Nov/Dec 2000 Handshake I-dition

The I-dition (Internet Edition) of the Handshake does not always include all articles published in the printed edition


We Wish All Our Members and Their Families
 A Happy and Prosperous Holiday Season!


The Alarm Association of Florida
 Board of Directors and Staff


The President's Corner
By Bob Worthy

  Unity:  implies the oneness, as in spirit, aims, interests, feelings and of that which is made up of diverse elements or individuals-

  In the last two years, your Association has come together to become one of the strongest associations in the country. This achievement was accomplished by coming together as one. We put forth a total effort on all fronts. Two years ago at the General Assembly meeting, the membership elected a new Executive Board. There were new Regional Directors elected as well, which changed the make up of the Board of Directors. You, the members, supported that new board through hard decisions, many of which were not very popular.

  You rewarded our efforts with re-election to another year and a productive year it was. A year in which membership grew,  training courses were rewritten and offered state wide on a regular basis. Partnerships were formed with manufacturers, distributors, and outside training schools. We recently held a thirtieth year anniversary party, trade show, convention, and general assembly meeting that exceeded all expectations.   The scholarship program went from stagnant, to awarding, not one, not two, but three scholarships this year. The debt on the line of credit was eliminated, the computer system was totally updated and the website was reborn. A lobbyist was hired, our accounting firm was changed and our staff members were trained, accordingly, to handle all tasks. The membership elected to become a chartered state member of the NBFAA by the narrowest of margins. Even though there was a split decision on this matter, the membership unselfishly showed solidarity for the wellness of this Association by paying their membership dues regardless of personal feelings.

This year, you elected another new Executive Board. New Regional Directors have stepped up to take their place on the Board of Directors. This shows a renewed interest, by our membership, towards the leadership of this organization. For this, I thank your immediate Past President, Roy Pollack, and his Board for paving the way, this year’s Board of Directors for volunteering their valuable time to the Association and to the membership for entrusting the business of this Association to us.

Our first line of business was to accept the membership vote at the General Assembly for the changes to the bylaws. All of the amendments were passed, except for the vote on the NBFAA. This vote ended in an exact tie. This resulted in the AAF remaining a charter state member of the NBFAA. We are looking forward to our continued relationship with NBFAA and will support their efforts in unifying their national status. We will have our first Executive Board meeting on December 16th in Orlando. The main focus will be to prepare the budget for 2001, which will be presented to the Board of Directors in February. Naturally, all members are welcome to attend. Contact the AAF office for details.


My Board Member of the Month is Ron Toole. Ron is your new Vice President/President Elect. I am honoring Ron for his outstanding work as Convention Committee Chairman. I commend Ron on a job well done. Thank you Ron!!


My Regular Member of the Month is Simon Plummer. Simon is the owner of All Florida Alarms. Simon has been the Secretary of the Broward Region for eight years. He has remained a valuable volunteer to this association and as a regular member volunteered to work on the Convention Committee for next year. Thank you Simon!! 

My Associate Member of the Month is ADI. We cannot say enough about all of the distributors and manufacturers that support us in our industry. I recognize ADI, this month, for their help as one of our partners in the industry. Thank you Steve Creasey, Alan Higgins, and all of the fine people in your organization we deal with on a daily basis. Special thanks to Kevin McCaffrey for sitting on our Board of Directors as an Associate Representative. Thank you ADI!!

My Public Safety Member of the Month is Cheryl Cummings. Cheryl is the alarm unit coordinator for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. I recognize Cheryl for her open view and interest in the alarm industry. She took this position with great interest in alarm industry methods. This helps everyone involved to better understand how public safety officials and the industry can partner in false alarm prevention. Thank you Cheryl!!

  Hopefully, everyone can see how unity in our industry has helped to rejuvenate and strengthen your Association. By continuing this united path, we have no limits. If you should have any questions or comments, my e-mail address is

From the Director's Chair...

