Commercial Building Surveillance Can Improve Public Safety

Fully modern camera surveillance can help keep entire neighborhoods safer

Key takeaways:

  • Security cameras discourage crime and improve public safety.
  • Monitored alarm networks also provide enhanced security.
  • Law enforcement agencies find that a network of public and private cameras is a valuable tool to complete investigations and deter crime.

Security cameras have become ubiquitous in our lives. We find them everywhere, from stores to streets to airports. Why? They improve public safety and deter crime. And commercial security systems in private businesses also play a valuable part in maintaining public safety.

Now that the era of the smart city is upon us, governments and businesses have a wide array of available security technologies to provide safe, secure environments that fall within their budgets.

Cameras protect against assaults, theft, fraud, and a wide variety of other crimes. Whether you work for a city agency, a small business, or a large corporation, a security camera system likely has a role in your organization’s safety and success.

Cameras have an impact on public safety

Cameras and connectivity are everywhere. From smartphones to laptops, cars to traffic lights, and airplanes to clocks, almost any modern electronic device can capture photos or video and send them to another device. And the quantity of connected devices worldwide is only going to grow—the number is expected to nearly triple from 9.7 billion in 2020 to more than 29 billion in 2030. Governments, schools, and businesses are fast learning how to put this connectivity to productive use.

Today’s security cameras are digital surveillance powerhouses that can increase a city or company’s ability to identify threats and respond to or prevent them. Modern cameras are often paired with analytic software that can pick up contraflow (when vehicles or individuals move against the crowd), abandoned bags or containers, or unusually shaped human figures who may be carrying something on their person. These tools are particularly useful in crowded venues like airports or convention halls.

Public systems partner with private networks

When these public surveillance systems are linked with private networks, they quickly fill in information gaps that may otherwise exist. GPS positioning and smartphone integration help improve response time for emergency services and communication with local authorities. Digital video surveillance also provides high resolution to better identify suspicious parties no matter the time of day or night, as well as the ability to see more of a property.

In addition, monitored surveillance provides enhanced security, with personnel remotely keeping watch over a property 24/7. When security professionals spot unusual activity, with or without the aid of software, they can warn off criminals, sound alarms, and notify local authorities and property managers.

Private cameras help law enforcement

Cameras in public spaces have long been a valuable tool for police departments to solve crimes. And there are many ways that private cameras in commercial buildings also play a vital role in police investigations — when owners permit access to the footage.

  • Private camera footage equips investigators with objective, hard evidence free from the potential inaccuracies or biases of eyewitness testimony.
  • Cameras corroborate other forms of evidence. If witness statements include a suspect’s description, investigators can cross-reference security footage to locate anyone matching that description in the area at the time of the event.
  • They can equip businesses and police with 24/7 surveillance in certain areas. In the absence of eyewitnesses, security cameras can open a window into potentially suspicious activity on the street or in neighboring properties.

Many police departments have also seen success using local networks of private cameras to investigate and prevent crime. For example:

  • Atlanta police established Connect Atlanta, a network of over 4,500 private and public cameras that gives officers access to footage at the station and on laptops or cell phones. This saves time when responding to potential crimes.
  • In Wayne, NJ, police have set up a Community ShareCam program where residents and businesses can volunteer to register their cameras and share footage to aid investigations. And Paterson, NJ has established Eyes on Paterson, where commercial and personal security cameras are linked into a live feed, which they say has created a more robust version of the traditional neighborhood watch.

How to start your security upgrade

Surveillance systems are invaluable if you want to help protect your community — or just your business. Here are a few tips to help you get started choosing equipment and leveraging security services:

  • Establish goals and set a budget. How will your business’s security priorities impact your bottom line and the larger community? Answering this and similar questions is necessary for understanding the cost and timing of any security upgrades.
  • Find community allies and stakeholders. Better security for your business means better security for your community. Open communication with local public officials and fellow companies can make them valuable security partners.
  • Take inventory of what you already have. It’s important to establish what your current security system can handle and what needs to be improved, what redundant tech should be streamlined, where any camera coverage and gaps are, and how much footage you can currently store.
  • Find the best tech for your needs. There are many commercial building surveillance solutions, and one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. Depending on your strategic goals and resources, your priorities may be ease of installation or interoperability, for example.

Jumpstart your building or site security

When you protect your business, you help protect your property, employees, guests, and society. But if you’re unsure where to begin, you’re not alone. A team of trusted professionals who understand camera surveillance is ready to help. 

From construction sites to commercial buildings and tradeshows to car dealerships, Mobile Video Guard has the depth of experience to guide you through the installation or upgrade process. Contact us today for a free quote and to learn more.

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