Remote Video Monitoring

By: Randy Bragg, MBA, MISM

Five of the most common uses of remote video monitoring include:

Real time/constant monitoring - Remote video monitoring may be used on a constant and real time basis. In this type of situation dispatchers are constantly watching one or more live camera feeds to identify predetermined activity. Just like having a full time security officer on site, the dispatcher is constantly watching on-site activity.

Monitoring by alerts/alarms/sensors - Remote video monitoring may be implemented using a series of alerts, alarms and sensors. In the case when any of these are tripped, the camera is activated and immediately appears on the dispatcher’s screen. This allows the dispatcher to verify if the alarm is "real" or "false" and he/she can then immediately notify local authorities.

Loss Prevention - Video surveillance has generally been used for loss prevention. Typically a loss prevention agent on-site will monitor a store/facility for suspicious activities using the video surveillance system and then notify other on-site loss prevention officers of the situation and assist them in taking appropriate action. The dispatcher can maintain constant contact with the on-site loss prevention officers in order to coordinate a response or they can contact local law enforcement depending on client instructions.

Virtual Guard Tours - Live tours of the site may be conducted at random or predetermined times using a series of cameras to check all designated areas. The use of a virtual guard tour provides a documented video of what was seen at the time. Audio may also be used to either (1) listen for unusual sounds or (2) to "talk" to persons on site. Virtual guard tours may also be used to "escort" employees out of a location after closing and to monitor other predetermined activities that require increased security.

Virtual Secret Shopper - Many businesses use secret shoppers to verify customer service levels and detect employee theft. In addition, these types of programs are ineffective on identifying one of the most common types of employee thefts - giving away product to regular customers. The use of a virtual secret shopper program eliminates both of these drawbacks. Through the use of video surveillance systems (with or without audio functions) dispatchers can watch the actions of employees to ensure (1) customer service standards are maintained and (2) they do not engage in many common forms of theft.

Remote video monitoring enables trained dispatchers to guard your business and easily detect and eliminate security problems while reducing overall security-related costs.

Article reprinted with permission of Randy Bragg/Brownstone Companies.

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