The security week that was: 1/09/09

Jan. 9, 2009
A weekly surveillance of news shaping your profession

Fees for false alarms

False alarms continue to be an issue for our industry. Some argue that installed alarm systems extend the reach of public safety departments. Others believe that alarms, due to high numbers of false alarms, can over-burden public safety departments. One thing is for sure, cities are making sure that false alarms don’t slap the city budget.

The latest in this trend is the news this week from the Chicago Sun Times that the city is ending the grace period for false alarms. No longer would the first couple of false alarms from a business be free; instead the city is responding by instituting fees right off the bat. The city also canned the $34 annual registration fee for security alarm systems, and we can only assume that the permit fees were either not adding up to the cost of running the permit department or that the new false alarm fees will more than cover that loss of city income. The changes don’t affect city policies on residential alarm systems.

Most cities still provide a grace period and then use a sliding scale for false alarm fees, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Chicago’s model of targeting businesses is increasingly adopted. While it sounds rough at first for your customers, many in our business would consider it a much better option than going to a verified-response only policy.

Mace to get into monitoring?
CEO announces plans that could significantly refocus company

You know the name Mace at least for the pepper spray and likely also for their video surveillance products. Now, says company CEO Dennis Raefield, the company is refocusing on security and trimming down non-essential focuses (curiously, the company owned a number of car washes). Look for new products at ISC West and a move toward IP-connected surveillance systems. But more exciting, Raefield noted that the company is looking to purchase a central station to offer wholesale monitoring, and they also plan to get into the access control and burglar alarm space as they roll out a new dealer program. Final details for these plans have not yet been fully unveiled.

Panasonic lands partnership with AEG
L.A. Live property to be showcase for Panasonic technology

It’s not all security, it’s not even mostly security, but Panasonic and AEG have partnered for sponsorship at AEG’s sports and entertainment facilities in Los Angeles – including the Staples Center, Nokia Theatre, L.A. Live, Regal Cinemas, The Grammy Museum and more. Those properties will now be “Panasonic Powered Properties.” This is not purely marketing; the agreement will see Panasonic technologies integrated throughout these properties, and that could include signage and massive video displays, security, point-of-sale, television production and more. It will be a mega project for systems integration, and the showcase property will be the L.A. Live project – a massive construction project adjacent to the Staples Center that links dining, events, entertainment/sports venues, office space and even residences.

In other news:
Smart card raids, new ASIS president, LP research, more

The EU has raided the offices of a number of smart card vendor companies in Europe who were suspected of colluding to fix prices. … Obama has picked William Lynn III to be second in charge at the Department of Defense. Lynn’s appointment raises questions of his loyalty; he comes from leading lobbying efforts for Raytheon geared toward the DoD. … A study done by Retail Systems Research and sponsored by ADT/Sensormatic looks at loss prevention data in relation to overall store sales performance and finds a link between the two elements. … The integrators at Tech Systems Inc. spell out the basics of rolling out an employee ID badge system at your company; consider it required reading if you’re struggling with your system or considering implementing such a program.

Stanley has purchased Sonitrol of the Palm Beaches, a franchise security dealer in West Palm Beach, Fla. … The word from the CES, the big show for the consumer electronics industry, is that a number of companies are unveiling DIY security products. Anyone need some sub-$100 unsecured wireless cameras? … Michael Cummings, director of loss prevention services for Aurora Health Care, has assumed the presidency of ASIS International.

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