TMA to Standardize Monitoring Center Threat Detection Response

Oct. 12, 2023
The new TMA-ATN-01 Standard would formalize how monitoring centers respond to and notify authorities of gunshot and weapons detection, lockdowns and more

This article originally appeared in the October 2023 issue of Security Business magazine. When sharing, don’t forget to mention Security Business magazine on LinkedIn and @SecBusinessMag on Twitter.

Monitoring centers play a critical role in active threat detection and response, since very often they are the primary communications conduit between the site of an emergency incident and Emergency Communications Centers (ECC).

To an increasing degree, today’s monitoring centers are the recipient of what may be classified as “non-traditional alerts,” such as gunshot detection, weapons detection, manual lockdown notification, as well as other innovative threat detection and alerting technologies.

Because of these fast-increasing technological use-cases, The Monitoring Association (TMA) has initiated the development of a proposed ANSI-standard with the objective of standardizing how monitoring centers use these and other technologies to provide responding authorities with critical information that is needed to assure timely and accurate notification to entities, such as first responders, employees, students etc.

The standard, TMA-ATN-01 – Monitoring Center Notification of Active Threat Detection, received ANSI authorization for development in early 2023. A committee, co-chaired by Anita Ostrowski, VP of Central Station Services for Vector Security, and David Holl, Director of Public Safety for Lower Allen Township (PA), was established and the development of the standard has begun.

In line with ANSI development guidelines, the committee is composed of practitioners and subject-matter experts from across the security industry, public safety, and law enforcement, including technology innovators and federal government partners.

The committee’s work is still in the preliminary stages of development, as its members are working to breakdown relevant components of detection, communication, and response. Work is currently being undertaken to understand and identify various signals generated by the systems in question and to draft definitions for various parts. Once this is completed, a workflow for monitoring center response will be drafted.

“The TMA-ATN-01 standard is actually an extension of ANSI/TMA-AVS-01 Alarm Validation Scoring Standard, which received ANSI accreditation in late 2022,” Holl says. “As a result of ANSI/TMA-AVS-01, various signals and information associated with monitoring centers were realized that provided for alarm scoring. The data that comes in through gunshot, weapons detection, and other active threat notification systems provides vital additional information that can assist responders in providing an efficient and safe response.”

Editor’s Note: Read more about TMA’s AVS-01 Alarm Classification Standard in the May 2022 cover story of Security Business, available online at

Alerts generated by gunshot, weapons detection, or manual lockdowns are events that require immediate notification to public safety. The alert, as well as situational information, is received by the monitoring center from a human source, technology initiated, or a combination of both. Human interaction initiated as part of the alert may indicate an active shooter situation. These detection technologies and subsequent alerts are typically from facilities with high human presence.

The standard may also facilitate means to initiate other actions, such as “shelter in place” or “wait for further instructions,” and notifications may be delivered via multiple methods.

For additional information on TMA-ATN-01 visit

Celia T. Besore is CEO of The Monitoring Association (TMA). Request more info about the organization at
About the Author

Celia T. Besore

Celia T. Besore, MBA, FASAE, CAE, is Executive Director of The Monitoring Association (TMA). Learn more at