Security officers are generally regarded as the face of security. Officers present a professional appearance at company entrances, patrol and tour facilities and grounds. But without tools, how effective is that officer? What value is a security officer’s presence bringing to the organization? And when cutbacks hit an organization’s security department, how can security directors maintain the same physical presence with fewer faces?
Smart cards, like other steps along technology’s ever-evolving pathway, biometrics and megapixel cameras to name two others, share ingrained challenges. New stuff is often more expensive than existing stuff. Bring something new in and, often, you have to upgrade other gear that is part of the total system to make it all work together. Then there are design, installation, maintenance and training costs as something new comes through the door.
I was searching my email outbox archives the other day and I ran across a column that I’d written a few years ago about the use of video and integrated security systems. I was adamant that a camera be ruled out for an access control solution versus considering it as an optional feature. I still maintain that assertion. I’m not saying that every door should have a camera – every door should be considered for one – as an integrated component of your access control system.
When designing a surveillance system that is to be used in the outdoors, changing lighting conditions are one of the biggest challenges to overcome. So over the past several years, low-light surveillance technology has been growing in importance as a means to improve outdoor surveillance designs, and megapixel imagers have been modified to improve identification.
Monitoring makes a difference. Surveillance is not a monitored Video Intrusion Alarm. Security video and DVRs (whether on-site or the newer DVRs in the cloud) provide remote viewing and document what has happened – but their primary use isn’t catching burglars.
How well a hardware or software platform can adapt to increasing demands defines the term scalability. This term is becoming the de facto reason why the security industry has been replacing older DVRs with newer storage solutions. The popularity of video encoder devices as standalone appliances versus bundled into the DVR is accelerating this industry shift even further.
Kansas City, Missouri. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Nashville Metropolitan Government. And Hennepin County, Minnesota. Four different government agencies that vary in size, physical characteristics, geography, history and culture. But the security directors responsible for securing these municipalities are finding common ground in their unique needs and challenges, which include funding, meeting demanding constituent needs and having the right technology.