With security threats on the rise, LILIN Americas is answering the call by introducing an advanced yet easy-to-install Access Control System for monitoring entry to a building, resulting in a safer environment for personnel and assets. When integrated with other platforms such as IP cameras, fire alarms, and sensors, the system provides a layered security approach that significantly enhances peace-of-mind and acts as a deterrent for theft and vandalism. "The LILIN Access Control System is a sin...
Ring, whose mission is to make neighborhoods safer, announced Ring for Business to provide business owners with the ability to protect their companies with Ring Alarm and Ring Video Doorbells and Security Cams the same way that homeowners have been doing for years. Small businesses are an integral part of our communities and, thanks to Ring, they now have access to smart, DIY security that’s free from long-term commitments, hidden fees and professional installation. With Ring for Business...
Gunshot detectors use digital microphones installed on (or in) buildings or along streets that listen for evidence of gunshots, provide near instantaneous notification, triangulate the location of shooters and direction of a shot, detect the type of gun and ultimately aid in catching fleeing suspects and solving crimes. Gunshot detection is just one technology playing a role in the larger trend by city agencies to improve core city services. Cities are turning to what are referred to as ‘...
It seems like every day there is another school or public shooting incident in the US. It dominates the news and has become a point of stress and fear for many Americans. According to the US Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation, in 2018 alone, there were 27 incidents across 16 states resulting in 213 casualties. There is a great deal the security industry can do to prevent such violent incidents and preserve life. Protection Layers In general, protection should be built in la...
With the recent news headlines about store closures and the collapse of well-known chains, alongside clear adjustments in business strategy amongst established high street favorites, there is no denying that the UK retail industry is under huge pressure. A recent report suggests growing issues are leading some retailers to increase risk-taking in the supply chain. But here, Steve Bumphrey, Traka UK Sales Director, looks at ways to help retailers embrace the storm, including paying attention to...
Artificial intelligence is on the verge of changing the face of multiple industries – from healthcare to entertainment to finance, from data security to manufacturing to the cars we drive (or that will drive themselves!) In the physical security market, AI has garnered a lot of attention as a buzzword and as a harbinger of things to come. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What security markets are most likely to embrace artificial intelligence (AI)?
Prey Inc., provider of the cross-platform, open source anti-theft software that protects more than eight million mobile devices, announced Prey for Education, a mobile security feature-set offering developed to address the needs of K-12 and higher education environments. Co-designed with partnered schools, Prey for Education centralizes and automates mobile device security management so that hard-pressed school IT staff can delegate and automate tasks and ease their workflow. This initial feature release is designed to help schools better evaluate and track their mobile fleets and grow their device environments safely to ensure they can generate better results and promote the growth of their tech programs. Features of Prey for Education IT managers can also review further inventory data, such as battery and network connection per devicePrey for Education was developed in collaboration with Prey’s education customers to provide the following: Scheduled Automations – This new capability allows managers to schedule Prey actions on their devices, such as the lock, alert, and alarm, to be executed on specific days, hours, and data ranges. For example, a curfew lock can be set from Monday to Friday at 6pm to deter out-of-hours device usage. Reactive Security – New Control Zone Actions Triggers integrate with the Control Zone settings, Prey’s geofencing movement detection parameters, to precipitate reactions and eliminate reaction time in case of an eventuality. Users can configure Prey’s alarms, alerts, locks, and the ‘Mark as Missing’ evidence reporting feature whenever a device enters, or leaves a designated area. Specific actions can be assigned to both the entry, and exit. Inventory Management – IT staff can now assign a user or specify a contact for each device. An Online/Offline tag has been added to provide visibility on the devices’ connection, as well as a ‘Last Seen Online’ device sorting for quick visibility. As for device status, IT managers can also review further inventory data, such as battery and network connection per device, together with the logged in user. The multi-OS Prey for Education platform allows IT managers to group devices by class, usage, or state with custom tags Unified Management – The multi-OS Prey for Education platform allows school IT managers to group devices by class, usage, or state with custom tags; view device status or hardware changes; and assign them to faculty or students. Data Privacy – An extra layer of FERPA / data privacy compliance is delivered with data wipe and retrieval reactions, and Prey’s tracking and evidence gathering are configurable to boost end-user privacy. Promoting safe mobile environments “The Control Zone Actions and Scheduled Automations were created from the feedback our users gave us regarding their multi-tasking and high-pressure workflow. In the end, we’re trying to make their work as easy as possible. For example, they can now do things such as create digital curfews for their devices and ensure their fleet is locked up when the day ends,” said Carlos Yaconi, founder and CEO of Prey Inc. “We’re doubling down on our promise to help promote safe mobile environments for NGOs, schools, and universities, and we will continue to work with our partners to enhance and deliver new solutions for them.”
ShotSpotter, Inc., global provider of security solutions that help law enforcement officials identify, locate and deter gun violence and active shooter incidents, has announced an updated version of ShotSpotter Missions – an AI-driven crime forecasting and patrol management software tool. Acquired from HunchLab in late 2018, today’s product release represents ShotSpotter’s first set of enhancements as it extends its penetration into this emerging category. ShotSpotter Missions The new enhancement to ShotSpotter Missions enables current and future ShotSpotter gunshot detection customers to regularly and accurately update crime and gunfire forecasts so that law enforcement agencies can better plan patrol missions. Updates are scheduled to happen every 24 hours as gunfire events unfold and as patrol shifts consistently monitor ShotSpotter coverage areas across their city. Agencies can then filter the data by date, time, area, and patrol or special task force units ShotSpotter Missions also includes a new report to help command staff better understand their patrol resources engagement. The new report shows which officers executed missions, and when, where, and what tactics the officers used during each mission. The report also includes the total available missions, total mission sessions, total minutes in mission, and number of officers on a shift. Agencies can then filter the data by date, time, area, and patrol or special task force units and then print or download into Excel. Crime prevention software “This first new release of ShotSpotter Missions since our acquisition of HunchLab is incredibly exciting and is just the beginning,” said Ralph A. Clark, ShotSpotter CEO and President. “We believe we have the opportunity to redefine and grow the crime forecasting category with the help of our customers and make crime prevention software a valuable tool within law enforcement.” The updated version of ShotSpotter Missions will be available August 1. Gunfire forecasts are only available when used in conjunction with ShotSpotter’s gunfire detection service. ShotSpotter Missions is also available as a standalone solution to forecast many other crime types beyond gunfire.
Qognify, the trusted advisor and technology solution provider for physical security and enterprise incident management, has announced that it will share its expertise of how metropolitan areas can make the shift from being safe and smart to fully cognitive cities, at the 5th National Summit on 100 Smart Cities India 2019. Qognify is the Presenting Partner of the Summit which takes place August 22, 2019 at The LaLiT in New Dehli. Safe & Smart City Solution Qognify, with its Safe & Smart City Solution, is one of the leaders in safe and smart cities in India. It is currently involved in more than 20 safe and smart city projects throughout the country that include high profile award-winning projects such as: Navi Mumbai - Qognify is used to monitor all critical points within the city including public transportation, schools, heavily traveled traffic junctions, city entrances and exits, open-air markets and utility infrastructure. Nanded City has an integrated command, control and communication center (C-Cube) that is powered by Qognify’s Safe City solution that includes Qognify’s Situator, video management and analytics solutions. Kohlapur is using Qognify’s video management and analytics to assist law enforcement and city management in coping with the influx of increased tourism. Regional VP, India at Qognify, Dilip Verma, will present at the Summit and he comments: “Many cities have taken steps to become safe cities, while a smaller but growing number are breaking ground as truly smart cities. At the Summit, we will use our experience, working on some of the most innovative projects in India and around the world, to look to the horizon, where we envisage urban environments becoming truly cognitive.” Safe, smart and cognitive cities Cognitive cities are much better positioned to thrive in the face of significant challenges" Verma makes the distinction between safe, smart and cognitive cities: “A safe city aims to ensure the safety and security of its residents, while smart initiatives go further, improving the operations of city. Cognitive cities take things to the next level by keeping citizens engaged and contributing to the gathering of the relevant data. The insights from which can be used not only to improve security, safety and city operations, but also the lives of residents.” He adds: “Cognitive cities are much better positioned to thrive in the face of significant challenges such as clean water scarcity, climate change, and providing functional and efficient mass transportation at mega-city scales. It is an ambitious goal that not only holds the promise of being more resilient, but at the same time promotes civic participation, sense of community and the health and wellbeing of citizens.” 5th National Summit on 100 Smart Cities India 2019 The 5th National Summit on 100 Smart Cities India 2019 will bring together global thought leaders to focus on aspects of a smart city including urban development, surveillance, power, energy, transport, technology, smart building, smart grid, smart health, network and communication technology.
