Associated Locksmiths of America
|Associated Locksmiths of America|
ALOA Security Professionals Association (ALOA, formerly known as the Associated Locksmiths of America) is an American trade organization for locksmiths and other physical security professionals. The organization represents more than 6,000 locksmiths in the United States, Canada, and other countries, making it the largest association of its sort in North America, and conducts professional proficiency certifications for its members.
Establishment and early conventions
The Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) was founded in 1955. The executive secretary was Lee Rognon of Modena, New York, with the organization establishing its first headquarters in Kingston, a city located about 25 miles north of Modena.
The group held its first biennial convention in Chicago from July 14–16, 1956, at the Sherman Hotel, bringing together locksmiths from around the country. The 1956 National Convention and Trade Show was directed and managed by Robert Rognon, husband of Lee Rognon. The show was expected to draw 3,000 participants from 46 of the 48 American states.
The 1958 ALOA National Convention was again held at the Sherman Hotel in Chicago, and was a two-day affair, running the weekend of July 19–20. Among the activities conducted by the convention was a lock-picking contest, with Glen Hickenlooper of Salt Lake City, Utah, proclaimed the national champion for a second time.
In 1960, ALOA turned to Washington, DC as the location for its third biennial convention, also held in the middle of July. About 1200 members of the organization were in attendance, where they were viewed demonstrations of new burglary-prevention devices and were photographed and fingerprinted for identification in an effort to raise professional standards for locksmiths. The convention once again was the scene of a lock-picking competition, in which Flora E. Gebhart of Shamokin, Pennsylvania won the women's division with a time of 1 minute and 41 seconds to pick a standard door lock.
The headquarters of the Associated Locksmiths of America was moved from Kingston, New York, to Dallas, Texas, in the summer of 1973. In addition to its executive offices, the group moved its central library of literature related to the history and practice of locksmithing to its new Dallas facility at this time. Lee Rognon remained Executive Director of ALOA at the time of the organization's move.
During the early 1970s the Associated Locksmiths produced two short educational films as part of an outreach program highlighting security issues with owners of homes and businesses. The first of these, Invitation to Burglary, narrated by actor Raymond Burr, dealt with residential crime and its prevention, while the second, Rip Off, narrated by actor Henry Fonda, concerned the security problems of business and industry. Both of these short films were made available for use by ALOA to groups able to raise an audience of 25 persons or more.
ALOA holds frequent proficiency certification sessions for experienced locksmiths. Through its Proficiency Registration Program (PRP), ALOA offers five locksmith membership designations: (1) Registered Locksmith (RL); (2) Certified Registered Locksmith (CRL); (3) Certified Professional Locksmith (CPL); (4) Certified Master Locksmith (CML); and (5) Certified Automotive Locksmith (CAL)
Safe and Vault Technicians Association
ALOA owns the Safe and Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA) and proctors the examinations for its specialty certifications, which include Certified Professional SafeTech (CPS) and Certified Master Safe Technician (CMST).
ALOA publishes a periodical for its members, a magazine called Keynotes.
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- Associated Press, "Locksmiths Move Their Headquarters", The Baytown Sun, vol. 51, no. 238 (July 11, 1973), pg. 2.
- "Mr. and Mrs. Albert Janssen", Carrol [IA] Daily Times Herald, vol. 87, no. 174 (July 25, 1956); pg. 8.
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- "Lock Picking Champ Visits Sister Here," Pocatello: Idaho State Journal vol. 57, no. 138 (Aug. 22, 1958), pg. 7.
- "Locksmiths Meet", Benton Harbor: The News-Palladium, vol. 72, no. 181 (Aug. 4, 1960), pg. 26.
- "Lady Lockpicker Tops in Contest", The Gettysburg Times, vol. 58, no. 175 (July 23, 1960), pg. 3.
- "Outwit the Thief," Irving [TX] Daily News, vol. 15, no. 307 (Feb. 26, 1974), pg. 1.
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