Morris Weinstock Award Goes to Bud Wulforst

ESA recently presented the annual Morris F. Weinstock Person of the Year award to Howard Edward “Bud” Wulforst. SIAC congratulates Bud on this lifetime achievement. The Weinstock Award recognizes a lifetime of achievement in the security industry.

As a supporter of quality alarm management standards, Bud has been actively engaged in security issues during his career, starting back in the 1970s, when he became involved with the precursor to ESA – the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA). He also contributed to the New York Burglar and Fire Alarm Association at the same time.

Wulforst also joine The Monitoring Association (TMA), ascending to the presidency in 2007-2009, and continuing to serve on TMA’s board since then. We know Bud as a focused problem solver. He digs into issues and works within our industry to propel solutions.

SIAC is proud to offer our congratulations to Bud on this much-deserved honor. His service to our industry throughout the years serves as a positive leadership and role model for others to follow.

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AICC 3G Sunset Congressional Reach Effort

(Note from SIAC: The attached letter comes from the AICC. We urge you to read through it, and if at all possible, follow through with the outline on the 3G extension issue. Please reach out to Caroline Dunlap, as noted in the communication, if you have any questions. We realize this is a lengthy note, but the issue is of tremendous importance to our issue, and requires attention by all electronic security companies. Please take the time to follow up.)

Dear AICC members: 

This is Caroline Dunlap from Bill Signer’s office at Carmen Group. On behalf of the AICC, I am reaching out to you because we need your help on the 3G sunset. While the AICC has been working with Committee staff, it is important that Committee staff and the members of the House and Senate who either represent you or an area where you have a significant presence hear from alarm companies directly. They need to know that this is a real problem that will impact the people they represent. We have put together a list of key members on the House and Senate Committees with jurisdiction over telecom issues as well as the Committee staff that is working on these issues. It is important that you contact both your representatives and their Committee staff. 

Many of you have responded to this request. 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. It will only take a few minutes. We could also use help from the manufacturers on this list.


As many of you know, AT&T and Verizon have announced sunsets for their 3G networks. AT&T is calling for a sunset date of February 22, 2022 and Verizon is calling for a sunset of December of 2022 – 10 months later. Because of the Coronavirus many of our customers have been reluctant to have alarm technicians entertheir homes and businesses so that we can upgrade their equipment to make them compatible with newer networks.

We need your help especially if your business is headquartered in or has a significant presence in any of the following states: AK, AZ, CA, CT, CO, FL, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV

The industry is seeking a longer transition period before AT&T sunsets its 3G network. We are asking elected officials to reach out to AT&T and urge them to push back their sunset to December 2022 which would make AT&T’s sunset the same as Verizon’s proposed sunset, citing the pandemic as the reason.

Ideally, if your business is headquartered in a Sub-Committee member’s district or state, we would urge you to reach out to that member. Even if your business is not located in the member’s district but is from his/her state, they will pay attention. To find out who represents your district go to: https://ziplook.house.gov/htbin/findrep_house for the House of Representatives and  http://www.senate.gov/states/statesmap.htm for the Senate. Please let me know if you have any questions. Our lobbyist Bill Signer or I will endeavor to assist you.

Thank you in advance for your help in helping our industry. We are asking you to send the message below to your elected officials: 

Dear Representative/Senator: The burglar and fire alarm industry is seeking your help in urging AT&T to delay the shutdown of its 3G cellular network which is currently scheduled for February 22, 2022 – a mere 16 months from now – to December 2022. This would then have both Verizon and AT&T shutting down their 3G network cellular networks at the same time. Our industry protects the safety and property of over 30 million homes and businesses. Additionally, many seniors depend upon us to monitor their personal emergency response systems which allow them to live at home.

There are approximately 6,000,000 3G that must be upgraded, otherwise they will cease to communicate once the 3G networks are shut down. AT&T recognized the need for an appropriate transition when it moved from 2G to 3G in 2016 and provided 4 1/2 years for that transition. The industry estimates that we now have upwards of 3 times the number of 3G devices to change out as we did for the 2G transition.  

Currently, the change-out requires an alarm technician to enter the premises and upgrade the existing equipment. Unfortunately, with the Coronavirus pandemic, many of our customers have been understandably reluctant to have us enter their homes and businesses. For nine months and counting, this has curtailed what was to be a three-year transition. Realistically, we are looking at least another seven months before we will be able to resume our normal ability to upgrade these systems. 

