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United Security Services’ State-of-the-Art Video Command Center Builds Virtual Security Guards for its Clients

March 08, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Security is a huge cost for companies, but there are ways to make it more affordable. One of the newest is United Security Services’ state-of-the-art Video Command Center.

From an expansive, high-tech operations base in Chicago,

vcc_photo_with_caption.jpgwell-trained United Security personnel oversee video feeds from numerous buildings across the city and country — in effect serving as “virtual” security guards.
                                                                                        “Technology is advancing, and we want to be part of it so we can bring the most efficient concepts to our clients and give them alternatives,” says United Security Services Vice President Robert Tracy. “Because physical security sometimes comes at a great expense.”                                                                                                                                                                           Tracy knows what he’s talking about. A retired police veteran, he served in command positions with the Chicago and New York City police departments and has more than three     decades of law enforcement experience. His United Security colleagues — including former FBI agent Anthony D’Angelo, former private investigator Bill Callahan and former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy Garry F. McCarthy, President of GFM-Strategies — are similarly seasoned, with more than a century of collective experience among them. Moreover, Tracy says, United is bringing in top security professionals — its own and new hires — as well as top-tier IT specialists to set up and staff this potentially game-changing venture.

In a nutshell, here’s how it works: Footage from, say, an office building in Chicago’s Loop travels via high-speed digital T1 lines to United’s Video Command Center on the city’s Near South Side, where it is screened in real time. Thanks to sophisticated motion detection software, static shots are eliminated (who needs to stare at an empty laundry room?) and footage that contains movement is automatically brought to the forefront on monitors. United can even integrate a client’s existing video cameras, including older non-digital models, and make sure they’re optimally positioned for maximum coverage.

Additionally, a two-way audio connection enables Command Center staff members to communicate directly with the person or persons requesting entry to a building under surveillance. Individuals deemed suspicious (such as “drafters” who linger in vestibules and sneak in behind authorized residents) are easily questioned and, when necessary, turned away. If a crime is witnessed, the Command Center will quickly contact on-site security or call 9-1-1. They’ll also have a recording of the crime, and very likely a clear image of the perpetrator’s face, to show authorities.

In time, Tracy theorizes, Command Center surveillance could be expanded to events and trade shows through the use of portable cameras — particularly during move-ins and move-outs, when stealing is most common. “We’re starting to think outside the box,” he says, “to give more options to our clients.”

Naturally there are start-up costs involved with a revolutionary program like the Video Command Center, but Tracy says clients “will reap savings over physical security. Or, if they have physical security, we can help them find efficiencies that can make up for the cost, because technology is going to help supplement the physical security.”

“People are not going to want to give up their doormen,” he says, “but maybe they can reduce their hours without giving up safety to the building.”

Category: United Service Companies

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