With the rising number of active shooter events in the United States, Johnson Controls has released the new Detect360 Active Shooter Response (ASR) system. The system combines reliable gunshot detection with industry-leading notification technology to provide immediate warning when a gunshot is fired within a building. By providing early notification and precise location of the shooter, the ASR system gives occupants time to find safety and allows police and security personnel to mitigate the threat up to 60 percent faster. Detect360 ASR system “During active shooter incidents, witness communication with law enforcement is often confusing and erratic, leading to longer incident duration,” said Thomas Connell, senior manager, Life Safety, Johnson Controls. “With the ever-increasing threat of active shooter events, having a system that provides early and accurate gunshot detection combined with clear, precise communication is now a necessary part of a life safety strategy for any building.” Detect360 Active Shooter Response uses acoustic sensors with multiple microphones to detect the sound of gunfire Detect360 ASR gives first responders information as it develops at the scene, including shot location, number of shots, location of the shooter in near real-time and the ability to remotely monitor the situation through integrated security systems. It also collects forensic information that can later be used by law enforcement. The system supports multiple integration options, including video feeds from existing CCTV and intrusion systems, mass notification systems, access control systems and panic button/manual initiation systems. Acoustic sensors with multiple microphones Detect360 Active Shooter Response uses acoustic sensors with multiple microphones to detect the sound of gunfire. Advanced algorithms then analyze the acoustic signature to confirm the sound was produced by a gun. Using information from the sensor closest to the gunshot, the system displays the location of the shooter on a map-based graphical user interface (GUI), which can also display audio and video of the incident. Detect360 ASR provides building occupants with safety and evacuation instructions while automatically communicating with emergency services and mass notification systems, prompting a quick response by law enforcement. While no technology or planning can eliminate the possibility of active shooter events, Detect360 Active Shooter Response can help shorten the duration and lessen the impact of the event.
Over a fifteen-month period, Sonitrol has opened new franchises and expanded current markets in eight states including Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California and Florida. The expansion of current markets where Sonitrol has a footprint assists in the growth of the Sonitrol brand and secure more businesses with the best in verified electronic security, keeping our communities safe and keeping more criminals off the streets. “Sonitrol is excited to continue to expand our footprint and bring best-of-class service and verification technology to every market in North America,” says Julie Beach, VP of Sonitrol Corporate. “The need for alarm verification and false alarm reduction is growing in every community. We pride ourselves in providing police with the very best information to improve their safety and increase police response time to our clients.” In addition to this exciting growth, Sonitrol is celebrating its 55th anniversary this year Celebrating 55th anniversary In addition to this exciting growth, Sonitrol is celebrating its 55th anniversary this year. Bryan Bates, VP of Sales of Sonitrol of Northeast Florida and Sonitrol of Lexington says, “I have always been impressed with the entrepreneurs of the Sonitrol family. My mother and father worked for Sonitrol of Dallas before taking the chance on purchasing their own Sonitrol dealership in Lexington, KY in 1984. “With our recent opening of Sonitrol of NE Florida in 2018 and continuing to grow the Sonitrol of Lexington business, my brother, Jeremy Bates, and I can continue the legacy and provide the best security technology in the industry.” Tested and verified security services Expansion for us to Columbus, Ohio is very exciting especially with Sonitrol’s tested and proven verified security services"Chip Shiver, President of Sonitrol of SW Ohio, also has found recent success in growing the Sonitrol presence from the SW Ohio area to expansion in Columbus, OH. Shiver says, “Expansion for us to Columbus, Ohio is very exciting especially with Sonitrol’s tested and proven verified security services. Sonitrol’s enhanced verified technology and our many years of operation in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Springfield brings huge opportunities for us in Columbus, Ohio.” Sonitrol of SW Ohio has been in business since 1971. Lastly, Sonitrol of Fort Lauderdale recently expanded the Sonitrol brand to the Miami-Dade market. John Ray, President & CEO, says, “Sonitrol’s unique verified intrusion technology has grown over the past 55 years to become part of a world-class integrated security solution, keeping us at the forefront of protecting people and assets. Here in South Florida, we’ve expanded our franchise area with the recent addition of the Miami market, paving the way to providing more businesses in Dade County with the best security technology available on the market.”
As the track cools from the Indy 500, the director of security for Indianapolis Motor Speedway events will speak as part of a panel at the Closing Keynote Luncheon at ESX on June 6 in Indianapolis. In this session, three carefully selected panelists will discuss ways to implement better strategies that help reduce violent crimes against employees, students, visitors and customers. To most effectively explore possible solutions, ESX will include panelists from diverse backgrounds who have handled security issues with unique requirements in many locations. Creating security platforms Ted Fries, Director of Safety & Security for Hulman Motorsports, is responsible for oversight of security and safety at Indianapolis Motor Speedway events. Fries will speak from his expertise as a 29-year veteran of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and overseer of security for one of the biggest racing events in the world. Mindy Pretzman will take the stage to bring her perspective as a command and control supervisor Mindy Pretzman, Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, will take the stage to bring her perspective as a command and control supervisor over the White House Complex. Her previous accomplishments include leading the transition of security operations between administrations and creating security platforms for First Lady Melania Trump. Security professionals Louis Dekmar, LaGrange Police Department Chief of Police, will bring his insight as a 41-year veteran of law enforcement in Georgia. Dekmar has served as Chief of Police for more than 26 years, and is Past-President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Past President and Chair of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. These accomplished security professionals will take the stage on Thursday, June 6 for the Closing Keynote Luncheon. Attendees will enjoy a catered meal as they finish the week in Indy with this engaging discussion. During the luncheon, the Electronic Security Association will award the ESA Youth Scholarship to the college-bound child of a first responder. The Monitoring Association will present the Public Sector Award. The Security Industry Alarm Coalition will present the Police Dispatch Quality Award.
