Written by: Tom Stone
Law enforcement executives are faced with unparalleled challenges as they lead agencies in what has been described as a “climate of uncertainty”. They must continually seek out the best solutions available for helping to control uncertainties faced by their officers in the field. This challenge is exacerbated by the fact they are often operating under the constraints of limited funds. A Remote Guarding system is one such solution, providing significant improvements by helping officers respond more safely, from responding to calls for service to apprehending perpetrators, and doing so at no charge (for free) to the agencies.
Officer Safety: A Key Component of Remote Guarding Systems
Officer safety benefits are among the key attributes of Remote Guarding systems that dramatically impact law enforcement. Through the integration of advanced technology including digital video and military-grade artificial intelligence software, standardized procedural tactics, and extensively trained former law enforcement or military personnel, Remote Guarding agents are able to provide responding officers with an unmatched level of live, tactical support in real time. These remotely located agents can provide responding law enforcement personnel with real-time information such as suspect location, any movements, and whether any weapons have been seen.
As a result, any law enforcement response to client sites that are secured by Remote Guarding has a very real safety advantage and an increased likelihood of apprehending not only the most obvious suspects but occasionally additional suspects who might otherwise not have been detected by onsite personnel. While criminals may scatter and hide when law enforcement arrives, they cannot escape the ever-vigilant eyes of the multiple cameras wherever Remote Guarding is deployed.
Removing Uncertainty from Dangerous Situations
In today’s climate, law enforcement officers are subject to unprecedented scrutiny. Police use of force is one of the most controversial subjects in the United States. As an example, the California State Assembly is working on legislation which seeks to impose far greater criminal sanctions against law enforcement’s use of deadly force. The proposed standard criminalizes the reasonable use of deadly force unless it can be demonstrated that the use of deadly force was “necessary.” In addition, the proposed legislation disallows a justifiable homicide defense if tactics prior to the shooting were “grossly negligent.” The vastly increased real-time information available to responding officers as a result of Remote Guarding removes much of the uncertainty the officers will face when apprehending the suspect. This, in turn, enhances not only the safety of the officers but also the safety of the suspect.
“The suspect is wearing a red shirt and blue pants. He is now walking northbound in the west internal driveway, between the parts room and storage area number three. He has what appears to be a large crowbar in his right hand and a flashlight in his left hand.”
Does this sentence sound complicated? Well, maybe it is to the average person, but not to Remote Guarding agents or to law enforcement officers! The above sentence is not the exception, but pretty much average verbiage that takes place on a daily basis between the well-trained Remote Guarding agents and their law enforcement colleagues. It is this level of professionalism and specificity that enables officers to safely and swiftly respond to crimes in progress and to apprehend intruders. The real-time assessment of exactly what is occurring and observations of what is in the suspect’s possession are invaluable to the safety of the officers and the manner of apprehension.
Real-Time Situational Awareness & Intelligence
Elite Interactive Solution’s Remote Guarding systems affords officers real-time situational awareness and intelligence. Further, this capability can be shared directly for law enforcement use, where in some cases a technology interface-capability can be developed for law enforcement communications centers and vehicles. This intelligence gives responding officers and command staff timely information that supports quicker response times for tactical planning for potential detention/arrest situations.
Remote Guarding agents are the core team providing situational awareness and tactical support that have proven to be invaluable to responding officers’ safety, not only their physical well-being but also better assurance that officers will be much less likely to detain or arrest the wrong person, and thereby avoid negative public/law enforcement events. Beyond the tactical support, Remote Guarding agents are professionally trained live eyewitnesses to crimes in progress, where the combination of video and witness information significantly improves criminal prosecution efforts.
Whether large urban departments or smaller/rural agencies, response times can be lengthy and resources stretched. Remote Guarding is an effective force multiplier by helping law enforcement improve response performance, in general, but particularly giving responding officers an extra degree of safety throughout the event.
One of the primary goals of law enforcement executives is to see that each officer returns home safely at the end of the tour. Remote Guarding can certainly enhance this objective.
About the Author
Tom Stone has more than four decades of law enforcement and public safety experience, including twenty-two years as Chief of Police / Public Safety Director. As past President and Executive Director Emeritus of FBI-LEEDA, Tom has championed education for law enforcement agencies, developed curriculum, and instructed law enforcement agencies nationwide in law enforcement leadership and management. Tom also serves as Board Chair for Elite Interactive Solutions Law Enforcement Advisory Board (“LEAB”), where his insight and passion for Remote Guarding benefit both Elite’s clients and law enforcement partners.
Contributing to this article are LEAB members Justin Feffer, Keith Bushey, Todd Ackerman, and Mitch Tavera.