Kastle Systems is behind Capital Shield

Security company provides 1,000 cameras to private entities in Washington, D.C., for public private partnership
Thursday, November 13, 2014

FALLS CHURCH, Va.—Kastle Systems is donating 1,000 cameras to private businesses in the District of Columbia as part of “Capital Shield,” a public-private partnership designed to give law enforcement officials access to private security cameras in the case of emergency.

Once all of the cameras are deployed “that would increase the number of cameras available to the police in an incident by about tenfold,” Kastle Systems CEO Mark Ein told Security Systems News. “I really believe this will make a difference in the safety of the city. … I believe in the power of video to increasingly be a useful tool [for public safety officials].”

Kastle is a full-service security company that specializes in managed services for commercial real estate properties. It has been working with the Washington Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) on the project for the past three years.

Ein said the idea came to him several years ago while watching the television show “24” about a counterterrorist agent. “They were chasing a bad guy out of the camera view. … They then got access to a private camera and continued to follow the guy. … I wondered why that couldn’t be the case in real life.”

So far “six major real estate companies have committed to installing 300 cameras.” Ein expects to get the remaining 700 cameras installed within a year. The idea is to take the program far beyond the Kastle-provided cameras, however. Ein said thousands of cameras should be added to the program in the future.

In addition to the cameras, the partnership will give MPD direct access to floor plans and other critical information about business locations.

Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier called the cameras a “force multiplier” in a prepared statement. “It gives us an extra set of eyes by allowing us to provide much needed situational awareness. The Capital Shield program is an important new step in working with private enterprise to enhance public safety throughout the city.”

CheckVideo, a company that Kastle acquired in 2013, is supplying the cameras. Business owners who receive the cameras “pay a small monthly fee for storage and maintenance,” Ein said.