Safer cities are integral to the overall health and well-being of the community. Preventing crimes against public areas is so important to attracting new families to live in your area, incentivizing businesses to open (or stay open) in your metropolitan area and keeping the people who live there safe from violence. The challenge is that many cities have these goals, but their solution to the shortage of manpower and needing to have more sets of eyes on larger areas is not producing the results. What is this solution that’s falling short of the objective of creating a safer city? It’s a reactive solution of standard surveillance cameras. The basic premise of the technology is solid: a bigger picture of public areas. The problem isn’t necessarily with the premise, it’s the execution. Here’s what we mean.
Cities struggle with the status quo.
The typical process goes something like this: someone (be it city maintenance staff or the public) discovers that a crime has been committed. The police are notified of the event. City staff has to spend hours scrubbing video footage to look for guilty parties. If found, this is provided to the police, who make a report. The end (and not a happy one, if you ask us). The biggest issue is that many cities follow a process of buying an inexpensive (or not so inexpensive) security camera as a cost-cutting measure and then are surprised that doing what they’ve always done means they get the same results they’ve always gotten (i.e. none). According to Einstein, that’s the definition of insanity.
There’s a better way to protect
The challenge with the “way we’ve always done it” is that it’s reactive. The entire process is predicated on acting after something has already happened. That’s too late for us to prevent vandalism or destruction of city property, a fire from starting or someone from being attacked. Sure, in a best-case scenario, there is the opportunity to bring the guilty parties to justice. That’s good, but it’s not as good as preventing the act from happening, or even as good as stopping it in the middle. After all, don’t we owe it to those we protect to prevent as much damage to our community as possible? So? the solution is discovering proactive technologies that provide the best of all scenarios: a complete record of the incident and the ability to bring authorities into the situation while there is still time to prevent at least a part of the activity.
The keys to proactive security are not in the future; they’re here
The future is here. The only question is whether you and your organization take advantage of all it has to offer. We don’t have to rely on standard surveillance cameras anymore. Some of the options available are absolutely outstanding. Let’s take a look at some of these innovations that could be contributing to a safer city for you right now:
Forget the ability to stop a crime in the middle, what if you had the resources to prevent violence from happening in the first place? With TipNow’s anonymous reporting software, those closest to potential bad actors could alert you to their plans and help you determine when intervention is needed.
Smart Cameras + Analytics
AI? has created a tremendous improvement in the functionality of surveillance cameras. Once you work with the right experts to program your cameras to your specific needs, you can set up alerts and triggers for suspicious activity to get immediate notification during the act and have instantaneous access to the footage surrounding those triggers after the act.
This is an amazing service solution available through our partners at Edgeworth Security, and it is the perfect marriage between the advanced analytics available through Avigilon security cameras and the human intervention that could stop a criminal mid-act. Whether it’s alerting law enforcement about the activity or the talk-down feature that allows the monitor staff to directly contact the perpetrator, having eyes on the ground can make a big impact on your city.
What does a proactive solution
Let’s talk about a better story: let’s say someone enters a public area in a suspicious manner (like it’s restricted or after hours) and you have a smart camera set up with analytics and a monitoring service. That service will be alerted of that suspicious activity as it starts, giving them so many more options, like alerting law enforcement or engaging in direct communication with the suspect to prevent them from committing the crime in the first place. That sounds like a much better story ending to us.