Virtual Guard Services Help Texas City Protect Businesses

By Ashley Willis

ADDISON, Texas — The police department here now has a new 24-hour monitoring tool to protect local businesses monitored by Dallas-based Stealth Monitoring.

Stealth filters video data from the businesses that the company monitors. If operators see any unusual or suspicious behavior, they can push the video into the Addison Police Department (APD) dispatch center.

“The APD can’t afford to build its own video control center partly because of cost,” Stealth Sales Manager Rick Charney tells SSI. “So they use us. By using our virtual guard services, APD is able to reduce false alarms. They can better utilize resources to catch criminals red-handed using this additional video information.”

The video monitoring company did not charge the city to install the monitoring equipment at APD headquarters, Charney says. APD officials are so impressed with the technology that they are currently upgrading the dispatch center so video can be pushed directly to the patrol cars, smartphones and PDAs for responding officers.

“This program puts Addison on the cutting edge of technology,” says APD Chief of Police Ron Davis in a press release. “As more businesses take advantage of this type of technology, our dispatchers and officers will be able to respond more quickly and effectively.”

Business owners in the area are seeing the results, too. Some property owners said as many as 20 crimes in the past two years have been stopped thanks to Stealth’s live video monitoring, according to CBS DFW.

[IMAGE]363[/IMAGE]“What makes us unique is that we’re proactive, not reactive,” says Charney. “We don’t wait for events or burglar alarms to go off before we start watching video. We combine video analytics to cut down the number of cameras that each operator has to watch. It allows us to watch roughly 1,600 cameras every night and we are growing that number every day.”

With 98 percent of its business consisting of commercial accounts, Stealth monitors more than 150 clients throughout North America, Charney says. The control center operators include former police officers, industry veterans who have worked at other central stations and technical operators. The company also installs CCTV and access control solutions throughout the surrounding states near Texas.

With the recent success APD has seen, Stealth is also reaching out to other police departments that have expressed interest  in deploying technology to their dispatch centers, says Charney. “At the end of the day, police officers want to reduce crime,” he says. “So do we.”

Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.

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