Elite Wins TMA's 2024 Monitoring Technology Marvel Award! (Click here for full details)
Elite Wins TMA's 2024 Monitoring Technology Marvel Award! (Click here for full details)

Site Analysis, Forensic Design, Cameras, AI, Command Center Among Key Factors

Elite Interactive Solutions is often sought out to contribute expert security industry insights for myriad articles and embraces those opportunities to help educate all. Typically, only excerpts from those interviews make it into publication, as was the case with a recent story by SDM on the topic of remote video monitoring and virtual guarding that included among its sources, Elite Senior Vice President of Operations Rudy Aragon.

Here is the full version, with emphasis not only on the technologies and techniques, but also business operations (click here for the published article) . . .

Please describe your company’s remote video monitoring services: for example, what types of services are offered and what are the elements of each one? When did you start offering remote video services and why did you start?

Rudy Aragon: At Elite, we believe we are revolutionizing the security industry with our remote guarding services, which represent a paradigm shift by delivering real crime prevention results. This approach has garnered industry recognition, including the prestigious Marvel Award and the PDQ Award.

Our company was founded out of dissatisfaction with the traditional security industry’s inability to prevent crime effectively. Elite’s ultimate mission is the prevention of crime and catastrophe, aiming to stop vandalism, theft, and other criminal activities before they occur. Our ethos is simple yet powerful: “never miss an event.”

Rudy Aragon

We offer our remote video monitoring services from our very own UL-certified, for remote guarding, command center. This command center is operated by highly trained security agents, who are all former military and law enforcement. We install or leverage existing surveillance cameras at our client’s location and use artificial intelligence to detect suspicious activities and send alerts to our command center. Our agents utilize command and control software to handle these alerts efficiently.

When an alert is received, our agents assess the situation in real-time. For any suspicious activities, they issue live voice-downs to deter potential criminals. If a crime is in progress, we immediately contact law enforcement. Our agents, being “trained eyewitnesses to crimes in progress,” provide real-time intelligence and guidance to dispatchers, helping officers navigate the situation and ensuring their safety.

Our approach has proven highly effective — 96% of the time we are deterring criminals. In the remaining 4%, law enforcement is dispatched, leading to arrests or detainments, with zero false alarms to law enforcement.

By leveraging cutting-edge technology and a highly skilled team, Elite’s remote guarding overcomes many limitations of traditional physical security guards, providing a superior level of protection and peace of mind for our clients.

What are some of the best practices your company adheres to when choosing products for remote video monitoring and when installing them? What is important to observe regarding camera type and placement to ensure optimal coverage? What are the key considerations for field-of-view, resolution, lighting conditions, etc.

Aragon: At Elite, our approach to remote video monitoring begins with a thorough forensic assessment of our customers’ properties. The objective is to understand each site’s unique security challenges and address them specifically.

We start by identifying who is committing the crimes, how they are being committed, and where they are occurring. This involves walking the site to look for signs of past breaches, such as propped-up pallets used as makeshift ladders or repairs to chain-link fences where they have been previously cut. Understanding the specific security challenges of each site through detailed examination.

“Choosing the correct cameras for each application is critical. The majority of our guarding is performed after hours, necessitating cameras with extremely low lux ratings, infrared [IR] capabilities and, in many cases, thermal imaging.”

Choosing the correct cameras for each application is critical. The majority of our guarding is performed after hours, necessitating cameras with extremely low lux ratings, infrared [IR] capabilities and, in many cases, thermal imaging.

Optimizing FOV is essential. Knowing the detection ranges and limitations of each camera is crucial. We go a step further by including size restrictions for detected items. It’s important for our AI to detect an event accurately, but it’s equally crucial for our agents to quickly identify the threat as a human or vehicle rather than as ambiguous pixels in the distance.

Important features include wide dynamic range [WDR] to handle challenging lighting situations and pan/tilt/zoom [PTZ] capabilities allowing our agents to follow a suspect and gather additional intelligence like license plates and detailed facial images.

By adhering to these best practices, we ensure our remote video monitoring systems provide clear images and reliable detection, effectively enhancing the tools used by our command center and minimizing the noise in our command center.

Please describe your use of remote monitoring tools and platforms, ranging from on-premises VMS to Cloud-based surveillance platforms. What types of video recording and management systems are used at the customer’s premises and what platforms does your company use for monitoring?

Aragon: Our customers have the option to continue using their existing video management systems [VMS]. We understand the value of their current investments and integrate seamlessly with their established systems.

If a customer does not have a VMS, we offer tailored recommendations based on their specific needs and application requirements. This ensures they receive the most suitable and effective solution for their security and administrative needs.

Our monitoring platforms are a combination of edge-based AI. Deployed directly onsite, AI processes video data locally, providing real-time analysis and reducing latency Sending this to our Cloud. Our Cloud-based solution leverages advanced machine learning algorithms to continuously improve threat detection accuracy and adapt to evolving security needs.

By combining these advanced remote monitoring tools and platforms, Elite ensures comprehensive and effective security solutions tailored to each client’s unique needs.

Could you expand on the role artificial intelligence plays in remote video monitoring?

Aragon: The role of AI in remote video monitoring is often misunderstood and can be a significant source of false alarms. At Elite, we have spent the past 15 years perfecting our approach by integrating and calibrating 16 different technologies from around the world to minimize false alarms and enhance our command center’s efficiency.

Edge-based AI is deployed directly onsite, processing video data locally to provide immediate analysis and reduce latency. Cloud-based AI is utilized for more complex processing. With continuous improvement through machine learning, our Cloud-based AI solutions adapt to evolving security needs. Integrated with our AI systems, thermal cameras enhance detection capabilities, especially in low-light or obscured environments.

Our specialized AI applications and advanced calibration techniques allow us to reduce noise and false alarms significantly. This meticulous tuning makes our system akin to a highly trained Olympic athlete, at their peak, now focusing and leveraging any marginal gain to improve performance by tenths of a second.

By reducing and eliminating false alarms, we decrease our command center’s queue, enabling our agents to respond in real-time within seconds to any event across our entire portfolio. This efficiency is key to our success in crime prevention.

Is your remote video monitoring business growing, and if so, by what measure?

Aragon: Our business is experiencing significant growth due to increasing corporate America’s dissatisfaction with traditional guard services, high costs and the need for effective preventative solutions. Over the past five years, we have consistently achieved an annual growth rate of 30%, and are on track to exceed this rate in 2024.

What advice do you have for other security integrators about this business segment?

Aragon: My primary advice for others entering the remote video monitoring segment is to focus on crime prevention. This should be the cornerstone of your strategy. By prioritizing proactive measures and leveraging advanced technologies to prevent crimes before they occur, you can significantly enhance the effectiveness and value of your services. This focus will not only differentiate your services but also build trust with your clients.

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