Our Man in the Field: Security in the Blind

Our man in the field went out to review bids for a major perimeter security installation, and what he found wasn't the prettiest sight

So what was to be expected of me? Simple, just pick the system that best suited the needs of the client and respected their budgets. The decision was easy. None of them.

The microwave, although an effort toward automation, would have been a false alarm nightmare. The outdoor DVMD system was overdone for the application and could have been done with stuff that would have cost about $8,000 less per cameras. The total camera job? Well, let's just say that I am glad that the client looked before leaping.

The net result was that we redesigned the entire system from scratch and then put the design out for bid. For triggers we would use a fence alarm with PTZ and long-range lenses, on low level, day/night cameras for response. Total cameras were 30, with 24 PTZ and six fixed. We also added a new control system that was designed to integrate with the clients access control and alarm systems; it was to be fully functional and fully adapted. All the cameras have normal working and after-hour jobs that are totally unrelated to the perimeter. If the fence goes into alarm or a gate opens (other than the main gate), one of the cameras will respond and alert the appropriate personnel when it happens. The net result is that there will be about 20 pages dedicated to the design, not counting the individual camera specification sheets, five or six pages dedicated to equipment specifications and NO PAGES dedicated to bragging about what a good company we are.

The lesson learned once more by the unsuspecting public is that our industry has a heck of a long way to go before we can tote the "professional" representation next to the security logo. Please, folks get some training!

About the Author: Richard A. "Charlie" Pierce has been an active member of the security industry since 1974. He is the founder and past president of LRC Electronics Company, a full service warranty/non-warranty repair center for CCTV equipment. In 1985, Charlie founded LeapFrog Training & Consulting (Formally LTC Training Center), a full service training center specializing in live seminars, video-format certification training programs, plain language technical manuals and educational support on CCTV. He is an active member of: ASIS, ALAS, CANASA, NBFAA, NAAA and SIA. He is the recipient of numerous security industry awards, and is a regular contributor to Security Technology & Design magazine. Look for his columns to also appear regularly via SecurityInfoWatch.com and this website's Security Frontline e-newsletter.