While AT&T has been working with the industry for the development of equipment that will allow consumers to self-install equipment that would upgrade home security systems, to date that equipment is still in the testing stage and will not work with most personal emergency response system used by homebound individuals and a significant number of alarm systems. While we are hopeful that the equipment will work, we are not certain it will or whether the manufacturer will be able to meet the demand in a timely fashion.  Accordingly, we are asking you to speak directly with AT&T and urge them to move back their 3G cellular shutdown date to December 2022 and make it the same time as Verizon’s shutdown. Failure to do so will put millions of homes, businesses, and lives needlessly at risk.  Include your address on the emails that you send so they know you are a constituent. Again, thank you in advance for your help.

 
We want to urge you to contact:

  • The member of the House and two senators who represent you and where your company is headquartered;
  • A member of the House and Senate Commerce Committees from any state where you have a significant presence a contact list of telecom staff for members of the committees is attached. 
  • Committee professional staff are critical.  In the House, it’s the House Energy and Commerce Committee and in the Senate it’s the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Everyone should reach out to them because they and their staff are the people Congress and the industry look to set Telecom policy. It is especially important that you reach out to them if you have a significant presence in their state. 
    • If you are from New Jersey or have significant operations, it is important that you contact the House Energy and Commerce Committee staff for Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
    • If you are from Oregon or have significant operations in NJ, it’s important you contact the Energy and Commerce staff for Greg Walden
    • If you are from Mississippi, it is important that you contact the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS)
    • If you are from South Dakota or have a significant operations in South Dakota it is important that you contact Senator John Thune’s (R_SD) staff
    • If you are from Washington or have a significant presence in Washington it is important to reach out to Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
    • If you are from Hawaii or have a significant presence in Hawaii, it is important that you contact Senator Brian Schatz 

If you have questions you can contact Lou Fiore Ltfiore@aol.com or Bill Signer at signer@carmengroup.com (202) 365-9019 who represents us on telecom issues with the congress.  


If you get a response, please share it with us.

 
Thanks Again,

Caroline Dunlap

Carmen Group, Inc.

901 F Street NW

Suite 600

Washington, DC 20004

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CAA Setting up for a Virtual Conference

Like other associations and companies around the U.S., the California Alarm Associaton (CAA) plans to adjust to new Covid realities and hold a virtual conference December 3-4. Its Virtual Winter Conference will feature a keynote speaker, a CAA Executive Symposium and relevant workshops addressing the changing issues of the security industry.

Typically, SIAC attends the conference in person. This year we will log-in and participate remotely. We encourage those businesses connected to security issues in California to join as well. We all must continue to adapt to changing conditions and stay involved in industry-related activities. It is tremendously important to the long-term health of the electronic security industry.

This is an opportunity for all of us to participate in these state meetings like we do.  In just the last few months we have joined calls for Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Ohio.

If you are part of an association, send Stan Martin an email if you would like SIAC to share your registration/sign-up web page with our readers. Remember, SIAC will be happy to give a brief update on ordinance issues around the country that may impact their business. Stan can be reached at stan@siacinc.org.

The winter convention will include the presentation of the CAA George A. Weinstock Award to Mike Salk of Reed Brothers Security in recognition of his lifetime of achievement and volunteer service to the industry. For further information, visit www.caaonline.org or call CAA at 800.437.7658.

Leading sponsors include WBFAA UATC, Bay Alarm Company, Digital Watch Dog, ISC West, National Monitoring Center, Ignite Security Monitoring, Advanced Security Systems, DMP, INVISUS, PDK, Reitman Consulting Group, Security Funding Solutions and USA Central Station.

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“FAST” Careers in Electronic Security

New positions arise regularly in the electronic security industry. The nature of our field means we embrace technology. Which means things change. Which means new jobs and careers are created.

That requires new people to enter our industry to keep it vibrant and growing. SIAC has always supported the development of both the electronic security industry and evolving jobs and the skills to ensure alarms are installed, serviced and managed properly.

For that reason (and more), we’re pleased to see ESA and SIA launch the FAST Foundation (Foundation for Advancing Security Talent). It’s a good time for this effort, and two quality organizations that will publicize, recruit and develop talent in a high-quality environment.

FAST is a non-profit organization designed to promote careers in the physical security technology and life safety industry. It will connect the type of motivated professionals necessary to keep our industry vibrant and connected with further opportunities. For more information, visit the FAST website here.


According to Pierre Trapanese, Chairman of the SIA Board of Directors, “SIA members universally put recruiting talent into the security industry and workforce development at the top of the list. FAST will help our entire industry to be more competitive among all tech sectors. We are excited to partner with ESA to address an issue that we know is just as critical to the future of the industry as the continued development of technology.”

We agree.