Global and domestic threats have highlighted the need for tighter security across all verticals. One of the technologies that has redefined situational awareness and intrusion detection is thermal imaging. Once a technology exclusively manufactured for the military operations, thermal cameras today are deployed across hundreds of security applications and continue to see strong demand in existing and emerging commercial markets. With thermal technology, security personnel can see in complete darkness as well as in light fog, smoke and rain Technology Overview And Early Adoption What distinguishes thermal cameras from optical sensors is their ability to produce images based on infrared energy, or heat, rather than light. By measuring the heat signatures of all objects and capturing minute differences between them, thermal cameras produce clear, sharp video despite unfavorable environmental conditions. With thermal technology, security personnel can see in complete darkness as well as in light fog, smoke and rain. Originally a military developed, commercially qualified technology, the first thermal cameras for military and aircraft use appeared in the 1950s. By the 1960s, the technology had been declassified and the first thermal camera for commercial use was introduced. However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s - when FLIR Systems introduced a camera with an uncooled thermal detector - when the technology began to see substantial adoption beyond government defense deployments. Installations At Critical Infrastructure Sites In the 2000s, industrial companies were some of the first adopters of thermal, using the technology for predictive maintenance to monitor overheating and machine malfunctions. In the years following the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, there was an increase in thermal camera installations across critical infrastructure sites. Stricter security requirements drove the deployment of thermal cameras for perimeter protection, especially in the nuclear power sector. Thermal cameras produce clear video in daylight, low light or no light scenarios and their sharp images result in higher performing analytics In 2010, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Committee released its 73.55 policy, which states nuclear facilities must “provide continuous surveillance, observation and monitoring” as a means to enhance threat detection and deterrence efforts onsite. Because thermal cameras produce clear video in daylight, low light or no light scenarios and because their sharp images result in higher performing analytics, thermal cameras quickly became the preferred option for nuclear facilities. Likewise, following the 2013 sniper attack on PG&E Corporation’s Metcalf transmission substation, the Federal Energy Regulation Commission introduced the Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard 014 (CIP-014). The policy requires utilities to identify threats to mission critical assets and implement a security system to mitigate those risks. This statute also led to more thermal installations in the utility sector as thermal cameras’ long-range capabilities are ideal for detection of approaching targets beyond the fence line. The demand from both industrial and critical infrastructure entities, as well as other factors, helped drive volume production and price reduction for thermal, making the technology more accessible to the commercial security marketplace. Commercial Applications In recent years, the increasing affordability of thermal cameras along with the introduction of new thermal offerings has opened the door to new commercial applications for the technology. In the past, thermal cameras were designed for applications with enormous perimeters, where the camera needed to detect a human from 700 meters away. Locations like car dealerships, marinas and construction supply facilities can be protected by precise target detection, thermal analytic cameras providing an early warning to security personnel Today, there are thermal cameras specifically designed for short- to mid-range applications. Developed for small to medium enterprises, these thermal cameras ensure property size and security funds are no longer barriers to adoption. Lumber yards, recreation fields and sports arenas are some of the commercial applications now able to implement thermal cameras for 24-hour monitoring and intrusion detection. Affordable thermal cameras with onboard analytics have become attractive options for commercial businesses Innovation And Advancements Innovation and advancements in the core technology have also spurred growth in thermal camera deployment, providing faster image processing, higher resolution, greater video analytic capabilities and better camera performance. In particular, affordable thermal cameras with onboard analytics have become attractive options for commercial businesses that need outdoor, wide area protection. Car dealerships, marinas and construction supply locations all store valuable merchandise and materials outside. Without protection, these assets are vulnerable to vandalism and theft. However, by providing precise target detection, thermal analytic cameras provide an early warning to security personnel so that they can intervene before a crime is committed. By helping to deter just one incident, the thermal solution delivers a clear ROI. New Market Opportunities Not only are there more thermal cameras in use today than ever before, but there are also more thermal sensors being integrated with other multi-sensor systems, driving the adoption of thermal in new markets. For large perimeter surveillance applications, thermal is repeatedly being integrated with radar and drones to expand situational awareness beyond the point of fixed cameras. Users get immediate, accurate alerts of approaching targets and evidentiary class video for target assessment In the commercial market, thermal imagers are combined with optical sensors, analytics and LED illuminators into one solution that integrates with central monitoring station platforms. By bringing these technologies together, users get immediate, accurate alerts of approaching targets and evidentiary class video for target assessment. The result is a lower number of false positives, reducing the total cost of ownership for the solution. These multi-sensor solutions also feature two-way audio capabilities, which enable remote security officers to act as “virtual guards” and speak to intruders in real-time to dissuade them from illegal activity. The introduction of solutions that integrate all these state-of-the-art technologies under one unit reduces the amount of capital and infrastructure needed for deployment. Consequently, more small businesses and alarm monitoring companies can implement advanced perimeter security technologies like thermal sensors, some for the very first time. Thermal cameras have gone from military defense devices to widespread commercial security cameras Multi-Sensor Thermal Solutions Multi-sensor solutions featuring thermal are quickly gaining traction and opening the door to new business opportunities for the security channel. One of the primary reasons for the strong market interest in these systems is they enable integrators to increase their recurring monthly revenue (RMR). With intense price competition and eroding margins on CCTV equipment, integrators have to rely on RMR to grow their businesses. Offering remote video monitoring services and virtual guarding technologies is one of the best ways to do so. Additionally, there is a clear demand for it. Central stations are continually looking for new technologies to offer their customers and businesses are interested in economical alternatives to physical guards. In conclusion, thermal cameras have gone from military defense devices to widespread commercial security cameras that are a substantial segment of the outdoor security protection market. From nuclear power plants to construction locations, thermal technology is being implemented to secure sites around the globe.
Johnson Controls recently unveiled the findings of its 2018 Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey that examined the current and planned investments and key drivers to improve energy efficiency and building systems integration in facilities. Systems integration was identified as one of the top technologies expected to have the biggest impact on the implementation in smart buildings over the next five years, with respondents planning to invest in security, fire and life-safety integrations more so than any other systems integration in the next year. As advanced, connected technologies drive the evolution of smart buildings, security and safety technologies are at the center of more intelligent strategies as they attribute to overall building operations and efficiencies. SecurityInformed.com spoke with Johnson Controls, Building Solutions, North America, VP of Marketing, Hank Monaco, and Senior National Director of Municipal Infrastructure and Smart Cities, Lisa Brown, about the results of the study, smart technology investments and the benefits of a holistic building strategy that integrates security and fire and life-safety systems with core building systems. Q: What is the most striking result from the survey, and what does it mean in the context of a building’s safety and security systems? The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems Hank Monaco: Investment in building system integration increased 23 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, the largest increase of any measure in the survey. When respondents were asked more specifically what systems they we planning to invest in over the next year, fire and life safety integration (61%) and security system integration (58%) were the top two priorities for organizations. The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems to improve overall operations and bolster capabilities beyond the intended function of an individual system. Q: The survey covers integration of fire, life safety and security systems as part of "smart building" systems. How do smarter buildings increase the effectiveness of security and life safety systems? Hank Monaco: A true “smart building” integrates all building systems – security, fire and life-safety, HVAC, lighting etc. – to create a connected, digital infrastructure that enables individual technologies to be more intelligent and perform more advanced functions beyond what they can do on their own. For example, when sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems, if abnormal activity is detected on the building premise, key stakeholders can be automatically alerted to increase emergency response time. With integrated video surveillance, they also gain the ability to access surveillance footage remotely to assess the situation. When sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems abnormal activity on the premise can automatically be detected Q: How can integrated security and life safety systems contribute to greater energy efficiency in a smart building environment? Hank Monaco: Security, fire and life-safety systems can help to inform other building systems about how a facility is used, high-trafficked areas and the flow of occupants within a building. Integrated building solutions produce a myriad of data that can be leveraged to increase operational efficiencies. From an energy efficiency standpoint, actionable insights are particularly useful for areas that are not frequently occupied or off-peak hours as you wouldn’t want to heat or cool an entire building for just one person coming in on the weekend. When video surveillance is integrated with HVAC and lighting systems, it can monitor occupancy in a room or hallway. The video analytics can then control the dimming of lights and the temperature depending on occupant levels in a specific vicinity. Similarly, when access control systems are integrated with these same systems, once a card is presented to the reader, it can signal the lights or HVAC system to turn on. In this example, systems integration can ultimately help enable energy savings in the long run. Security and life safety systems contribute to help enable greater energy efficiency and energy savings in the long run Q: What other benefits of integration are there (beyond the core security and life safety functions)? Hank Monaco: Beyond increased security, fire and life-safety functions, the benefits of systems integration include: Increased data and analytics to garner a holistic, streamlined understanding of how systems function and how to improve productivity Ability to track usage to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs Enhanced occupant experience and comfort Increased productivity and workflow to support business objectives Smart-ready, connected environment that can support future technology advancements Q: What lesson or action point should a building owner/operator take from the survey? How can the owner of an existing building leverage the benefits of the smart building environment incrementally and absent a complete overhaul? Lisa Brown: Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator found that 77% of organizations plan to make investments in energy efficiency and smarter building technology this year. This percentage demonstrates an increased understanding of the benefits of smart buildings and highlights the proactive efforts building owners are taking to adopt advanced technologies. There is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected As smart buildings continue to evolve, more facilities are beginning to explore opportunities to advance their own spaces. A complete overhaul of legacy systems is not necessary as small investments today can help position a facility to more easily adopt technologies at scale in the future. As a first step, it’s important for building owners to conduct an assessment and establish a strategy that defines a comprehensive set of requirements and prioritizes use-cases and implementations. From there, incremental investments and updates can be made over a realistic timeline. Q: What is the ROI of smart buildings? Lisa Brown: As demonstrated by our survey, there is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected. The advanced analytics and more streamlined data that is gathered through systems integration can provide the building-performance metrics to help better understand the return on investment (ROI) of the building systems. This data is used to better understand the environment and make assessments and improvements overtime to increase efficiencies. Moreover, analytics and data provide valuable insights into where action is needed and what type of return can be expected from key investments.
