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)

The Crimefighting Case for Stronger Private-Public Partnerships

Why Security Providers Should Make the Effort to Work More Closely With Law Enforcement

By Scott Goldfine

(Note: the original published version of this article appeared in the July 2024 Security Sales & Integration.)

Through the years, many security industry friends, colleagues and associates have become aware of my deep passion for music. I am especially keen on electric guitar and blues-based rock. Yet while I learned how to read music playing alto saxophone as a kid, much to my chagrin I am unable to sing on pitch (just ask my family!) and lack a high aptitude for playing an instrument. All the more reason I appreciate and am so in awe of those who excel at it.

One of the key things I have learned from musicians is there is no substitute for playing with others. Having to listen, adjust accordingly, share ideas and keep up with others takes a player to new heights, and allows the whole to exceed the sum of the parts. Unfortunately — particularly in the YouTube era and amid the isolation of a pandemic — that element is often lost on talented young people who replicate (rather than innovate or find their own voice) renowned artists, focus on speed rather than feel, and noodle away in solitude or with only computerized accompaniment.

Great music cannot be created in a vacuum — and neither can true security. The fact is that no matter how much technology advances and how sophisticated electronic security systems become — including the very impressive capabilities emerging and being developed related to video analytics and artificial intelligence — our industry cannot achieve success in a bubble. While the solutions we sell and deploy increasingly bring end users ancillary operational value, the core mission of protecting people and property is only realized in cooperation and support of law enforcement.

“The high stakes were made all too real, as while I was there four officers were shot and killed in my adopted hometown of Charlotte, N.C.”

Like most in the security trade, I always knew this and highly respected the boys and girls in blue, but the past several months has allowed me to gain a whole new level of appreciation. This has come about through my role with Elite Interactive Solutions, which includes coordinating the company’s Law Enforcement Advisory Board (LEAB) and routinely interfacing with current and former LE executives.

This has given me a window into the mindset, challenges and needs of police, how they view security providers, and what our industry can do to help ease their burden, fight crime and more safety respond to calls. Much of that has been captured by the in-depth roundtable I recently conducted with the LEAB. I urge you to review it here.

Especially eye-opening was attending my first law enforcement event in early May, the 32nd Annual FBI-LEEDA Training Conference in San Antonio (Elite was among the sponsors and exhibitors). The hardships police face today on a multitude of fronts, of which I spoke with them about and heard during conversations and presentations, are daunting to say the least.

The high stakes were made all too real, as while I was there four officers were shot and killed in my adopted hometown of Charlotte, N.C. Despite it all, those in attendance projected a positive outlook and resolve for carrying out their sometimes-perilous public safety duties.

That was heartening, as was the experience when an LEAB member and myself took a break from the conference to join three San Antonio PD officers for a crime prevention meeting with apartment complex management at a customer site. It was a powerful example of how getting everyone on the same page is the ultimate means to hardening properties, enhancing community safety, and strengthening public-private relationships.

Such meetings not only optimize security, help customers gain a firmer understanding of their systems and the provider-police dynamic, but also better assist law enforcement to accomplish their goals, and can lead to more business through upgrades, higher client loyalty and referrals. For these reasons, I recommend your company give it a try when possible and where appropriate. Yes, it takes effort and work, but the benefits are worth it.

More than ever, law enforcement needs the security industry to step up as a force multiplier. Let’s all recommit to focusing at least as much on being true partners as we do to the bottom line. At the end of the day — like the tight interplay of a great band — it’s all interconnected anyway.

Elite Interactive Solutions Marketing Director Scott Goldfine is an SSI Industry Hall of Famer who spent 25 years as Security Sales & Integration’s chief editor.

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