The general session included motivational speaker Rocky Blier, who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1968 and again from 1971 to 1980 after returning from being wounded while serving in Vietnam. His message stressed that ordinary people can become extraordinary achievers.
The general session also included legislative updates, elections for the CAA Officers/Executive Committee, and an industry licensing update from the new chief of the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS), Jeffrey Mason. BSIS is the state organization that issues licenses for alarm company operators and employees, locksmiths, private investigators, security guard services and employees, repossession agents and others. Mason said the BSIS is experiencing an 18-20 percent increase in license applications. While the state’s budget crisis has made it impossible to hire employees to help with processing, Mason has focused on streamlining license processing and transitioning applications online, which seems to be working. Around 70 percent of guard license applications are now received online, and the number of days needed to get a license has dropped from an average of 48 days to 24 days.
It is a positive donation, but more is needed. When presenting the check, Westphal summarized the importance of supporting SIAC.
“When you’re prioritizing contributions, SIAC ranks at the top due to the ongoing services it provides to the industry. If you go it alone, you’re responsible for attending many council meetings, communicating with many parties, and losing man hours of your own without SIAC’s help. Contributing to SIAC is like paying yourself,” added Westphal.
In the highlight of the convention, Jon Sargent was named the recipient of the CAA George A. Weinstock Award. Established in 1999, the award recognizes a lifetime of achievement in the electronic security industry.
Sargent, a former two-term president of the CAA, serves as the industry liaison for ADT Security Services, Boca Rotan, Fla., and works closely with Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) on municipal and law enforcement relationships. After working on his first alarm ordinance in the early 1980s with the Alameda County Sheriff's office, he went on to become a principal force for the alarm industry working on alarm response issues and improving relationships with law enforcement all over the country.
Sohovich cautioned dealers not to expect cable providers and telecommunications companies to fail again as they have in their prior attempts to enter the security industry.
Covert stressed that for all the buzz about technologies and equipment, the alarm business is still all about service â€” and taking care of one customer at a time. That, he said, is the ultimate defense against the competition.