Across the country, law enforcement officers are finding it increasingly difficult to respond to the near overwhelming number of calls coming from security alarms. Police departments commonly define a false alarm as a call, which upon investigation, shows no evidence of criminal activity, such as broken windows, forced doors, items missing, or people injured. While false alarms bog down police, they can also negatively impact customers and integrators. End users can expect hefty fines for false alarm responses, and when these customers receive large bills from the city, many turn to installers, dealers, and even manufacturers expecting them to accept the responsibility and pay the check. What First Brought The Issue Of Alarm Verification To Your Attention? It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight I’ve been aware of the problem of false alarms for about 5 years. I believed audio capture, through microphone deployment, could be an active part of the solution when used as a second source for indicating ‘out of the norm’ activity and as an equal component with the video surveillance technology. In 2015, I found similarly minded security professionals when introduced to the Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response. After reading PPVAR’s paper on ‘Audio Verified Alarms Best Practices; [April 2015],’ I knew that the Partnership was on to something important. In our lives, two of the five senses we count on day-in and day-out are sight and sound. It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight. What Is The False Alarm Rate? In 2016, the International Association of Chiefs of Police reported that over 98 percent of all alarm calls in the United States were false. This number is obviously staggering, and something we need to work towards correcting. Why Did This Issue Resonate So Strongly With You? When I first investigated this issue, I was sure that the security industry would have already recognized this and was acting to ensure improved alarm verification, preferably through a combination of audio and video technologies. However, I quickly saw that this was not the case, or even close to the norm. I have questioned the rationale behind the lack of adoption and found the deployment of audio is often hindered by the concern of privacy. I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio As CEO of Louroe Electronics, I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio. I’ve had to reassure many security personnel and customers how the law supports the use of audio in public places as long as there is no expectation of privacy. By dispelling fears with facts around deploying and implementing audio sensors, customers can confidently include audio in their surveillance systems and gain a more effective security solution. Who Is Affected By This? Truth be told, everyone from the end user to the manufacturer is affected by this issue. Not to mention the strain this puts on law enforcement who are tired of ‘wasting time’ and effort out in the field on these nuisance alerts. When an end user receives a check for their false alarm, many of them will immediately blame the integrator and or the monitoring center for a faulty set up and management and expect the integrator to remedy the situation, including carry the burden of paying the fines. The integrator, on the other hand, will turn to the manufacturer, assuming faulty equipment and installation instructions; therefore, looking for reimbursement for the cost. What Is The Average False Alarm Fee? It depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for responseIt depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for response. According to the Urban Institute, fees generally range from $25-$100 for the first offense, rising as high as a few thousand dollars per false alarm if a location has a large number in a single year. What’s worse, in extreme cases, alarm systems may even be blacklisted by the police dispatch center if they have raised too many false alarms in the past. Why Do You Believe Audio Is The Ideal Technology For Secondary Source Verification? Video surveillance has been the main option for security monitoring and alarm validation for decades, however industry professionals are realising that video alone is not enough. Video only tells half of the story, by adding audio capture, the responsible party gains a turnkey solution with the ability to gather additional evidence to verify alerts and expand overall awareness. In reality, audio’s range is greater than the field of view for a camera. Sound pickup is 360 degrees, capturing voices, gunshots, breaking glass, sirens, or other important details that a fixed camera many not see. How Would A Secondary Source Verification System Work With Audio? Using a video monitoring solution equipped with audio, the microphone will pick up the sounds at the time a visual alert or alarm is triggered. If embedded with classification analytics, the microphone will send alerts for specific detected sounds. The captured audio, and any notifications are immediately sent to the monitoring station, where trained personnel can listen to the sound clip, along with live audio and video from their station. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response From here, an informed decision can then be made about the validity of the alarm, along with what the current threat is at the location. If the alarm is in fact valid, the information is then passed along to the law enforcement within minutes. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response. It also provides more information in a forensic evaluation. Are There Any Additional Resources You Would Suggest Looking Into? Yes, we would suggest looking into the following to see a few different perspectives on the matter: NSA Support For 2018 Model Ordinance For Alarm Management and False Alarm Reduction Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response Support for the Term “Verified Alarm” and Prioritising Verified Alarm Responses Urban Institute Opportunities for Police Cost Savings without Sacrificing Service Quality: Reducing False Alarms
Video surveillance cannot address all the security challenges in education, but it is a valuable tool and among the least obtrusive options available. And the list of security challenges that video can address grows every day. Video systems can provide real-time monitoring of school premises and facilitate rapid response to incidents. New advances such as video analytics are currently underutilized in the education arena. Historically, video has been used as a forensic tool in the education market, providing critical information about an incident after the fact. But that generalization is changing. Today, networking enables video images to be shared throughout a school system, traveling over existing networks, empowering a more centralized security management structure, and making video more valuable. In particular, higher education institutions are more likely to view live video, given the larger campuses, greater number of buildings, and more public areas where staff and students congregate. Challenges for securing a school environment Panoramic cameras are one tool to address challenges, as a single 360-degree camera can replace between 4 and 5 PTZ camerasMultiple challenges in the education market for security goods and services (from a video perspective) include wide open spaces that make securing schools with video surveillance cameras difficult since the vast amount of coverage required can be cost-prohibitive. Second, state and federal regulations must be taken into account and balanced with the need to protect student privacy. Finally, schools and colleges face dwindling budgets, which means security solutions must deliver more coverage and functionality, while also being cost-effective to deploy. Panoramic cameras are one tool to address these challenges, as a single 360-degree camera can replace between four and five traditional pan-tilt-zoom cameras, resulting in fewer cameras and more coverage – all at a lower cost for hardware and licensing. Data capture form to appear here! Intelligent cameras with video analytics Video surveillance with video analytics can be deployed to monitor areas at certain times of day. For example, once school starts, there shouldn’t be a lot of activity in the parking lot or in particular areas around the school. For these situations, intelligent cameras with video analytics can be used to detect activity in those areas of interest to alert school security that something may need their attention. Radar detection is ideal for perimeters, where a device can be set up unobtrusively to alert when someone enters a particular area. ACC 6 video management software with Avigilon Appearance Search technology provides advanced video analytics search The goal in a potentially dangerous situation is to speed up response times. The faster you’re able to detect something using technology, the faster you’re able to respond. Therefore, being able to identify something happening in a parking lot and alert school resource officers could provide 30 seconds or a minute head start for response, which can get the school into a lockdown situation and get first responders on site more quickly. Video cameras with low-Light capability There are video cameras available with extreme low-light capability to see in near-dark or complete darknessIt’s been shown that using lighting at night can deter crime. However, it can be expensive to keep a building and grounds illuminated all night, every night. To mitigate these concerns and potential costs, there are video cameras available with extreme low-light capability that allows them to see in near-dark or in some cases complete darkness. This allows a school to save money by turning lights off while achieving a level of surveillance performance similar to daytime deployments. Facing above-average student incident rates and student disciplinary concerns at some schools, a school system in the United States sought to upgrade its video surveillance system to allow better local and remote monitoring in important areas. Avigilon high-definition cameras with self-learning video analytics and access control solutions were installed in 101 schools, and ACC 6 video management software with Avigilon Appearance Search technology provides advanced video analytics search. A deep learning artificial intelligence search engine can sort through hours of footage and allow operators to click on a button and search for all instances of a person or vehicle across all cameras on a site, quickly and efficiently.