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New ANSI Standard Released by TMA

The Monitoring Association (TMA) has released its update ANSI-accredited standard dealing with alarm verification and confirmation. The latest revision (TMA CS-V-01-2020, Version August 1, 2020) raises verification and confirmation standards by defining multiple-attempt confirmation, biometric, audio and video confirmation.

THIS IS IMPORTANT TO EACH ALARM DEALER – This updated standard is utilized in the national Model Ordinance.  Dealers and monitoring centers are expected to abide by this standard in cities that have adopted the model ordinance.  Most older ordinances (pre 2018) still require 2-call (ECV or ECC – Enhanced Call Confirmation) prior to a request for dispatch.

“I believe everyone should upgrade their monitoring procedures to incorporate these new best practices listed in the standard.  We need to be proactive and wait for the law (ordinance) to change,” said Stan Martin, Executive Director for SIAC.

Those stakeholders include monitoring center staff, emergency response professionals and law enforcement. We expect this updated standard to enhance our ongoing efforts to reduce unnecessary alarm dispatches.


Key to the new standard is defining multiple attempt verification, biometric, audio and video  confirmation.  You my download the standard for free at: https://tma.us/.

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Security Industry Needs Your Help on 3G Sunset

The security industry needs your help on the 3G sunset.

As many of you know, AT&T and Verizon have announced sunsets for their 3G networks. AT&T is calling for a sunset date of February 22, 2022 and Verizon is calling for a sunset of December of 2022 – 10 months later. Because of the Coronavirus many of our customers have been reluctant to have alarm technicians enter their homes and businesses so that we can upgrade their equipment to make them compatible with newer networks.

We need your help especially if your business is headquartered in one of the following states:

AK, AZ, CA, CT, CO, FL, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV

The industry is seeking a longer transition period before AT&T sunsets its 3G network. We are asking elected officials to reach out to AT&T and urge them to push back their sunset to December 2022 which would make AT&T’s sunset the same time as Verizon’s proposed sunset, citing the pandemic as the reason.

Linked here is a spreadsheet that includes the staffers of all the members on the House and Senate Telecom Subcommittees. House Members appear first, scroll down to the second page to find Senators. Please use the staffer’s email to contact the Telecom Sub-committee member.

Ideally, if your business is headquartered in a Sub-Committee member’s district or state, we would urge you to reach out to that member. Even if your business is not located in the member’s district but are from his/her state, they will pay attention.

To find out who represents your district go to:

Please let me know if you have any questions. Our lobbyist Bill Signer or I will endeavor to assist you. Thank you in advance for your help in helping our industry.

We are asking you to send the message below to your elected officials:

Dear Representative/Senator:

The burglar and fire alarm industry is seeking your help in urging AT&T to delay the shutdown of its 3G cellular network which is currently scheduled for February 22, 2022 – a mere 16 months from now – to December 2022. This would then have both Verizon and AT&T shutting down their 3G network cellular networks at the same time.

Our industry protects the safety, and property of over 30 million homes and businesses. Additionally, many seniors depend upon us to monitor their personal emergency response systems allowing them to live at home. Many of these systems were installed using the 3G cellular network and must be upgraded, otherwise they will cease to communicate once the 3G networks are shutdown. Historically, AT&T recognized the need for an appropriate time period when it moved from 2G to 3G and provided 4 1/2 years for that transition. The industry estimates that we now have upwards of 3 times the number of 3G devices to change out as we did in the past transition.

Currently, the change-out requires an alarm technician to enter the premise and upgrade the existing equipment. Unfortunately, with the Coronavirus pandemic understandably many of our customers have been reluctant to have us enter their homes and businesses. For six months and counting this has curtailed what was to be a two year transition. Realistically, we are looking at least another nine months before we will be able to resume our normal ability to upgrade these systems.

While AT&T has been working with the industry for the development of equipment that will allow consumers to self-install equipment that would upgrade home security systems, to date that equipment is still in the testing stage. While we are hopeful that the equipment will work, we are not certain it will or whether the manufacturer will be able to meet the demand in a timely fashion.

Accordingly, we are asking you to speak directly with AT&T and urge them to move back their 3G cellular shutdown date to December 2022 and make it the same time as Verizon’s shutdown. Failure to do so will put millions of homes, businesses, and lives needlessly at risk.

Include your address on the emails that you send so they know you are a constituent.

Again, thank you in advance for your help.

