Security Industry Association (SIA) Forum 2000: Feb. 7-8

The recent Security Industry Association (SIA) Forum 2000 was an eye-opener for anybody who believes the alarm business isn’t a high-tech industry. More than 75 industry professionals gathered at the Ritz Carlton in chilly Amelia Island, Fla., on Feb. 7-8 to discuss such hot horizon technologies as bomb detection equipment, biometrics, access control evolution, open architecture equipment and CCTV.

One fascinating discussion involved sophisticated end users providing details of what they want in terms of new equipment developments. In one presentation, Richard Parris, director of corporate security for The Money Store, told attendees that he receives a paucity of ideas and equipment options from his dealer/integrator. In fact, Parris says he has to make recommendations for covert camera placement and wiring in the company facilities. He also buys his covert equipment over the Internet vs. through his integrator.

In another session on CCTV use, Tom Seamon, director of public safety at the University of Pennsylvania, said CCTV “will have as profound effect on policing as the two-way radio. Police don’t know about the potential of CCTV technology.”

The most important concept that attendees took away with them is the looming educational problem facing the industry as these technologies continue to be more sophisticated. Dealers and manufacturers who ignore the explosion of integrated systems will possibly be left behind in this growing market.

Unfortunately, the group did not enjoy sunny Florida weather. Temperatures dropped into the 20s as frost covered the area each morning. The event was planned by Eileen Baird of Reed Expo, who is chairperson of the Forum. Marc Mineau, new president of SIA, opened and closed the event by highlighting the strength of the discussions. Attendees also had time to network, with breaks between every session.

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