How Security Gets Real With Remote Guarding

The three pillars of paradigm-shifting technology, professional agents and priority police response are changing the game for the greater good.

 

By Scott Goldfine

 

The average business owner or investor has some kind of security precaution in place, especially in the after hours when there are fewer deterrents to inhibit criminal activity. Security guards, video survellance systems, motion sensor lights or even just fake cameras placed around the property are some of the common options people choose.

 

As smart business owners are starting to realize, however, some of these traditional security measures are becoming antiquated and no longer making the cut. The now and future of overnight security is in remote guarding. Pioneered by companies like Los Angeles-based Elite Interactive Solutions, which was founded back in 2007, remote guarding is revolutionizing the overnight security business. 

 

Remote guarding utilizes a combination of cutting-edge technology, “digital guards,” highly trained security agents and local law enforcement if and when necessary to minimize the potential of criminal activity. For those adequately enlightened to its overwhelmingly impressive crime prevention capabilities, remote guarding is fast becoming the most popular choice among commercial end-user property owners to secure and protect their investments. 

 

What Is Remote Guarding?

Remote guarding is a revolutionary concept and increasing trend in security systems that utilizes a combination of methods to effectively analyze potential threats to a property. Cameras and/or other monitoring devices running highly advanced algorithmic software are installed in strategic areas or vulnerable places onsite and remotely located security agents are immediately notified of any activity within a designated perimeter of the property. 

 

When properly deployed by an expert provider, the technology stack includes a proprietary blend of video analytics, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and more. Done right, “noise” is effectively filered out, allowing agents to act on legitimate alerts and achieve zero false alarms communicated to first responders. Today, there are a lot of terms and descriptions tossed around pertaining to remote guarding, remote video, virtual guarding, etc., but those attributes must be present to represent the true definition of the offering and its many virtues. 

 

When the specially trained security agents are alerted to trespassers, possible intruders or other suspicious activity, they analyze the situation in real-time and determine the necessary level of action. Many systems have a two-way speaker that allows the security agent to give a verbal warning, known as a voice-down, to the individual(s) that they are being watched. Most perpetrators, often believing the response is emanating directly from security personnel on the property itself rather than from a remote command center, flee immediately. However, if the threat persists, the security agent enlists local law enforcement to get on the scene.

 

When properly deployed, remote guarding systems are also customized to specific properties. A team of consultants visits the client’s property to evaluate its vulnerabilities and where to best place cameras and/or other monitoring devices for system efficacy. 

 

Traditional Security Shortfalls

According to Keith Bushey, a retired commander for the Los Angeles Police Department, there is much frustration between law enforcement officers and potential victims of crime due to the historically unreliable performance of traditional burglar alarm systems and central monitoring stations. He states about 90% of security-related calls are false alarms, a problem that has been well documented through the years. When a legitimate emergency does occur, the perpetrators have often already done their damage and/or escaped by the time law enforcement arrives. Onsite security guards are not the remedy either as they bring their own set of issues and challenges.

 

Traditional security systems can also have unexpected costs. The cost is not only in the security guards’ paycheck nor the cost of the equipment itself. The cost comes when an actual incident occurs. In worst-case scenarios, the security guard(s) are injured, the business suffers inventory loss, and/or damage is sustained to the property. The medical and other costs for the security guard(s), the loss of inventory, property damage, deployment of law enforcement resources and possible fallout of legal expenses all add up. 

 

Even in the best-case scenario — a false alarm — expenses incur if law enforcement is dispatched. These, among many others, are some of the primary issues that remote guarding resoundingly answers as a superior alternative. 

 

A Bounty of Benefits 

Remote guarding systems have been proven to cut costs and be more effective than traditional security systems. Even though the monthly monitoring costs of remote guarding is significantly higher than traditional intrusion detection system monitoring, the much higher effectiveness in crime reduction, elimination of false alarms and augmenting or replacement of manned guards results in a substantially higher return on investment (ROI) to the end user. 

 

For example, case studies have demonstrated reduced security costs for clients by 60%, on average. These reductions have come from the costs of security staff, inventory or property loss, plus saving money on insurance premiums and deductibles. 

 

The nature of remote guarding reduces the risk and costs of false alarms, with professional security agents able to determine an actual threat before law enforcement is called. In a rare instance when a perpetrator escapes before law enforcement arrives or is able to detain the individual(s), the security cameras already have their image captured on record, making them easier to track down and identify. 

 

The significant reduction in false alarms is greatly appreciated by law enforcement, as it allows them to focus on real emergencies or crises. Better relationships are also developed between clients and law enforcement, as remote guarding systems are highly reliable in providing accurate and real-time information to officers as they approach the scene. In short, it assists law enforcement in doing their job more effectively, as well as more safely thanks to having eyewitness information before engaging in an active crime scene.

 

When you combine the decreased cost with the increased efficiency and success rate, it is easy to see why many commercial end-user property owners across the country are making the shift to remote guarding. It’s also an outstanding opportunity for professional security dealers and integrators to partner with a leading remote guarding services provider to bring a superior solution to their end customers and pick up a recurring monthly revenue stream in the process. 

About the Author: Scott Goldfine is an Industry Hall of Famer with more than 25 years’ experience writing about leading security business and technology trends and opportunities for the dealer and integrator channel. He currently serves as Marketing Director for Elite Interactive Solutions (eliteisi.com) and can be reached at sgoldfine@eliteisi.com.

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