NBFAA Moves to Omit Affiliated State Associations

SILVER SPRING, Md. – The National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) has decided to no longer accept the applications of state affiliated alarm associations (AAA) and will end current agreements with AAA states by Dec. 31, 2004. The NBFAA will only accept chartered state associations (CSA) as new members.

The decision, made by the NBFAA’s Board of Directors Sept. 29 during the association’s Fall Conference in Washington D.C., is being met with criticism from some leaders of AAA associations, including Alarm Association of Florida (AAF) Vice President Roy Pollack. “It’s a case of personalities and politics. They felt they wanted the whole pie rather than some of the pie,” Pollack says. “Now they’ve alienated members and removed votes. It’s going to lose them membership.”

However, NBFAA Executive Director Marlin Guilbeau says the move is actually being made to provide a level playing field for all state associations in their relationship with NBFAA, allowing all of them to be treated equally as CSAs within the association. “We believe there needs to be one program that works for states,” Guilbeau says. “We don’t want to eliminate anyone. We just want the best program for all states to participate in.”

Of the 40 state associations that are members of NBFAA, five – Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts and New Hampshire – have AAA agreements, meaning their members have a choice whether to pay additional dues to be a member of NBFAA along with their state association. The national dues and membership are mandatory in chartered associations. Guilbeau says during the past few months, a task force that included a member of an affiliated association determined that the AAA program was not serving its original purpose.

“The original intent of the AAA program was to provide a training ground to become a chartered association,” Guilbeau says. “Some states have done it in reverse.” Such is the case for the Florida, Massachusetts and New Hampshire associations, which once proclaimed charter status.

Pollack says, however, that his association’s members had an issue with the mandatory national dues. “The reason Florida chose to go AAA is we were losing members. The Association was nearly bankrupt,” says Pollack, who adds that of the Florida association’s current membership of 625, 50 chose to also be current members of NBFAA (Guilbeau says none of them will lose their membership). “Members didn’t want to pay dues if they didn’t belong to national. They’re going to cut their nose to spite their face.”

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