PDQ Winner Elite Interactive Keeps Eyes on the Prize

Elite Interactive Solutions took home the 2020 Police Dispatch Quality Award for its use of remote guarding and reduction of false alarms. Here’s how.

PDQ Winner Elite Interactive Keeps Eyes on the Prize

In 2019, Elite recorded 3.86 million events. Its security agents connected via cameras and speakers for voice-down procedures that cut nearly 22,000 potential intruder/trespasser incidents to 626 police dispatches that resulted in 266 detentions and 119 arrests.

Let’s talk about some topical monitoring technologies. Where does Elite stand in the ASAP to PSAP initiative?

Kozak: ASAP is a critical infrastructure that Elite supports for the benefit of public safety. With reductions in call volume, processing times and elimination of errors, the law enforcement dispatch community has

taken major steps to addressing the first responder ability to get to real crime. For Elite, however, the fact that all of our calls are already voice and visually tracked in real-time eliminates any possibility of error when reaching dispatch. Since the inception of the business over 10 years ago, we have not had an incident when an alarm event was reported falsely to dispatch.

What about video verification as a tool to mitigate false alarms? Elite’s solution is sort of that on steroids.

Kozak: At Elite, we use AI and machine learning to create our alerts. We receive alarms based on what we program the technology to look for. Even with video verification, these technologies require reviews of footage after the fact and to inform security stakeholders that someone was on the premises. This approach doesn’t allow for real-time communications with law enforcement nor confirms if the person is still there, what activity they are engaging in, where they are located in relation to responding officers, etc. Video verification does not provide real-time safety and communications with responding officers as real-time event monitoring and engagements with Elite.

What are some of Elite’s overall keys to business and operations success?

Kozak: The combination of staff, processes and technologies is the cornerstone of Elite’s unique and proven ability to significantly enhance security at substantially less cost than traditional approaches to security that have historically included human security guards and/or technology like burglar alarms, video surveillance, access control and other systems. We have a team of diverse industry veterans from security and investigations, law enforcement and military backgrounds. They work together to provide the best possible security approaches and outcomes for our customers.

We also measure and manage the outcomes of our solutions, producing daily reports and incident action reports with video images and clips of individuals involved. This information is shared and discussed with our customer stakeholders, so they are aware of all events at their sites.

From a system design standpoint, we continually evaluate the effectiveness of our systems and their ability to appropriately allow us to manage the security risks for our clients. If there is an issue with the quality of images or ability to capture full view of an incident due to field conditions, our operations center team meets with engineering/service and our account management teams. This helps us ensure we are addressing the evolving risks and changing conditions in our client’s properties and making suggestions for improving security as well.

What impact did the 2020 civil rights demonstrations have on your facility and services? How is Elite continuing to support law enforcement during these challenging times?

Kozak: During the riots, Elite was able to track suspects on multiple properties using pan/tilt/zoom cameras. Agents were instructed to zoom in on license plates, makes and models of vehicles as well as facial shots of the perpetrators. This was done to help detectives/investigators in further prosecution of the individuals committing the crimes. Elite is currently working with LAPD detectives and providing all footage attained during the various crimes committed during the riots. We were also able to provide over 15 suspect vehicle license plates to detectives to aid in their investigations.

Law enforcement embraces the remote guarding solution because it dramatically improves officer safety. Security agents guide police officers using the digital guard cameras as well as audio as they approach suspects. This ensures that officers never walk into the unknown. In addition, responding officers know a call from Elite will likely generate a safe arrest attempt. The company’s ability to support officer safety and efficiency enhance relationships with local law enforcement. This also benefits the businesses they protect.

Looking at the industry, what do you believe the future holds for police response to burglar alarms?

Kozak: During the past few years the commercial security solution has changed to a more technology-centric system. Traditional burglar alarms require a huge amount of resources from first responders. The amount of time it takes to address false alarms from these older systems could be better utilized elsewhere to keep our streets safe. As public awareness for solutions such as the one we provide grows, the industry will adopt more smart systems.

14 PDQ Best Practices

  1. Advertising, sales literature provide realistic expectation of alarm response
  2. Salespeople explain permitting requirements, fees and fines
  3. Use of Enhanced Call Confirmation (ECC, formerly ECV)
  4. Contact customers after every false alarm
  5. Track worst false alarm offenders and take action if needed
  6. Instruct customer on verification process and keep call lists updated
  7. Ongoing communications with customers
  8. Installers have minimum NTS Level I or II training
  9. In-house training must be led by credentialed instructors
  10. Customers thoroughly instructed on all system operations
  11. Checklists used for installers and customers
  12. Unique or additional initiatives (e.g. video verification)
  13. Development of strong working relationship with local law enforcement
  14. Properly calculating and actively reducing false dispatch rate

About the Author

Contact:

Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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