Workforce management systems gather and analyze information and anomalies from security officers in the field. The information ranges from direct observations entered via mobile or desktop apps by officers on duty to reports from cleaning staff, the maintenance department, and CCTV operators. Taken together, the information yields business intelligence and data analytics at no additional cost. Trackforce is a provider of workforce management solutions specific to the security industry and its unique operational requirements. From tracking guard tours to managing incidents and officers remotely, the platform improves officer accountability, optimizes operations, and delivers actionable insights via a live dashboard to reduce vulnerabilities and enhance efficiencies. The platform is customizable and scales to each client’s business. Platform to control and identify risks “Corporate security teams deal with issues related to operational risk, facility security levels and design basis threats, and must contend with manmade, naturally occurring, and technological events,” says Guirchaume Abitbol, CEO and founder of Trackforce. “We provide them a platform that enables them to control and identify risks, deliver their service, and maintain security best practices.” Trackforce uses live monitoring to ensure quality control and to upgrade situational awareness, delivers real-time incident notifications Trackforce serves large security guard companies and global organizations in diverse vertical market sectors and is expanding in facilities management. More than 200,000 professionals at over 20,000 customer sites in 45 countries use the platform. Trackforce uses live monitoring to ensure quality control and to upgrade situational awareness, delivers real-time incident notifications, and generates data-rich analysis and key performance indicators (KPIs) that enhance monitoring and reporting. Reduces corporate risk Better management of corporate risk is a benefit of security workforce management. The Trackforce platform reduces corporate risk in four areas by: Managing multiple sites, located anywhere, with various threat levels, cultural differences, operating procedures, and regulations. Supporting a security budget and investment in new solutions by providing data necessary for budget approval. Keeping management informed about outsourced security services partners with relevant data, analytics, and transparency. Providing real-time data on risks and incidents so operations can be quickly optimized to ensure top-level security services. Identifying potential threats and risks The platform rapidly and accurately collates data (implied data or trends) based on user-selected parameters. Data- and intelligence-rich reports become available to managers from any location via a dashboard. All necessary information is displayed on a single screen in an uncluttered format.The ability to analyze current and historical data in real time empowers security managers to track patterns Reports can be downloaded and shared with stakeholders. The ability to analyze current and historical data in real time empowers security managers to track patterns, identify potential threats and risks, and implement preventative actions and strategies. Using data intelligence as benchmark Security teams will use data intelligence as a performance benchmark for resources required to accomplish site goals. They will also use this information to pilot and rationalize resource needs for impending contracts based on historical, descriptive (what happened), diagnostic (why did it happen), predictive (what will happen) and/or prescriptive data (how can we can make it happen). “For example, when a large company incurs incremental computer equipment theft, a supervisor can use the platform to review historical reports and identify patterns and anomalies,” says Abitbol. “The supervisor could then identify and proactively implement targeted strategies to mitigate the theft, such as modifying security routes, increasing patrols, or adjusting asset management protocols.” Enhanced control of security resources The Trackforce platform has been designed to serve clients at multiple regional and national locations and is available in many languages. The Command Center allows a security supervisor based at a central location to easily manage officers on multiple sites. The Command Center provides greater oversight and enhanced control of security resources The Command Center provides greater oversight and enhanced control of security resources. Management can compare locations and evaluate security with a customizable reporting dashboard for each site. The uniform platform uses the same reporting templates and processes for each secured and managed location, thus ensuring consistency and accurate benchmarking. Trackforce’s workforce management solution has low cost and presents a low barrier to entry, with systems that can be implemented in a short time.
A high majority of Americans (83%) are concerned about a criminal attack causing physical harm at large-scale events such as sporting events or concert festivals. More than one in five (22% of) Americans say they have canceled plans or considered cancelling plans to attend large-scale public events due to concerns about physical attacks and the safety of their data. Across the pond, three in 10 Britons think twice about attending large-scale events due to data or physical security issues. Although less than half of U.K. survey respondents have changed their plans to attend large events, some 45% are taking extra security precautions. Brits are as afraid of using public Wi-Fi at an event as of a physical criminal attack. These are some of the insights from the 2019 Unisys Security Index survey of more than 13,000 consumers in 13 countries, including 1,000 in the U.S. and another 1,000 in the United Kingdom. Currently, the U.K. index is at 147 (down from 149 in 2018), which is one of the lowest of the countries surveyed Security index scores of countries Unisys gauged attitudes on a range of security-related issues and created an index based on survey results. The index is a calculated score from zero to 300 based on concern about eight specific issues within the categories of national, financial, Internet and personal security. Currently, the U.K. index is at 147 (down from 149 in 2018), which is one of the lowest of the countries surveyed. In contrast, the U.S. index is now at 165, considered a serious level of concern and the highest among developed countries surveyed. Globally, the index average stands at 175, with the Philippines scoring highest with an index score of 234 and the Netherlands registering the lowest concern ratings with a score of 115. Concerns about misuse of information Privacy is an area where concern is growing. “This year more than half of U.K. citizens expressed concerns about the misuse of their personal information,” says Unisys’ Global Chief Security Architect, Salvatore Sinno. Another 49% expressed serious concerns that intelligence services listen in on them through electronic devices such as mobile phones or smart speakers. The summer calendar of major sporting events, concerts and festivals raises the levels of security concern The summer calendar of major sporting events, concerts and festivals raises the levels of security concern. Nick Aldworth, former National Counter Terrorism Co-Ordinator, tells the BBC that the government is not doing enough to ensure venues are secure. He supports a campaign for more rigorous checks at venues in the U.K., named Martyn’s Law, after Martyn Hett, a victim of the Manchester Arena attack in 2017. safety Pointers while attending event Salvatore Sinno of Unisys provides the following pointers on keeping safe this summer: If planning to attend a crowded event alone, let someone know. Make sure friends or family know where you are going, when you plan to arrive and when you are expected to return. Plan ahead and check local authorities’ alerts; sign up for any travel or news alerts to receive updates on traffic or news of any disturbances. As soon as you get to an event, survey your surroundings. Make sure you know where the exits are and agree on a meeting place with friends in case you should get separated from the group. Know where stewards and information points are so you can speak to someone if you need to. Be vigilant for suspicious activity at an event. Don’t be afraid to report something you think is unusual, such as unattended baggage or people behaving in a suspicious or threatening way. In an emergency, stay calm and move to the edges of crowds. Try to leave the area quickly and calmly. If you need to, follow the standard police advice of ‘Run, Hide and Tell’. Only buy event tickets from official channels or trusted websites. Update your mobile device with the latest, most secure software and avoid unsecured Wi-Fi networks; keep your phone charged and take along a battery charger pack. Don’t make electronic transactions at unofficial event vendors; be careful with contactless cards or making mobile transactions. “Whether it’s your physical security or the security of your data, you can take precautions around major events so you do not make it easy for criminals to take advantage,” says Sinno.
