A new day is dawning in security. The sun is coming up, throwing light on dark corners where too many technicians have labored without installation know-how and too few security salespeople have had sales training in security. On this new day, owners and managers have many choices for continuing their education, not just the school of hard knocks. And it's just in time for handling tried-and-true or new technology to meet growing demand.

Where do you start? Your favorite manufacturers - or new favorite suppliers - offer training at their facilities, through their distributors, or at industry events. The associations and dealer programs you have joined - or will join - have re-tooled and refreshed their training, so it's more useful, more accessible than ever.

In case you snoozed your way through high school, don't worry. An industry education is not all about books and homework. It's about taking advantage of opportunities to learn from your peers, no matter what the setting.

Take these examples from a symposium recently hosted in Montreal:

  • Jeffrey Zwirn, expert witness and president of IDS Research & Development, Teaneck, N.J., teaches on alarm company liability.
  • Eric Pritchard, expert acquisitions adviser and attorney with Tannenbaum & Chanin, hears Hugh Van der Veer, attorney with Buchanan Ingersoll, Pittsburgh, reveal the issues he considers critical in acquisition negotiations.
  • Mark Burnett, central station manager at Diebold, Uniontown, Ohio, and Mary Smith, customer service/alarm dispatch trainer at Bay Alarm, Pacheco, Calif., share the pros and cons of their own central station functionalities.

These are just a few of the dynamic encounters at the Central Station Alarm Association's NASS EX, engineered by John Lombardi, president of Commercial Instruments and Alarm Systems Inc., Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Pam Petrow, executive vice president of Vector Security, Pittsburgh. Many experts in their own fields enjoyed being students - and interacting with other students.

Networking with Dave

There's nothing like going back to school when SDM's own David Engebretson is teaching. He's face-to-face with industry professionals who want to build their abilities and confidence in network security systems. Classes are offered through the National Training School of the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association. Dale Eller, NTS director has just announced dates in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Texas, Georgia, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Missouri, and Arizona. For more information, visit www.alarm.org/ profdev/courses/sni.html or call (866) 636-1687.

These are just a few of the new and different educational opportunities. To see why it's important to take advantage of the new day dawning in security training, see the article, "Ready to Hire" in this issue. "It's a contest to see who can really build the best working environment" for qualified employees in security, says Bob Ryan, ASG Security in Beltsville, Md. "We have outgrown the available manpower of people who really know what they're doing in this business."

Education for yourself and your staff is an important answer to both of these needs.


SDM's second annual "Up & Comers in Security" report ranks the companies that play a pivotal role in the underpinnings of the security industry's delivery of products and services.

SDM's Field Guide to Monitoring is written by industry veterans for technicians who install, service, test, and monitor alarm transmitting and receiving systems. It is packed with Q&A, expert tips, and know-how for tech-minded security professionals, and it's now available online.

pq - 'An industry education is not all about books and homework.'