Security Pros Tout Remote Access, Zoom, Search Aspects Of CCTV

Jan. 31, 2007
What do you find is the most effective feature of your video surveillance system?

Gabe Esposito, director of corporate security and business continuity/disaster recovery, Verizon Wireless/Bedminster, N.J.:

The best feature is remote access capability - basically the ability to dial in and review footage from a remote location. It's useful in most investigations. We have retail outlets scattered throughout the U.S., but our investigators are only in certain locations.

The remote access feature also is very helpful in supporting investigations. And, it can be used to assess whether a store has been damaged by wind or water after a storm, when we can't travel to that location because the area is underwater or barricaded by police, etc.

Raymond P. Suppe, security director, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority:

We are in the process of improving and expanding our video surveillance capabilities at the Las Vegas Convention Center and have found the pan-tilt-zoom function is our favorite, for these reasons: The capability to sweep around large areas in the Convention Center and zoom in close for certain situations is ideal. Also, the ability to follow suspects through a specific exhibit hall and provide location information to security patrols on the ground is invaluable for everyone's safety.

The 'smart search' feature allows days worth of video to be reviewed in minutes. An example was when an officer located graffiti, but it was unknown how long the graffiti had been there. Using the smart search feature, we blocked out a segment of the screen and searched for any motion in that area over a one-week period. Within minutes we were able to pull up all events that triggered motion.

Art Rudat, security director, AOL/Dulles, Va.:

I like the flexibility of our system. With pan-tilt-zoom capability, we are able to track something all the way through. I also like the DVR playback-and-download capability. It makes life simpler. When we are looking at live cameras, we have the ability to track someone, and then with the DVR playback-and-download capability, we can put a time bracket in and search for specific incidents.

William Adcox, chief of police, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston:

My favorite component is the 'smart system' portion, where somebody opens a door and triggers a video feed, so we get to see what is going on right away. We have cameras at all of our doors and the doors are smart card-accessible, so as soon as they are opened, we get an immediate feed. After-hours is when I like that feature best. You can look at everyone who is accessing your building and whether you are having property [stolen].

It helps us determine what is going on, by whom and whether they are people from outside of the institution. Say someone has propped open a door. After a certain amount of time, we get an alarm and a video feed. We know whether somebody is [stealing].

Rich Ortins, security and compliance manager, Cardinal Health Inc./Peabody, Mass.:

Now that the technology has evolved to digital recording, the search feature has been made much easier. Rather than review hours of videotape, we can now simply search by motion, by time, by events or on the alarm system and cut down actual search time dramatically. One time, we needed to identify everyone who had gone to a certain location in the warehouse. Rather than review video covering days, we could simply highlight an area on the camera view and review only those times an individual went there.

Skip Beaird, corporate security field operations manager, Regions Financial Corp./Birmingham, Ala.:

With digital video, the ability to retrieve video from basically any PC is a big feature for us. Digital also allows us to remotely pull the video and e-mail it to police or law enforcement or anybody that needs it very quickly.

Bruce Kozozenski, risk management manager, Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District:

We are installing a system that enables us to view the perimeter of our treatment plant facility, which is several acres in size. There is a feature within the new cameras that allows them to pick up motion and zero in on that motion.

If you just put a set of monitors in front of someone, they can lose interest. With this automated function, there is a prompt to the operator, and at the same time, it begins to digitally record.

Gary Fitzsimmons, security director, Swift Transportation Co./Phoenix:

We have a digital camera system at 40 locations around the U.S. and Mexico. The things I like most are not having to deal with the old tapes, the clarity of digital, and being able to view all locations from a central location.

Source: Corporate Security, 01/31/2007

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