I got an email from Sean O'Keefe of Texana Security today. Sean has been an advocate of RSI's verification solution Videofied for a while. I wrote a special report a while ago on verification and higher priority response for alarms that are verified. In that story, Sean made a bold statement: O’Keefe said Texana actually has gone so far as to get all their customers to agree to a new Texana policy: police will not be notified of alarms that are not video-verified. “Part of our dealer program is that we deeply subsidize the equipment, so that a dealer can get this stuff now for almost the same price as other equipment,” O’Keefe said. “There really is a difference in police response time ... We had 11 apprehensions in a two-month period—that’s a lot … I tell police I have a technology here that can significantly reduce false alarms, increase apprehension opportunities and creates a safer response environment for responding officers. In 30 years I’ve never received the kind of response from law enforcement that I get with this.”
In his email this morning, Sean passed on a customer testimonial and some Videofied clips showing the solution doing what it was designed to do: verify a potential apprehension opportunity and help lead to an arrest.
From Sean's email:
"I thought you might find the following message and accompanying videos interesting. There has been a rash of thefts at building supply warehouses during the past couple of years. I have been advised by law enforcement that many of these thefts are being carried out by organized crime syndicates. As you can deduct from the following customer testimonial, we replaced his “standard” video system (after he had experienced several undetected break-ins) with the Texana Video Verified system and as the videos indicate were able to facilitate the detection and apprehension of two (not four) intruders."
Regardless of where you stand on the verified vs. non-verified debate (is it okay to trumpet higher police priority for verified alarms? Something I've written about before) you can't argue with results: in this case video verification got results.
Here's the testimonial (from the alarm dealer) Sean references:
"Building Supply Centers/Warehouses have been a frequent target of thieves. On 10/6/2010 Texana received 'video' intrusion alarms from one of our customers (Roofing Materials Supplier) and transmitted the alarm to Dallas PD. Dallas PD responded immediately and apprehended four individuals. Following is an unsolicited testimonial from our customer. Note the customer indicates he had experienced 5 previous break-ins that were undetected by a conventional CCTV system. This is yet one more example of the effectiveness of a 'video verified' alarm system coupled with priority response from the police department."
And here's the testimonial from the end user:
"Attached is a video stream from the security system we installed in Dallas last year after the string of burglaries. The new system last night worked just as advertised and resulted in 4 people being arrested for theft. The system has an infrared perimeter cameras that when the infrared is broken sends this 15 second video stream to the security company that monitors it 24/7 and if they determine if the cops need to be contacted. They did and dispatched the police and the cops caught the 4 guys in the act and arrested them."
Again, I don't advocate for either a verified (either by video or by audio) alarm system. I don't have an alarm system myself--neither verified nor traditional.
I DO like hearing what all of you think, however. I think that as consumer electronics get more advanced, end users are going to demand more technology and more personal involvement in monitoring... Look at Total Connect and other smart phone type apps.
I'm actually working on a story right now about a company that's turning smartphones into monitored, mobile two-way audio units for personal security.
I wrote a story back about GPS tacking company Wind Trac in which a couple security executives said monitoring companies would have to start offering mobile, personal tracking services and be ready to embrace more technologically advanced solutions.
From that story:
"Doug Harris is director of public relations at Wind Trac, a provider of real-time GPS-based tracking and monitoring systems for asset tracking, fleet management, child tracking, lone-worker protection, elderly tracking, weapons tracking, medical alert, and personal safety applications. Harris said that such a lack of attention on the part of the traditional security industry to sell and monitor GPS-based tracking and monitoring systems has allowed his company to flourish. 'We’ve taken a very reasonable and a very reasonably-priced approach that most people don’t.' It’s this willingness to 'protect the family, protect them where they go,' to go mobile, that will set Wind Trac apart, said Harris. 'Individuals can save a bundle getting out of the conventional monitoring culture and that’s the secret to our success.'
Mike Simpson, president of Bay City, Mich.-based security software developer Dice Corporation, agreed that the time was right for traditional security companies to expand their reach· 'I think the point is that the technology is becoming more mobile, less costly, more reliable and easier for central stations to be involved in the monitoring part of a solution,' Simpson said. 'I have been saying for a couple of years now that the really smart central stations will become general monitoring centers, if they aren’t that already. This is the result of moving into the monitoring of devices that go beyond traditional security services.'"
I wonder how long it will be before a company comes up with a way to use a smartphone's camera to send video feed to a central station in connection with a panic button activation? I welcome your thoughts.