It is difficult to describe the feelings that flooded into my consciousness during this year’s convention. I have been to many conventions over time, but this one with its 30th anniversary celebration was extra special. Thirty years worth of memories, events, friends, industry evolution and fond remembrances were summed into three days of convention schedule.

This security industry is special of itself, because it evokes a bond that is enduring and very hard to shed. Once you have been in the industry in any form it becomes an inherent part of you and forever remains integral to your being. I have known people who were in it, then left only to return in some other facet of the industry, time after time

That is one reason that this event was so special. As the years of photographs appeared on the viewing screen Saturday evening before the awards banquet, we all thought of friends and colleagues past and present who have meant so much to our lives and to our industry. There are several that are no longer among us. But they are not forgotten because their deeds live and their help was there when we needed them most. 

In addition to the great and frequent memories, this Association had much current business to attend to and you did it in fine style. From the casual golf tourney shared by many friends, to the ‘happening’ auction dinner on Friday; to the exhibit hall and our great Associate supporters, to the General Membership Assembly and the Awards Banquet Saturday evening, it could not have been grander. The new officers were sworn in customarily and with the dignity their offices deserve. The former Board members were presented with mementos of their service and then the evening’s speeches gave way to the recognition of the most valuable person of the year. The members voted Ron Toole as their choice for MVP 2000. A more deserving person could not be mentioned. Our congratulations to Ron for many jobs well done. 

We all enjoyed a very poignant moment when the membership celebrated a presentation of the Most Valuable Person of the Decade to our friend and associate, Terry Akins. No one could have been more surprised than he as he approached the podium to accept the award and as a first in our lifetimes, found him to be speechless. Quite an accomplishment! Many thanks to you, Terry, for all the years of dedication and hard work on behalf of your friends in this Association. It could not be more deserved. 

I was struck by the many people who were represented to the AAF in this industry over the years, both through their photographs and also many by their continued presence. As a special favor to me, my Mother and Father came for the evening to help celebrate the 30th year. I asked my Father, Floyd Neely, and the first AAF Executive Director to please swear in the immediate Past President, Roy Pollack. He did so, and that moment represented to me the continuity of purpose that has somehow maintained itself through the years. This Association is greater than the sum of its members. It is an entity that reflects the greater goodness of its members and displays the solid camaraderie that bonds us together and to this industry. I want to thank everyone for their outstanding support this past year and for their encouragement in going forward into this next decade. I know that with your help we will continue to prosper and grow. See you next year!

Sincerely yours, Bob Neely
Executive Director, Alarm Association of Florida

In The Spotlight…  

·         The Alarm Association of Florida would like to give special recognition to David Donnelly from Central Alarm Control. Mr. Donnelly donated his entire $1,000 prize winnings at the Convention Banquet to the Alarm Industry Foundation Fund.

This is an outstanding contribution to both this fund and the industry in general for future students. The members of the Association salute you, Mr. Donnelly! 

·         Congratulations all around are in order for Ed Bieluch who was recently elected to the office of Sheriff of Palm Beach County. Continued success and good luck to you Ed in your endeavors in the realm of public safety. The members of the Alarm Association appreciate it. 

·         Congratulations to Heather Fiorentino, our "Legislator of the Year" on her re-election to office. The Alarm Association wishes you the best of luck in your continued support of public safety legislation.


West Palm Beach Region

Joe Holfelner, Regional Director  

The October 12th meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. with approximately 30 people in attendance.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff, Robert Neuman, was expected to speak but was unable to attend. A stand-in representative, Mike Gauger, filled in for him. Pat Kenny of the PBSO Alarm Unit also attended the meeting and spoke to the membership. Their message was that they would now like to attempt opening dialog with the alarm industry and that they want to take back the permit billing, sending it directly to the alarm users once again. 

The next speaker was John Carroll, a Sheriff's Deputy campaigning for Ed Bieluch for Sheriff. He promised that if Ed Bieluch was elected, he would do away with the current alarm ordinance and start over on a new ordinance based on the "Model States Ordinance". He would work with the alarm industry and alarm users to come up with a version that works for everyone involved; the alarm industry, the Sheriff's Office and the community.