Stay safe,

Lou Fiore

Chair, AICC

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SIAC Representative Available for Your Virtual Meetings

SIAC is actively participating in more association virtual meetings. It’s a trend throughout the country, affecting not only us, but also multiple other associations and their various meetings.  In fact, SIAC recently gave reports at the New York and California annual security association meetings, as well as at regional meetings before the East Bay and Orange County, CA security associations. Upcoming meetings include presentations to Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Drop us an invite and we’d be happy to provide your members an update on local, state and national activity on law enforcement activity, changes to standards and trends that may affect your business. Additionally, we want to hear and understand what is happening in your state. Please let us know if you are aware of recent updates that our industry should know about, and email Stan Martin at stan@siacinc.org.

As Covid continues its spread across the U.S., we’re adjusting, along with the electronic security industry. Here are several other updates we’d like to keep you informed about.


ISC West has gone virtual and is scheduled October 5-8. Go to www.iscwest2020.com for details.

The Monitoring Association (TMA) has also pivoted its annual meeting to address Covid safety-related issues. Its dates are October 27-29. Sessions include focus on operations and technology. Go to www.tma.us for more information.

The Alabama Trade Show in Montgomery October 7-8 has been canceled. The Arizona Alarm Association has also canceled its 2020 convention, but does plans to hold its golf tournament September 29, at the Whirlwind Golf Club at Wild Horse Pass, Chandler, AZ. For information, call 480.831-1318, or email info@azalarms.org.

There is a lot changing quickly in the security world, and sometimes it can be hard to keep up with meetings, conventions and conferences, much less alarm ordinances, technology improvements or ANSI standards. We are here for you at SIAC to keep you informed and aware on what’s going on in our industry and specifically how that relates to alarm management practices.

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SIAC’s Statement on Sandy Springs

SIAC continues to support the Georgia Electronic Life Safety & Systems Association (GLESSA), A-Com Security Co. LLM and Safecom Security Solutions in their petition challenging Sandy Springs, GA alarm ordinance. The ordinance holds alarm companies liable for their customers’ false alarms. The plaintiffs (GLESSA, A-Com and Safecom) seek a rehearing before all of the judges on the 11th Circuit (what’s known as an “en banc” hearing).

The Case Raises a Potential Concern for all Businesses

(SIAC Executive Director Stan Martin issued the following statement in response to the new filing.)

This case raises an issue that potentially could impact numerous businesses. The ruling makes it far too easy for a government entity to hold a business responsible for the actions of its customers even if the business does not have a responsible relationship with the customer’s conduct.

What is more significant to Sandy Springs taxpayers is that the city has embarked on expensive and needless litigation even though there has never been a showing that fining alarm companies is any more effective than fining alarm owners, which is the norm throughout the country. The city could have achieved its goal of reducing alarm responses without expensive litigation.

SIAC continues working closely with law enforcement agencies throughout the country to promote the model ordinance it helped create in partnership with leaders in the law enforcement community. When you consider that the cost of fighting a single bad ordinance can easily run into the six figures, supporting SIAC’s work at the local and national level remains a wise investment.

Extreme proposals such as passing customer fines to the alarm companies for payment will be vigorously opposed.  We do support stopping response or requiring verification for law enforcement dispatch when applied only to chronic abusers. More than 1,000 communities nationwide are currently using the principles of the national model ordinance and that number continues to grow steadily each year.

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Northern California CAA Chapters Police Forum

The Northern California CAA Chaptersare excited to present a virtual police forum, featuring speakers Lt. Dan Finks of the San Rafael Police Department and Steve Keefer from SIAC. They will discuss the current crisis and how the alarm industry can support police effects.

 

The event is being brought to attendees by the East Bay Alarm Association (EBAA) / Golden Gate Alarm Association / Mid-Cal Alarm Association / Redwood Alarm Association / Sacramento Area Alarm Association / Silicon Valley Alarm Association. The online session is Wednesday, September 9, from 2-3 p.m. Pacific time. You may register through Eventbrite here.

The Northern California CAA Chapters are excited to present a virtual police forum, featuring speakers Lt. Dan Finks of the San Rafael Police Department and Steve Keefer from SIAC. They will discuss the current crisis and how the alarm industry can support police effects.

lieutenant

Here are some details on Lieutenant Dan Fink:

 

Lieutenant Dan Fink has been in the public safety field for 29 years. Starting in 1991, he worked for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Santa Rosa Police Department, and the San Rafael Police Department. In 1998, he became a sworn officer and has worked a variety of plain clothes and uniformed assignments during his career. Lt. Fink was promoted through the ranks from Corporal to Sergeant to Lieutenant.

 

In 2009, Lt. Fink was promoted to Police Lieutenant and has worked a variety of assignments including patrol, investigations, and personnel. Lt. Fink has been the SWAT Commander and the Crisis Negotiations Commander and his current assignment is the Investigations Lieutenant and the Public Information Officer.

