Public-private partnerships (P3s) are paving the way for more widespread public safety and collaboration in surveillance projects. Here’s what’s happening:
- Continued movement to new forms of funding, like systems bundled with utilities or energy management solutions or others.
- Most effective when the entire infrastructure of the city, community or municipality can benefit and leverage resources.
- Intensified interest by businesses, corporations, private entities and the public in the value of sharing video.
Read our special roundtable on the following pages focusing on this critical issue as it continues to evolve…
Many municipalities depend on public-private partnerships (often referred to as P3s) to fund video surveillance and other security projects. Private businesses have a stake in video surveillance and increasingly see the benefit in sharing video feeds. However, methods to obtain public funding have changed. There are also new, emerging sources of funding. We asked a team of experts some key questions.
Q. How has the nature of public-private partnerships for funding of video surveillance or other projects changed in the last several years?
A. Oksana Farber, president, Trident Master Executive Development, Oakland Gardens, N.Y.: The disposition of developed and successful public-private partnerships (P3s) and their relationship to funding for video surveillance and/or other projects over the last several years has directly and indirectly improved and continues to be encouraging. Since one of the fundamental keys to keeping a P3 effective is cross-training public and private sector (PS) individuals, law enforcement (LE) leaders involved in a P3 program in Nassau County, N.Y., supplied training to small and mid-sized business owners to upgrade their security surveillance from archaic timelapse video recorders to modern digital video surveillance systems after LE personnel explained how difficult it was to view re-used VCR tapes. As a result, several video surveillance vendors were invited to demonstrate modern systems and within a year, all of the P3 member business owners upgraded their security systems.
Mark Jules, executive director, National Public Safety Foundation, Baltimore, Md.: Private entities are seeing that, if they support their agencies, they are going to get an exponential return on that support. Because of the recession and cutbacks police departments and municipalities have faced, both public and private agencies are seeing the benefits of working together and leveraging one another’s resources.
J.J. Murphy, CEO of Goals Consulting, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.: There have been a couple models tried under the public-private scenario in video surveillance. I think the way forward will be that more communities try one of the successful models as funds are more competitive and these partnerships can increase the odds of communities obtaining grant funding. Security needs will not be decreasing, so communities must find a way to pool resources where necessary.
Alan F. Wohlstetter Esq., partner in the law firm of Fox Rothschild LLP, Philadelphia: Cities and police departments now understand that video surveillance is key to leveraging officers on the street and turning them into effective rapid response units. As the September 2011 research study by the Urban Institute demonstrates, active monitoring of video surveillance is cost-effective and facilitates convictions. Rather than paying for such networks with municipal bonds and tax revenues, infrastructure funds stand ready to invest in these arrangements, realizing that the public safety infrastructure is an area which can benefit exponentially from the appropriate investment in technology.