Kelly Kevari of SLP Direct was introduced as a new member and took a few minutes to tell us about her company.

  Joe Holfelner and Carl Davino both gave information and updates on the annual convention being held this month in Orlando. Carl also explained one of the proposed by-law changes to be voted on regarding NBFAA affiliation.

  The 50/50 drawing was won by Bob Worthy who donated his share of the drawing to the AAF Scholarship Fund. Wayne Nelson of Centex Hometeam Security won prizes from ADI and Silmar during the drawings. The meeting was then adjourned.

Broward Region
Mary Galloway, Regional Director

The October meeting was called to order with 9 people in attendance. After dinner, Bob took the floor and gave all the updated information on the convention.

It was announced that Sheriff Bob Newman will be at the West Palm Beach Meeting to discuss the False Alarm Ordinance.

Having CE classes at the monthly meetings was discussed and it was whole-heartedly approved to have the classes every other month. The AAF is proposing a partnership with the members to help them track and maintain courses. The Sponsor of the CE courses will be required to transmit results of the classes to the State who will then in turn automatically know whether you have all of your CE credits.

  Privatized regulations were discussed and how shrinking government is going to effect our industry. The 4-hour course, (there was a choice of courses), may be replaced with 4 hours of Code. 

Tarry Baker and other officials are to be contacted as guest speakers as well as manufacturers.

The articles in the Handshake will again be put on the web site. A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting at 9:10 p.m.

Tallahassee Region
Justin Bozone, Regional Director

The monthly meeting of the Tallahassee Region was held on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 at the Silver Slipper in Tallahassee. The following people were in attendance; Ed McDaniel (Wiregrass Systems), Justin Bozone (Mathers Electric), Betty Blighton (Wiregrass Systems), Dave Ulmer (Mathers Electric), Sid Hill (Professional Security) and Howard Hawn (Detection Systems).

Elections were held for Regional Director and Regional Secretary for the next year. Justin Bozone was re-elected as Regional Director and Betty Blighton was re-elected as Regional Secretary. 

Copies of the absentee ballots for the upcoming General Assembly Meeting were handed out and discussed. Everyone was urged to mail an absentee ballot if they would not be attending the convention. 

Howard Hawn presented and discussed the features of one of Detection System's Fire Panels. He also went over the other products manufactured by Detection Systems. The meeting was adjourned.

Ft. Walton/Pensacola Region
Ron Toole, Regional Director

  The meeting was called to order at 6:45 p.m. with 8 members in attendance. One of the topics discussed was the upcoming AAF Convention and how important it is to attend this or any of the AAF conventions. At the convention an owner could get up to 8 hours of CE training as well as find out about new products on the market. They will also be able to give their input to the leadership and find out the direction in which the Association is moving. There was some discussion about the golf tournament and about the AAF Attorney's presentation on Thursday regarding the actions that the State of Florida Attorney General's Office is taking about the free alarm system being given away in the state. Mr. Toole went over the by-laws that will be presented to the General Assembly and explained the purpose of the changes.

  Elections were held and Ron Toole accepted the nomination unless he was elected as AAF Vice President at which time someone else would have to take the office. Peggy Rossmoine from Sentrynet in Pensacola was elected Secretary. The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Around The Industry

·         Chicago - Maureen Gold, Vice President of marketing and sales for EMERgency 24, announced her retirement from the company in October. She has worked for EM24 for 19 years. Her retirement will take place in mid December. We wish Maureen good luck and a long and healthy retirement!

·         Congratulations to Darbony and Edward Mugford on the birth of their baby girl, Alexis, born on September 20th.

  The security Industry has settled its lawsuit against the City of Livermore, CA in an agreement that removes the municipalities monitoring monopoly and returns fire alarm monitoring to the free market place.

