in 1950, CSAA has served its members’ interests through education, online training, meetings and conventions, certification, insurance, and industry standards. For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at CSAA, 703-242-4670 x 16.


NEW! Security Industry Calendar

Powered by CSAA

How many times have you been planning a meeting or scheduling travel, and wished you could view a year’s worth of industry events along with public holidays and religious observances all in one place?

Now you can! CSAA has just launched the Security Industry Calendar, a resource for all members of the security industry. You can view events:

  • by day, week, month
  • in a list
  • by event category

Industry members can contribute towards making this calendar a resource for the entire industry by submitting meetings and events of interest. Check it out at .

Annual Attrition Measurement Study Available to CSAA Members

Got a minute? Find out how you can participate in an important alarm industry initiative — as well as access information that can help you build your company.

TRG Associates, a CSAA member company, works with CSAA each year to produce an alarm industry attrition report. View our one-minute video for more information.


Ready to participate? Visit Attrition Project.

2015 CSAA Marketing MARVEL Award Winner is COPS Monitoring

CSAA International announced the winner of the CSAA 2015 Five Diamond Marketing MARVEL Award on June 25 at the Electronic Security Expo (ESX) in Baltimore, MD. COPS Monitoring was honored for promoting its CSAA Five Diamond status to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

The CSAA Five Diamond Marketing MARVEL Awards Program recognizes CSAA Five Diamond companies that have used their CSAA Five Diamond designation to better position themselves in the marketplace. This program is sponsored by Security Sales & Integration (SSI).


Left to right: CSAA President Pam Petrow, COPS Monitoring Director of Marketing David Smith, and SSI Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine. Photo by A Day in the Life Productions.

“We are proud to be named as this year’s Marketing MARVEL Award winner,” said David Smith, Director of Marketing for COPS Monitoring. “We work hard behind the scenes every day for our dealers helping to safeguard their customers and hard-earned reputations. We believe when we win, our dealers win. We hope that proudly advertising our network of CSAA Five Diamond central stations and being named last year’s Central Station of the Year not only help give our dealers peace of mind, but also contribute to their competitive edge in the marketplace.”

The company submitted an integrated marketing plan that prominently featured their CSAA Five Diamond status on advertising, newsletters, their website, exhibits, company overview, sales literature, and even business cards.

“CSAA is pleased to recognize COPS for their exemplary and creative efforts to use their Five Diamond status to increase their visibility in the marketplace,” said CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn. “When our CSAA Five Diamond companies spotlight their certification through public promotion, consumers become more aware of how important it is to choose high-quality professional monitoring. Congratulations to COPS for making Five Diamond such an important part of their marketing plan!”  

Read complete details. 

– Reported by Elizabeth Lasko, CSAA, July 17, 2015

Centennial, CO Alarm Operator Who Saved Aurora Woman from Attacker Wins National Award

Susan Farris of Security Central in Centennial was recognized June 25 as the Central Station Operator of the Year by the national Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA).

_DSC0800 cropped and resized

L-R: CSAA President Pam Petrow, Susan Farris, and SDM Editor Laura Stepanek. Photo by A Day in the Life Productions.

The annual CSAA Excellence Awards, co-sponsored by SDM Magazine, highlight members of the security and fire alarm industry who make outstanding contributions to the safety and welfare of the customers they serve. Ms. Farris accepted her award at the annual CSAA awards banquet, held this year in Baltimore, MD. She was noted for her role in saving an Aurora woman from an armed assailant during a home invasion spree.

“We are very proud of Susan. Her quick action and expertise gave our client the advanced warning she needed to defend herself when the knife-wielding intruder barged through her bedroom door,” stated Jordan Jackson, president of Security Central.  He continued, “All of our Quick-C.A.R.E. Responders know that any alarm signal we receive could represent a life or death situation, so every second counts.”

Kathy Taillon, the victim of the home invasion, still shudders when she recalls the incident, “I hate to think what would have happened to me if I hadn’t had my alarm on.”

The intruder broke into three homes in an Aurora townhome complex the night of September 1, 2014, attacking and assaulting two other women before being arrested as he fled Taillon’s home.

Farris, in her typical humble fashion, reacted to her award by saying, “I’m shocked! I was just doing my job. It is really Security Central that deserves the award. Any one of my teammates would have done the same thing.”

Security Central provides electronic security and fire alarm solutions and monitoring services from their 24-hour Quick-C.A.R.E. facility near I-25 and Arapahoe Rd. For more information, visit