EchoGuard receives FCC Equipment Authorization allowing widespread deployment of the radar for security, surveillance, and airspace management applications. EchoGuard radar Echodyne, the manufacturer of innovative, high-performance radars for government and commercial markets, announces that it has received approval from the FCC for widespread deployment of its EchoGuard radar for radiolocation and radionavigation in the United States. FCC Equipment Authorization allows the radar to be used throughout the US for ground, airspace surveillance The FCC Equipment Authorization allows the radar to be used throughout the United States for ground and airspace surveillance applications that detect and track potential security threats with high accuracy and for ground-based airspace management applications that ensure safe navigation of commercial drone missions. Electronically Scanning Array radar Echodyne's innovative metamaterials technology and powerful software combine to create an electronically scanning array (ESA) radar in a compact, solid-state format at commercial price points for the very first time. The radar has been demonstrating award-winning performance for government, law enforcement, security, and UAS / UTM customers for some time via experimental licenses. "We are excited that EchoGuard has received this authorization allowing its widespread adoption in the US," said Eben Frankenberg, CEO of Echodyne. "With the growing number of troubling drone incursions at airports, stadiums, and other facilities, there is tremendous demand for high-performance radar sensors. Tackling drone threats Eben adds, "Our innovative radar technology and software greatly increases the ability for security systems to accurately detect and track drone threats, as well as improves ground tracking of people, vehicles, and vessels. Our radar outperforms every other radar in its class, is priced for commercial markets, and has proven to be the best mid-range surveillance radar in the market." Features of the EchoGuard high-performance radar include: True electronic beam-steering with market-leading C-SWaP attributes; Long-range detection with high reliability and accurate tracking of multiple, concurrent air and ground targets; and Easy integration into sensor fusion and security systems for unmatched 3D situational awareness.
Located at the very heart of Amman, Jordan, Landmark Amman Hotel is one of the most renowned 5 star hotels in the city, as well as a true local landmark in more than one ways. Boasting seventeen flexible event spaces for everything from small intimate meetings to large-scale exhibitions and 258 rooms that are among the largest hotel accommodation in Jordan, Landmark Amman Hotel is an ideal choice for high-end customers of many types. Dahua Technology, a video-centric smart IoT solution and service provider, is trusted, for the first time in Amman, with the job of keeping Landmark Amman Hotel safe in its phase 2 CCTV improvement. Need of a competent surveillance system The other challenge concerned old system’s storage, which couldn’t meet the requirement of local policeIt is difficult for a large-scale hotel like Landmark Amman to patrol the grounds and premises of the hotel relying only on security personnel. Moreover, there might be no standardized evidence for the police to check without a competent surveillance system when an accident happens. There are two aspects of the old system to be improved. The analog system the hotel was using was not easy to manage, the problem which was exacerbated by the condition that a great number of cameras were broken. The other challenge concerned old system’s storage, which couldn’t meet the requirement of local police. IP camera and NVR solution Dahua Technology’s CCTV solution comprising IP camera and NVR solves the problems just right. IPC-HDW1431S, the 4MP WDR IR Eyeball Network Camera, supports Smart Coding (H.265+ & H.264+), Intelligent Video Analysis(IVS), Wide Dynamic Range(WDR), Smart IR Technology, etc., which is fully capable of smartly capturing the 4MP resolution images in hotels. NVR4216-4KS2, the 32 Channel 1U 4K&H.265 Lite NVR can be served as edge storage, central storage And NVR4216-4KS2, the 32 Channel 1U 4K&H.265 Lite Network Video Recorder, which supports 4K and H.265 encoding technology, can be served as edge storage, central storage or backup storage with an intuitive shortcut operation menu for remote management and control. Compatible with ONVIF 2.4 protocol Easy to install, it is compatible with numerous third-party devices making it the perfect solution for surveillance systems that work independently of video management system (VMS). It features an open architecture that supports for multi-user access and is compatible with ONVIF 2.4 protocol, enabling interoperability with IP cameras. Dahua surveillance system has helped Landmark Amman Hotel find a new way to enhance the guest experience through improving the level of security with reduced property damage and thefts in hotel. It also improved team cohesion and work efficiency of the hotel employees. Furthermore, the hotel could increase revenue by monitoring and invoicing according to actual numbers of guests, and be compliance with local authorities’ security and safety regulations.
Upon hearing Pablo Picasso’s famous praise of art’s ability to clear ‘the dust of everyday life’, one’s thoughts could easily turn to one of Arizona’s newest landmarks, the Mesa Arts Center. Set proudly amidst the dust of the Sonoran Desert, the Mesa Arts Center is a striking complex of buildings, art installations, and public throughways, offering a rich blend of visual impressions in glass, water, stone, and metal, with splashes of vibrant color and metallic reflection. At more than 21,000 sq. feet, the award-winning $95 million campus is the largest and most comprehensive performing, visual and educational arts complex in Arizona, serving as a gathering point for the citizens of Mesa and region alike, seeking to enjoy the indoor and outdoor spaces, public events, classes, and art exhibitions. Ensuring safe, family friendly environment Ensuring a safe, family friendly environment is essential to fulfilling the role the Center plays as a gathering pointThe presence of an adjacent light rail station and hosting of multiple festivals throughout the year further increase traffic to, from, and through the open planned site at various hours of the day, and on weekends and even holidays. The heart of the Mesa Arts Center complex is a grand promenade that knits together all of its pieces, while providing places for group gatherings, performances, and quiet reflection, comfort and relaxation. Ensuring a safe, family friendly environment is essential to fulfilling the role the Center plays as a gathering point for all walks of life. In addition to welcoming visitors to the Center, the open configuration of the complex invites commuters coming off the nearby light rail line to stroll through on their way to and from the station, and draw loiterers, would-be vandals, and itinerant populations (attracted to the semi-secluded spaces created by outdoor art installations and the complex’s fountains and water elements). Surveillance system for crime prevention Particularly outside of traditional hours of operation, such factors can increase the risk of nuisance crimes, vandalism, and petty theft, and potentially more serious crimes against visitors and staff, without a vigilant and comprehensive security and surveillance operation. Additionally, complex spaces, varied materials, and water elements increase risk for incident and accident without proper prevention and/or prompt response. A technical solution with proven power, performance, and reliability was paramount to ensure protection of property While customary approaches to similar venues have typically relied heavily on a combination of CCTV and human security guards, the size and complexity of the Mesa Arts Center campus makes a traditional manned guarding solution, even when supported by a typical surveillance technology, both cost prohibitive and potentially inadequate. Protection of property and campus safety The Mesa Arts Center is an architectural showpiece and regional destination, requiring comprehensive surveillance at all hours, every day of the year, under highly variable conditions. A comprehensive technical solution with proven power, performance, and reliability was paramount to ensure protection of property and the safety of everyone on campus. The City of Mesa, who operates the Center, in partnership with Scottsdale’s Surveillance Acquisition Response Center (SARC) and IDIS technology, provided a mix of surveillance cameras and network video recorders (NVRs) able to meet the varied requirements of a campus housing multiple art galleries, studios, performance spaces, walkways and cut-throughs, and outdoor gathering spaces; and support SARC’s innovative approach to virtual guarding, which incorporates military, police, and intelligence best practices and personnel to enhance traditional remote monitoring models and outcomes. Using Direct IP NVRs and cameras SARC monitors use IDIS’s powerful, modular, and feature-rich VMS, IDIS Solution SuiteThe City of Mesa’s previous successes implementing SARC and IDIS technology at the Mesa Grande Cultural Park made the integration of technology and monitoring selected for the Mesa Arts Center a natural fit. Featuring multiple IDIS DirectIP [model number] network video recorders (NVRs), and IDIS Direct IP [model number] cameras, with [feature set], at the heart of a comprehensive security posture, SARC monitors use IDIS’s powerful, modular, and feature-rich VMS, IDIS Solution Suite, and their unique military, law enforcement, and intelligence-derived protocols and best practices to support on-site personnel and cover the campus comprehensively at night and during other off-hours. Additionally, the IDIS solution also seamlessly integrates with, recording and managing footage from other camera installations, demonstrating the IDIS dedication to eliminating the common frustrations and complexities of security systems. SARC’s virtual guard protection The implementation of SARC’s virtual guard protection and protocols to support on-site personnel, and the highly visible, but seamlessly integrated, presence of IDIS surveillance cameras, as part of a total IDIS solution, have contributed to the Mesa Arts Center’s reputation as one of the region’s most welcoming and inviting community spaces among the area’s art lovers, families, and neighborhood’s workers (who regularly use the space without fear or discomfort as a gathering place for lunch or pathway to and from the local light rail station). The integrated on-site and virtual guarding professionals identify, deter, and document threats to the campus 24/7, the integrated on-site and virtual guarding professionals identify, deter, and document threats to the campus and those within it, using innovative surveillance application bringing together IDIS’s highest quality remote viewing and VMS offerings and SARC’s remote ‘voice down’ virtual guarding protocol, which informs those under surveillance, in real time, that they are being watched and should leave the property immediately or face consequences. Keeping people and property safe The successful implementation of this solution has placed the City of Mesa and Mesa Arts Center management at the forefront of innovation in keeping the people, places, and property under their protection safe and secure, and marked them as leaders in responsible stewardship of taxpayer, grant, and donor dollars, through the implementation of a system that provides more comprehensive coverage, measurably better outcomes, and enhanced visitor experiences 24/7, year-round for a fraction of the cost of previous manned guarding solutions.
