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Remote Guarding: Changing the Face of Video Surveillance

By KoldoEceiza, Corporate Vice President of Technology Solutions, Securitas USA

Remote Guarding: Changing the Face of Video SurveillanceKoldoEceiza, Corporate Vice President of Technology Solutions, Securitas USA

Video surveillance is often thought of as a security officer in a cluttered room watching large screens, filled with pixelated video boxes – several of them dark, indicating that camerasare offline. Remote Guarding services are transforming the perception and reality of what video surveillance can provide.

The success of Remote Guarding is enabled through:

• Advanced cameras, with significantly enhanced visibility in low light, higher resolutions across longer distances and better areas of coverage
Increasingly sophisticated analytics that detect unwanted activity and potential risks while engaging the right teams proactively
• Highly specialized security officers trained on proven, effective response techniques, providing key data and direction
Integration with other security services, creating much better efficiencies and utilization of on-site response teams

Balancing risk and cost in a competitive employment market is increasingly difficult using traditional security. Remote Guarding is addressing this challenge with better support for, and qualification of, officers, which leads to better wages as the officers handle increasingly critical tasks.Using the right equipment is essential because video surveillance is necessary at the core, allowing visibility for officers to manage incidents. High-quality cameras and modern technologies allow for the best views for investigating events.

Remote Guarding is poised to take significant leaps forward, not only with more advanced cameras but also an evenwider array of multi-functional sensors, 5G wireless applications and availability, and sophisticated artificial intelligence

One of those emerging technologies is artificial intelligence, such as video analytics or IoT,engaging various sensor technologies to make the system more sophisticated and proactive. This allows for the technology to do much of the work and engage highly trained individuals as necessary, making responses much more efficient, focused and effective.

Officers are pivotal to the success of Remote Guarding. Many have various levels of military, law enforcement or security experience to provide a superior level of situational awareness when making important decisions. These individuals are chosen for their experience, skills and confidence in directing local resources and communicating across all levels – from other officers to on-site employees and clients.

At large sites, Remote Guarding with traditional on-site officers allows for peripheral tasks to be performed remotely. For example, Securitas protects over 20 sites for a large automotive remarketingclient with acres of vehicles at each of its sites. Cameras are strategically placed to alert Remote Guarding officers of activity at the perimeter during the overnight periods when cars are highly susceptible to theft. After investigating and mitigating, utilizing tools such as speakers and sirens, the team of on-site officers is engaged to perform regular patrols in marked vehicles and check in automotive transporters 24/7. This allows the client to have more accountable officers on the sites and reduces cost and risk by providing constant perimeter coverage.

In other scenarios, Remote Guarding serves as the primary security service, especially during low activity shifts. Priority is placed on well-designed systems with the tools to fully mitigate and solve issues without having to alert clients overnight. When local police are necessary, key information and direction can be provided so they are better protected and make more effective use of their resources – only responding to verified alarms and directly addressing the source of the issue. Across industries, Remote Guarding facilitates arrests of individuals attempting to break-in or trespass. This prevents theft, reduces property damage and assists with addressing liability.

It’s not always just about catching “bad guys,” though. Frequently, these services increase convenience and support – supervising tasks that require operational compliance or provisioning authorization and entry for personnel. At a large financial client, Securitas Remote Guarding escorts managers through a high-risk process and assures adherence to detailed procedures.

Remote Guarding services are typically managed from 24/7, fully redundant facilities, such as the Securitas Operation Center in Charlotte, NC, which provides remote triage and troubleshooting of systems with connectivity issues. As system integrity is crucial, Remote Guarding officers are trained to be the frontline detection for camera connectivity issues as well as video quality problems such as recognizing when line-of-sight vegetation needs to be trimmed or a truck is blocking a fence line from proper view.

Looking ahead, Remote Guarding is poised to take significant leaps forward, not only with more advanced cameras but also an even wider array of multi-functional sensors, 5G wireless applications and availability, and sophisticated artificial intelligence. Harnessing these capabilities will allow forcapturing larger data sets from multiple sources and transforming this data into highly applicable intelligence, moving the industry from reactive to truly proactive security.

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