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TMA and ASAP-PSAP – a central station issue or affecting all dealers / Comment on Q&A and ASAP-PSAP
October 18, 2019
TMA and ASAP-PSAP – a central station issue or affecting all dealers
          Their criteria is that they struck the deal with AT&T, and they are making assurances that any company operating on this public safety network meets certain standards.  Standards TMA adopted as benchmarks of a quality central station.  Standards that can, apparently, only be met by members of TMA who have adopted ASAP-PSAP.
          In their defense, TMA and SIAC were well aware of the dangers non response by police agencies posed to the monitoring industry.  They worked tirelessly to maintain police response by establishing best practices that would vastly reduce dispatch rates.  Things like second call verification, panels that clearly indicated a valid user had disarmed the system following an alarm activation, swinger shutdown, and a general ringing of the alarm that should municipalities adopt broad non response policies we would all be toast.  You cannot not deny that these were noble interests that served the interests of everyone in the industry.  What they failed to recognize, or widely publicize outside their club, was how it would affect professional, capable dealers outside their ranks.  You can argue that they shouldn’t care, they exist to serve their members.
           I’ve known some of these people for years, I don’t believe they think my company presents a danger to public safety or operates in a manner that reflects badly on the industry.  I’ve supported the activities of SIAC.  But they have, in fact, created an environment in which I cannot compete because TMA is the gatekeeper.  I do not recall the ESA pointing out that I better get on board with the plans that were being hatched or I’d find myself in a pickle when it got off the ground.  I also bear responsibility for the situation in which I find myself because I used to be more active in the industry outside the operation of my company.  There was a time I’d have been super hip to this.
          And here’s a real eye opener:  I spent some time on Friday in a ERC utilizing ASAP-PSAP protocol and dammit, Ken, I see the benefits for both sides.  You can imagine how I wanted to dismiss it as no better than what I’m doing, but I believe it may well be better.  How many ways can you say “Oh, Shit!”?
          I don’t think it’s a money grab for TMA.  It’s more of a way of making the TMA ever so much more relevant to its membership.
          I do have an answer to my original question as to 911 centers continuing to accept phone calls from non ASAP-PSAP centrals, they will.  Right up until the time they won’t, which I believe will happen when the technology is more widely adopted across the country.  (I have nothing on which to base that assumption other than my own perception.)  For the moment, centrals operating outside the ASAP-PSAP protocol are safe.
Comment on Q&A and ASAP-PSAP

          What happens if I don’t add the software to my central station, can I still call in alarm dispatch requests by phone?
Can the dispatch center mandate ASAP-PASP and accept no calls by phone?

            Dealers BEWARE, this is a wolf in sheep's clothing! The answer is yes and no. In one case I know of in NY; you have to go thru the county which in turn uses a local central station for this tie to the 911 center.  So now I have to use a central station I don't wish to use for this alarm.
            What if my central station software system does not integrate with ASAP, do I need to buy a new central station software system?
This question is not for the dealer or end user.  Most dealers probably don't care what the link is between the central and 911.
          What if I am not a TMA member, can I still get access to the system?
Who cares; I don't want "the system" This software was designed yearrrrs ago.   When it came out there was a lot of discussion around how it was designed to put smaller centrals out of business.  How? simple; if this is in place the county will require the central to use this path of communication.  If you central doesn't have the software then the central has to go thru the other central to get to 911.  Why should I feed another central? How secure are my accounts?   Is there an agreement with the other central?  All the way wasn't good then and it isn't now because there aren't any safeguards in place.
            What if I don’t have UL or a NRTL recognized central station?





          Thanks for the Newsletter and TMA update of the ASAP to PSAP program.  It was presented as an 8 year success, while others see it as a 40 year embarrassment.  There are over 6000 primary and secondary PSAPS in North America, with only about 60 PSAPs in the Program.  1% market penetration, even over 8 years, is nothing to brag about.  The Program started during the mid-1970s in the Minneapolis area (ref. Tom Lewin), but couldn’t get compatible with law enforcement, even during the era of rapid growth for the monitoring business and the local PSAPs.  Many in law enforcement leadership consider the ASAP to PSAP program to be a Trojan Horse, carrying lots of self-serving agenda that conflicts with public safety.  But it has always been a good fundraiser for Alarm Associations.


Lee Jones


Support Services Group

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301