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Specifically Speaking with Jarod Stockdale

Specifically Speaking with Jarod Stockdale Director security consulting and design, NV5, in Hollywood, Fla.

What's your role at the company?

NV5 is a dynamic engineering and consulting firm. We offer a wide variety of services from environmental and civil engineering, to mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire, and technology design. My role as a director in the Buildings, Technology, and Sciences (BTS) division of the company is to help lead the future of our business. It is my passion to develop strategies and protocols that allow for a better integration of technologies that make services more effective and more efficient. My direct responsibility is to educate, advocate, and help our clients design the security solutions that meet their short-term needs, and long-term goals.

What kinds of systems do you design/specify and what services does the company provide?

We have a variety of systems that my team provides designs for. Our largest markets have been in the gaming/hospitality sector, K-12 education, and large retail venues (shopping malls). In these sectors, a typical design will include a fully integrated platform that includes CCTV, access, intrusion, emergency call, parking controls, and potentially other subsystems.

One of the benefits of working with a large firm such as NV5 is that we have certified experts that can address just about anything that comes up in the process. Our security team regularly engages complimentary teams in electrical, fire, and other disciplines in coordinating security design. Our ability to leverage internal resources in mechanical, electrical systems, lighting, and others for support, are a distinct advantage over a single service designer. Our technology experts assist with network and audiovisual coordination on many large projects. Our flexibility, coordination effort, and adaptability are part of our unique advantage.

During the last 50-plus years we have been deeply involved in the design of nearly every major project and property in Las Vegas and expanded those services into other markets around the country and globally to major markets like Macau and Dubai.

Any interesting projects that you can mention?

We are currently beginning to wrap up construction on two very exciting projects:

  • A 5-star resort situated on one of the most beautiful beaches in California. The physical security design is a robust and fully integrated system that includes CCTV, access control (including guest rooms and back of house), emergency call, intrusion, video and audio analytics, and a suite of services within a single “dashboard” interface. The security systems, along with the audio/video, telecom, and network services are all contained within a fully converged fiber-optic backbone design. This design is part of what we see as a benchmark system for new and renovated hospitality projects in the future.
  • A mixed-use retail/residential project in the heart of a Southern California coast community featuring a modern high-end shopping experience, dining, entertainment, and residential units. The physical security design for this project includes CCTV, access control (retail property and residential), intrusion, emergency call, and parking controls interface from a single software package. This project features a true converged network. Shared fiber backbone picks up all systems throughout the property. All physical devices, to the extent possible, are actual IP endpoints with PoE access controls, IP cameras, VoIP phones and emergency call stations, etc. The design is exceptionally efficient leveraging modern technology efficiency in a converged network, allowing for budget savings and expansive capabilities that will extend for years into the future.

How did you get started in security and designing/specifying?

For me it was a natural progression of my career in the security industry. I started in this business as a technician and learned everything I could about every system and device I could get my hands on. I moved into project management and sales support for a few years, and then into corporate security management and investigations. In that role especially, I became more focused on learning the technology and understanding specifications. Becoming deeply involved and familiar with specifications and planning allowed me to better maximize budget efficiencies and capability of systems.

As an end user with high purchasing volume I was able to help drive development of technology that was important to our business needs. I followed that experience moving into design and specification as a venue to become more involved in the specification process. I am passionate about driving innovation in this industry. I find great satisfaction in solving complex issues with the right mix of tech and common sense. I am an evangelist for getting it right the first time. I think that sometimes the best feedback is something like: “nobody has asked for that before.” It means to me that we are asking the right questions.

Can you talk about what new or emerging technologies you are seeing or specifying today?

I think that the most exciting technologies we are seeing in the physical security market today involve analytics. The chip industry has made tremendous leaps in capabilities for GPU processors allowing for very complex functions to be performed at the edge device. With this new power we can now teach the device how to identify behaviors or sounds that constitute a potential threat to safety. As this technology continues to get better, and more reliable, it allows for better proactive countermeasures. We know that the “old model” of lots of video screens displaying tens or hundreds of images simultaneously is not effective. People are too easily distracted, become complacent, and simply cannot be attentive to so much information at the same time. By using analytic technology, combined with smarter protocols, that same operator is exponentially more effective because his attention is focused, his tasks are clearly defined, and his performance and job satisfaction are greatly improved. This is our goal in security design and specification. We strive to improve guest experiences through professional, effective, and efficient operations.

What is your view on the industry moving forward?

I am excited to be part of what I see as a “renaissance” of the physical security world. Technology is changing the culture of what we do. The security industry comes down to one simple question: “What if…?”

Part of answering that question is the responsibility to supply the most relevant, best information possible. This includes creating the best specifications for leadership in planning and creating security designs, and in the delivery and proper commissioning of systems for operators and dispatchers in security operations centers. Innovation and growth in technology has brought expanded capabilities that were science fiction only a few years ago. We are beginning to understand the tremendous power of delivering clear and focused information in place of just overwhelming an operator with video. With that focus, we can define trends, identify physical security gaps, and provide effective, pro-active counter-measure planning.

I see physical security specifications and system planning now in the early stages of the design process where not long ago it was an afterthought. As this trend continues I see physical security, combined with cybersecurity, as one of the drivers in developing converged network space. I see a cultural shift as the security industry and technology sector become more effective in leading the construction design process for fully integrated buildings. I got into this business learning a trade. I stayed because it became a passion to make things work better, and to solve complex problems. With my role today at NV5 in creating design and specifications, I believe our team can change the world and make it better.


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