False Alarm Prevention Month Campaign Educates Consumers

Silver Spring, MD - Everyone knows calling 911 for a reason other than emergency wastes police time and jams phone lines preventing callers with real emergencies from getting through to police. As an alarm owner, you should know the severity of a false dispatch is the same as falsely calling 911. False dispatches waste resources - law enforcement's time and money should be better spent responding to actual crimes. 

Resource consuming false dispatches can be prevented and you, as an alarm owner, play an integral part in this prevention. Simply put, education is the key to reducing false dispatches. In an effort to educate alarm owners and alarm companies, The National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) declared November False Alarm Prevention Month

NBFAA has established a multi-faceted plan for alarm companies to become proactive in preventing false alarms. This plan, called the Dealer Outreach Program, educates alarm companies through seminars, articles, and presentations. As a part of the Dealer Outreach Program, alarm companies sign a pledge vowing to prevent false dispatches.

Alarm companies are taking action to prevent false dispatches and so can you! Listed below are some tips to reduce false dispatches.

1.        Be comfortable using your system.

·         Keep a sheet with simple operating procedures for the system handy.

·         Be comfortable with how much time you have to arm and disarm your system.

·         Before leaving securely close and lock all protected doors and windows (doors and windows should stay closed whenever your system is armed).

·         Keep pets, fans, heaters, balloons, etc. away from motion sensor areas.

2.        Everyone who has a key to your home or business must know how to operate your security system.

·         Remind visiting relatives, kids returning from school, etc. how to use your system.

3.        Have all alarm system users practice the process to cancel an accidental alarm.

·         If a false alarm occurs - don't panic! Enter your disarm code carefully to reset your alarm.

·         If you set your alarm by accident, do not leave until you are certain that either your system is reset or your central station calls you and you give your pass or ID code (this is different than your disarming code).

·         If you don't understand any aspect of your system, ask your dealer.

·         Service and maintain your system before false alarms occur.

4.        Keep in touch with your alarm company.

·         Contact your alarm company if you are planning any home improvements.

·         Contact your alarm company and tell them of any changes in your telephone service (call waiting or fax line) or if you get a new area code.

·         Contact your alarm company as soon as you obtain a new pet.

  The bottom line is to be comfortable using your system, and to communicate with your alarm company. Call with questions, concerns, or changes in your household since the system was installed. Educated consumers can reduce false alarms. For more information and to request a copy of the NBFAA False Alarm Prevention Guide brochure, call NBFAA at 301 585-1855, or visit NBFAA on the Internet at

Nevada Affiliates and Becomes the 42nd
 NBFAA State Association

On September 28th, the Board of Directors of the Nevada Association of Security Professionals (NASP) affiliated with the NBFAA, bringing the number of state associations to 42.

The NASP is the third state to join NBFAA as an AAA, a new state association category designed by NBFAA in 1999 to encourage NBFAA affiliations in all 50 states. The Massachusetts Burglar & Fire Alarm Association became an NBFAA affiliate in August and the Arizona Burglar & Fire Alarm Association joined in September

John Marsh, NASP President, explained NASP's reasons for affiliating. "If you are a small state association with limited funds, becoming an AAA member gives you the support needed to grow at the local level and also allows participation in the larger industry picture.

"AAA membership allows state associations without financially strong budgets to benefit from NBFAA through its meetings, networking opportunities, publications, insurance discounts and numerous other services, " said NBFAA President Bart Didden. "All the while, NBFAA continues to strengthen its ties in the industry by reaching out to more and more dealers. We are well on our way to having state associations in all 50 states, which is essential for the NBFAA to meet its members' expectations." Didden continued, "It's all about the size of membership when we deliver our message to government agencies whether it's on the local, state or national level. Additionally, NBFAA is moving back to its original mission as a buying group for products and services and the more members the better for everyone. 

"NBFAA welcomes Nevada into its network of state associations, and we look forward to working with the state association board and its members," Didden concluded.



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