Columbia Bank, a Northwest community bank headquartered in Tacoma, Washington, sought to upgrade their video surveillance solution to improve image quality and retention time. They also wanted to maximize field of view to deliver a more forceful and expansive – yet, less intrusive – solution. Working with Cook Security Group, Inc., Ross Armstrong, vice president of physical security at Columbia Bank, chose to overhaul video surveillance in their 150-plus branches across the Northwest, many of which included older analog cameras. They chose to install a mix of Hanwha Techwin models including Wisenet P series PNM-9000VQ multi-sensor / multi-directional outdoor vandal-proof dome cameras with 5 megapixel lens modules and Wisenet X series XND-8020F 5 megapixel indoor flush mount dome cameras. Surveillance cameras managed by Omnicast VMS The project, which started in June of 2018, has already deployed over 1,200 Hanwha Techwin cameras across 80 locationsColumbia Bank is in the process of the multi-phase upgrade that converts their existing branches to Hanwha Techwin video surveillance cameras managed by Genetec’s Security Center Omnicast Video Management System (VMS). The project, which started in June of 2018, has already deployed over 1,200 Hanwha Techwin cameras across 80 locations. They will complete another 60 sites in 2019, and 30 more in 2020. The video cameras serve as part of an overall physical security plan and are positioned to provide expansive coverage of bank interiors including teller lines, exteriors including parking lots and surrounding areas and ATM machines. Cameras bundled with analytics Armstrong said Columbia Bank tested out a of variety of models before deciding on Hanwha Techwin. “I didn't know which camera vendors would give us the biggest bang for the buck,” he said. “But I settled on Hanwha Techwin for a couple of reasons. One, is the price competitiveness and, two, the fact that the cameras come bundled with so many analytics that many companies want to charge extra for those licenses.” One of the analytics features the Columbia Bank security team uses with regularity is the loitering feature, specifically at their ATM machines One of the analytics features the Columbia Bank security team uses with regularity is the loitering feature, specifically at their ATM machines. “If an individual is loitering around one of our ATMs beyond the set time limit, then we have it programmed into Genetec’s Security Center to send an alert." "Omnicast snaps a photo of the loiterer and emails it to everyone designated on our security team. We then can take a quick look at that photo and quickly determine whether or not somebody is utilizing the ATM as a customer or if they're doing something they're not supposed to, such as trying to break into the ATM or installing a skimmer.” Health monitoring of the cameras Armstrong said, as he tested cameras from other vendors, he noticed a consistent drop rate which he was concerned would get worse. Even though 98 percent availability seems acceptable, any downtime creates a risk of missing critical events" “Security Center provides health monitoring of the cameras, and what I looked for was if the availability started dropping below 98 percent. Even though 98 percent availability seems acceptable, any downtime creates a risk of missing critical events. One camera model we were testing was experiencing regular outages, where we would lose 30 seconds off and on throughout the day. These short loses added up quickly and we were seeing availability times dropping somewhere around 93 to 94 percent. That wasn't acceptable. “When I reviewed the data on the Hanwha Techwin model, the average availability was consistently above 99 percent, which was so impressive. It might just be a two percent difference, but it's inevitable that the one time you need it is the one time that camera is not working as expected. Columbia Bank was unwilling to accept the risk of utilizing equipment that failed to meet our standards, and decided to partner with Hanwha Techwin, who provided a much more reliable end user experience.” Utilizing H.265 and WiseStream compression Impact on network infrastructure and bandwidth were also determining factors for Columbia Bank as they chose to upgrade their video surveillance system. Armstrong said he was disappointed to find many camera manufacturers were not quickly integrating usage of H.265 compression technology into their products. He said he is impressed that Hanwha Techwin utilizes H.265 in so many of its camera models, as well as the fact that Hanwha has incorporated its own WiseStream technology into its cameras, making them even more efficient. Hanwha Techwin Wisenet P and X series cameras use H.265/H.264/MJPEG with Hanwha’s exclusive WiseStream II compression technology Hanwha Techwin Wisenet P and X series cameras use H.265/H.264/MJPEG with Hanwha’s exclusive WiseStream II compression technology. WiseStream dynamically controls encoding, balancing quality and compression according to movement in the image. Combined with H.265 compression, the bandwidth efficiency can be improved by up to 75 percent compared to current H.264 technology. Installing non-Intrusive cameras Community banks are charged with keeping employees, customers, and assets safe, but also need to present a warm and inviting environment since they are often a hub of civic activity. In-your-face video surveillance cameras in a bank can be threatening to any would-be criminal, but they are also off-putting to customers that visit banks on a day-to-day basis. This allows us to get higher quality images – and a wider field of view – while not intruding into people’s personal space"When Armstrong and his team were evaluating camera solutions across its branches, they wanted to find a way to let customers know they were providing the latest in video security without the potentially intrusive analog cameras that often can be found just inches away from customers during transactions at the teller counter. Higher resolution 5 megapixel cameras “It’s a balance – you want customers to feel secure, but you don’t want them to feel like they are in a prison or a fishbowl,” said Armstrong. He said they removed the older analog cameras on the teller line and replaced them with the higher resolution 5 megapixel Hanwha Techwin models, which were placed off the teller line. “This allows us to get higher quality images – and a wider field of view – while not intruding into people’s personal space,” he said. SPD-150 49 Channel Decoder for connectivity One way to convey that Columbia Bank is all business when it comes to security was with an innovative decoder offered by Hanwha Techwin. Armstrong said they wanted to have video monitors showing surveillance camera feeds in certain higher-risk locations so that customers would know they are being recorded, and that would serve as a deterrent to any would be criminals. However, with the change in hardware, they were unable to connect monitors directly to a DVR. Armstrong said Hanwha’s SPD-150 49 Channel Decoder has allowed them to connect analog, HDMI, and VGA. Columbia Bank has provided video evidence to help law enforcement investigate a variety of incidents including drive-by shootings, traffic accidents, and arson “Being able to put one Hanwha decoder unit in a branch and run three monitors off of it – as well as the ability to hook monitors up to some cameras directly – has saved us tremendous amounts of money while adding a visual security feature.” Adding cameras outdoor to assist community Columbia Bank has long emphasized that they are a community bank that’s community minded. When Armstrong and his team decided to upgrade their video surveillance solution, they made the decision to add video surveillance cameras to the exterior of all bank locations not only to protect their customers as they come and go, but also to assist the community and law enforcement when incidents occur in areas surrounding their branches. We’re very pleased with the solution from Cook Security Group, Hanwha Techwin, and Genetec" “We look at it as the opportunity to give back to the community and provide assistance in a variety of ways,” said Armstrong. So far, Columbia Bank has provided video evidence to help law enforcement investigate a variety of incidents including drive-by shootings, traffic accidents, and arson. Satisfied with the system’s performance Columbia Bank has been well served by the Hanwha Techwin-Genetec security solution and Armstrong said they are very satisfied with the performance of the system. “Hanwha Techwin has been a phenomenal partner for us,” he said. “And that’s what I look for in a security provider – a long-term partnership. We’re very pleased with the solution from Cook Security Group, Hanwha Techwin, and Genetec and we look forward to completing all phases of the project.”