Lt. Fink holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Management from the Union Institute and University (2002) and a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University (2008). Lt. Fink is a graduate of the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Program (2009), California POST Command College Class #52 (2013) and a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police (2015).

 

lieutenant 1

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Proposed Lobbying Restrictions Could Exclude Small 501(c)(6)s

(Editor’s note: The following message was sent by the American Society of Association Executives – ASAE. There is a critical call to action included. Please read through this closely. Please take a moment to click the link and send to your Senators. The best approach is to add a personal note during the introduction.)

 

Dear Members and Advocates:

We reported last week on a proposed Senate COVID-19 relief measure that would expand eligibility under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to include all 501(c)(6) organizations with 300 or fewer employees.

We also highlighted bill’s vague lobbying restrictions that would be used to further determine eligibility. We are concerned small organizations that typically do not lobby much would be inappropriately labeled as lobbying organizations and that the restrictions could exclude most, if not all, organizations that lobby on a modest basis.

asae

If a 501(c)(6) organization employs 300 or fewer people, it would only be eligible for a PPP loan if:

  • “the organization does not receive more than 10 percent of its receipts from lobbying activities;” and/or
  • “the lobbying activities of the organization do not comprise more than 10 percent of the total activities of the organization.”

Ten percent is a low threshold for any organization, but, unlike for 501(c)(6) organizations, these proposed restrictions would not apply to businesses and other nonprofits.

The lobbying provisions are so vague that we don’t know what exactly will be calculated to determine “receipts” or “lobbying activities.” These provisions would permit the Small Business Administration (SBA) to create its own definitions, criteria, metrics, etc., to examine “receipts” and “lobbying activities.” SBA could use pre-existing definitions or create its own, which could look beyond what is typically considered lobbying and receipts.

If given the opportunity, we expect SBA will make the application process as stringent as possible.

Bottom line: these provisions could exclude nonprofit associations, chambers of commerce and others from receiving critical financial relief when they need it most. For others, these proposed restrictions would create a significant administrative burden and subsequently delay relief.

Collectively, we must urge Congress to ensure 501(c)(6) organizations gain access to PPP funds and these unfair lobbying restrictions are made more inclusive or eliminated altogether.

SIAC Call to Action 

ASAE staff remains in discussion with several key congressional offices regarding these restrictions, but we still need your help to maximize our community’s outreach.

  1. Adapt our template Tweetto urge SenatorsMitch McConnellMarco Rubio and Susan Collins – and/oryour legislators – to support PPP expansion on inclusive, equitable terms.
  2. Write your legislators directly with ourautomated congressional appeal. The appeal is ready to send, but feel free to customize your message.

Champions in the House of Representatives

U.S. Congressman Greg Steube (R-Fla.), with a delegation of Representatives Darren Soto (D-Fla.), Neal Dunn (R-Fla.), Ross Spano (R-Fla.) and Brian Mast (R-Fla.), delivered a letter to Senator Marco Rubio that reiterates their support to include 501(c)(6) organizations in the PPP. As a reminder, these Members cosponsor the Local Chamber, Tourism, and 501(c)(6) Protection Act of 2020 (H.R. 6697), introduced in April, which would expand the PPP to our community.

Congressman Steube announced his letter on Twitter, and we encourage you to retweet thanks to Reps. SteubeSotoDunnSpano and Mast. Take a look at ASAE’s thank you Tweet. ASAE helped create this letter and we are extremely grateful for Congressman Steube’s leadership.

Reminder: Complete ASAE’s Data Request Form

WE NEED DATA to further demonstrate to Congress why these unfair restrictions must be lifted, and that any PPP eligibility expansion should replicate terms provided to other eligible entities. We again respectfully ask for your time to support – please complete our data request form as soon as possible to help us unequivocally demonstrate our community’s need and help save imperiled organizations. While not exhaustive, the form is somewhat long out of necessity. We greatly appreciate your patience as you complete the form to the best of your knowledge. Thank you to the more than 475 organizations who have already completed the form.

Final Thought 

While legislation remains fluid, if PPP expansion to 501(c)(6) organizations indeed passes into law, such entities will need to move fast to secure PPP loans and the financial relief they need. We encourage you to consider your options now so, if needed, you can expeditiously pursue PPP loan funds when the time comes.

On August 18, ASAE will host an education session with experts and leading voices in association law, finance and accounting to examine options and how to apply for a PPP loan. We will share final details and a registration link when they become available.

THANK YOU for your steadfast advocacy to help build support for the 501(c)(6) community.

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