San Antonio’s Top Crime Ranking Bolsters Security Sales

SAn Antinio

Texas’ third largest city has taken the dubious honor of the nation’s highest crime rate among million-resident U.S. cities, news that’s already well known among San Antonio’s security integrators.

Based on an analysis of population growth and crime numbers released by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Dallas will drop to the No. 2 spot, and Houston will rank third, the Dallas Morning News reports.

According to statistics reported to the state, San Antonio has 79 crimes per 1,000 residents, which equates to a 17 percent crime rate. It’s a city known more for crimes against property than people.

The city is 1.5 times above the national average in property crime, which has triggered a slew of security upgrades, Mike Garcia, senior vice president of sales and marketing with MDI Security Systems tells SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION.

“The biggest growth sector in that market is unified security systems where the security manager can get an alarm and have video to validate that alarm and control access from a central point of command and control,” Garcia says. “If you have access control combined with alarm management and video surveillance, you have three different layers of security in one system than can prevent, detect and respond.”

Garcia has seen his company’s return on investment (ROI) grow, as more corporations and businesses choose systems that alert users when something is wrong rather than just providing monitoring.

Typically, Garcia’s corporate clients are upgrading three- to four-year-old systems by adding video analytics and IP video surveillance with alerts that arrive in real time to a central monitoring area. Small-business clients are adding NVR-based IP video surveillance they can access from a home computer. And franchise restaurants are installing systems to deter employee theft.

“When its property crime, security is an immediate answer to the problem,” Garcia adds. “You want to make it hard for the people committing those crimes to choose you as a target. The more layers of security you have in your organization, the more hardened your organization becomes.”

San Antonio’s rise up the crime-rate ladder is due to an unemployment rate that is higher than the national average, the economic downturn and wages that are lower than the national average, according to Garcia.

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