Avigilon Corporation (‘Avigilon’), a Motorola Solutions company, announces that the New Bedford Housing Authority (‘NBHA’) in Massachusetts, USA has selected Avigilon video security solutions to help improve safety and reduce crime within its community. With close to 1,750 federal public housing units and 748 state aided units, the NBHA services over 6,000 individuals by providing safe, well-maintained and affordable housing units. New Bedford has faced challenges related to crime, which prompted the NBHA to seek out a security system that delivers actionable results to increase public safety throughout its community. Monitor critical areas The NBHA has deployed a complete Avigilon solution to monitor 13 of its properties throughout the city The NBHA has deployed a complete Avigilon solution to monitor 13 of its properties throughout the city. The system includes more than 125 Avigilon cameras and Avigilon Appearance Search™ technology, which is powered by AI to help enable security officers to quickly sort through hours of video with ease to locate a specific person or vehicle of interest across an entire site or multiple sites that are connected to the same Avigilon Control Center™ client software. “Our goal is to provide a safe environment for our residents and deploying an Avigilon system has allowed us to monitor critical areas more efficiently and respond more quickly,” said Steven Beauregard, executive director of NBHA. Video security solutions “So far, the results are tangible as we’ve made great strides in improving the safety and security of our communities.” “The NBHA is taking significant action to proactively address crime and other security concerns to help protect what matters most: its residents,” said Ryan Nolan, senior vice president, Commercial Operations of Avigilon. “By using our AI-powered video security solutions they are able to increase the effectiveness of their security system and provide a new level of public safety.”
There is a saying that ‘Everything is Bigger in Texas’, and the Dallas, Texas police department is no exception. The city of Dallas is ranked in the top 10 cities in the U.S. in terms of population, at 1.2 million people. The Dallas Police Department is the ninth largest municipal police force in the U.S., based on 3,012 sworn officers. It is led by Chief of Police, U. Reneé Hall. The department is located in the Jack Evans Police Headquarters building, which was built in 2003. It is 358,000 square feet, has six floors, is spread over a three-acre site, has a separate 1,200 car parking garage and a two-acre, open parking lot for additional visitor parking. Prior to 2003, the department was housed in the circa 1914 former City Hall Building. Preventing terrorist attack and hazards Police officials worked with a Police Design Consultant to help design the building to resist terrorist attacksThe Jack Evans Police Headquarters building was under construction when 9/11 terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Buildings in New York. That event was preceded by the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bombing in April 1995. Therefore, security was a concern in its design. Police officials worked with a Police Design Consultant – McClaren, Wilson, and Lawrie Architects of Phoenix – to help design the building to resist a terrorist attack and isolate potential hazards. The building also needed to control visitor traffic and access. On an average month, there are 5,000 public visitors to the Jack Evans building. In addition, shots fired at police buildings nationally are not uncommon, says Paul M. Schuster, Senior Corporal/Facilities Management for the Dallas Police Department. Ready to anticipate dangerous crimes “For the most part they are random, single shot drive-by shootings. Often, the officers are unaware that the building has been shot at, until they find a bullet hole in the brick or glass. Increasingly, police tend to be a symbol of government and some citizens see that as a visible target to lash out at. Police officers are trained to expect the routine types of calls, such as domestic violence, traffic accidents, and other crimes. Yet they must be flexible to anticipate the non-routine that can be dangerous and change in a heartbeat.” On June 13, 2015, after midnight, a 35-year-old male placed a duffle bag with a remote-controlled bomb to detonate later between cars in the parking lot of the headquarters building. The suspect then began shooting continuously at the lobby windows. Officers responded to the scene, a vehicle chase began, and the incident ended outside the city. Luckily officers in the lobby took cover and were not injured. Conducting building security assessment The assessment included testing various construction materials for bullet resistance to various types of weaponsFollowing that incident, the Dallas Police Department conducted a security assessment of the building and also at seven patrol stations throughout the city. The assessment included testing various construction materials for bullet resistance to various types of weapons. Gensler Architects and Guidepost Solutions, LLC developed the solutions and plans. “Yesterday we were concerned about handguns, today we are worried about rifles, and the idea of terrorism is always present with outright attack or bombs,” Schuster notes. “The police officers and police staff only want a place that is safe and where they can do their good work.” Funding of $1.3 million was approved to upgrade the lobbies of the seven patrol stations to withstand rifle rounds, and $1.9 million to improve headquarters lobby security, and to upgrade an aging security system. Turner Construction Company and Convergint Technologies, LLC conducted the renovations and security technology integration. Challenges in upgrading lobby security Visitors were allowed free entry into the lobby and were only screened in an open area to the side if going to other floorsThe headquarters’ lobby was initially designed as a two-story glass-walled structure, with an information desk and public records service windows. Visitors were allowed free entry into the lobby and were only screened in an open area to the side if going to other floors. “The challenge in upgrading lobby security was the two-story lobby entrance glass. The glass was not bullet rated, due to budget constraints. Changing the front of the building to support ballistic rifle-rated glass would have caused extensive time, exposed the inside of the lobby to weather, and would not have solved all of the security issues,” Schuster says. “In addition, there were concerns about keeping an ‘open’ and friendly service concept in mind and ensuring that the lobby would not resemble a ‘fortress’,” Schuster notes. Bullet-rated glass and bullet resistant wall The solution was to keep the existing exterior unchanged and focus on adding a layer of security once a person enters the lobby. Visitors now enter the headquarters and immediately proceed to a side room where security screening is conducted. Once inside the screening room, the visitor has belongings x-rayed, and they walk through a metal detector A new secondary wall with bullet-rated glass and solid bullet resistant wall materials was constructed inside the lobby to channel visitors to the room. Once inside the screening room, which also has bullet resistant walls, the visitor has belongings x-rayed, and they walk through a metal detector. In the event that anyone was to produce a gun and begin shooting, the incident could be contained inside that room. Tourlock 180+90 security revolving door Once a visitor has been cleared, they proceed into the main lobby via a Boon Edam Tourlock 180+90 security revolving door. This automatic, four-wing door is the most advanced, security revolving door in the Boon Edam product range that offers maximum throughput, allowing users to enter and leave the building simultaneously. In the event that a large number of persons try to force their way into the facility, the Tourlock 180+90 will determine that more than one person is trying to enter and will reject the person and lock out any others from entering. Once a visitor is ready to leave the lobby and exit the building, they pass through another Boon Edam Tourlock 180+90 that leads to a vestibule with exterior swinging doors. In the event that someone tries to go back into the lobby from the front vestibule area, without going through the security screening room, the Tourlock security revolving door will reject their entry. Preventing tailgating and piggybacking The Boon Edam security revolving doors accurately prevent both tailgating and piggybackingThe Jack Evans Headquarters security upgrades for the lobby improved security and still kept the best aspects of the lobby design, including the antique police car, and the overhead police helicopter. The Boon Edam security revolving doors accurately prevent both tailgating and piggybacking, and provide the department with maximum security while controlling traffic flow. “While it would be great to have a building totally open to the public and then add security as needed, such is not the world we live in anymore,” Schuster adds. Future security plans include exterior site security upgrades to the patrol stations and the headquarters to include security fencing with card access controls for fleet and employee vehicles at each of the sites.
Round table discussion
When it comes to security and to ensuring the integrity of gaming operations, today’s casino market is risk-averse. Regulations direct the required surveillance of table games and slot machines, while modern casinos are often sprawling complexes that have a variety of other risks to be addressed, too. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges of the casino market relating to security and surveillance technology?
The ability to treat patients in a secure environment is a base requirement of hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Whether facilities are large or small, security challenges abound, including perimeter security, access control of sensitive areas, video surveillance, and even a long list of cyber-risks. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of hospitals and the healthcare industry?
Cybersecurity has become the ultimate buzzword in the physical security market. And it also represents one of the industry’s most intractable challenges. Several years ago, the problem with cybersecurity was lack of awareness among physical security practitioners. It’s now safe to say that awareness has increased. Everyone today talks about cybersecurity, but has it helped the larger problem? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Is greater awareness helping to increase the cybersecurity of physical security systems?