How Essence Security is combating increasing police response times


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In an exclusive article with SJA, Yaniv Amir, President of Essence USA, delves into the issue of police response times increasing for theft in the US and how his company aims to combat this.

Can you explain a bit more about why police response times have been increasing when it comes to theft in the US?

The increase in theft and response times is the culmination of a number of factors: fewer resources for law enforcement, response skepticism due to high false alarm rates and lack of innovation in modern day security products and services – all simultaneously leading to bolder and more dangerous criminal activity.

Cities across the country such as New York, New Orleans and Houston have been reporting rising police response times in the last few years.

As police nationwide face officer shortages, departments have had to rethink response procedures specifically when it comes to non-emergency crime, such as theft, to utilize staff efficiently.

Until now, police departments would aim to respond to each incident promptly, but a reduction in the police force naturally leads these first responders to classify calls and responses based on urgency.

When it comes to burglaries, police response times have lengthened and this shift is leading property owners to seek out alternative measures for protection, such as advanced surveillance systems.

Many advanced surveillance systems, particularly ones without video verification, struggle with false alarms that lead consumers to doubt their efficacy and cancel the service.

With limited defenses leading to heightened theft and increased police response time, property owners are seeking out a more proactive solution.

What is Essence Security’s proactive intervention device and how will it benefit the user?

Traditional SMB and residential security systems have remained stagnant with very few innovations over the years – reactive in nature, and only alerting property owners once a crime has been committed.

Essence Security offers a new approach, providing property owners with a proactive intervention solution. 

MyShield, the first all-in-one fog-generating intruder intervention and detection system fills a room with harmless, disorienting fog in under 30 seconds, forcing intruders off premises before they can cause harm to people or property.

Improving upon traditional security systems, which detect intrusion reactively, MyShield takes an active role in crime prevention by acting as a quick-arriving ‘first responder’.

With capabilities to remotely identify, verify and safely remove intruders from premises before they cause harm, MyShield allows users the power to respond and intervene immediately.

As the first standalone security fog device, MyShield is at the forefront of the battle against security threats, supporting local first responders by alleviating the burden with its ability to detect and swiftly intervene to prevent crime.

Empowering property owners to take direct action, MyShield enhances safety protocols and provides peace of mind to business owners and residents alike.

Why are its features so important for people in the US at the moment?

With extensive wait times when it comes to theft, property owners are seeking out quicker, more effective solutions. 

MyShield’s ability to deter intruders before they can cause damage, preventing crime proactively, allows property owners to take security into their own hands.

By deploying immediate protection that disrupts the intrusion through fog activation, MyShield offers a solution to false alarms and lengthy police response times by removing the threat to life or property in under a minute rather than waiting for first responder arrival.

The remote capabilities offered in MyShield allow for 24-hour protection and are particularly useful for property owners with properties that remain dormant for extended periods of time, including unrented or unoccupied offices, rental spaces, or vacation homes.

Easy-to-install, MyShield’s battery-powered system includes an integrated motion detector, high-definition video camera to eliminate false alarms, voice announcement and rapid action remote smoke deployment.

It utilizes cellular internet of things (IoT) networks and can be used as a standalone app-based solution or integrated into existing security systems, offering flexibility to users.

The low-maintenance device can be easily moved to ensure properties have 24/7 security on demand for reliable protection.

Why do you believe that police response times have slowed down for burglary?

Police response times in general have been slowing down nationwide, with cops in New York averaging a record high of 16 minutes and 12 seconds to respond to crimes in progress over the first four months of 2024.

Dealing with officer shortages, police departments around the country have tried to strategically allocate their staff, prioritizing specific emergencies.

Burglary response specifically has been widely impacted by the new designations across the country, in cities such as Pittsburgh and Dallas and resulted in an extreme slow-down in police response.

While this is an ongoing issue, security companies are devoted to ensuring they can lighten the burden by providing proactive solutions to ensure homes and commercial residences remain safe.

Compounding staffing shortages, security system false alarms prevent first responders from effectively responding to real security events by diverting time and attention away from them.

False alarms also contribute to this problem by conditioning first responders to assume events are false, decreasing their prioritization, increasing response time and costing an estimate of 1.8 billion dollars per year in the US.

How do you see the problem developing in the years to come?

The security products/services segment has the responsibility and the tools to mitigate this growing problem.

As police work to speed up response time no matter the kind of emergency, security solutions must continue to advance and provide added layers of protection to property owners through intervention technologies.

Security solutions like MyShield offer property owners added capabilities like customizing responses based on specific security needs, to not only deter and prevent criminal acts but ultimately reduce the strain on local first responders. 

Additionally, systems that incorporate video verification to reduce the false alarm rate is integral in solving this problem, as first responders will become more confident that calls are legitimate.

Security technology is set to play a crucial role in shaping crime prevention by rapidly thwarting and deterring crime, while helping mitigate the impact of reduced and overburdened police resources to ensure communities everywhere remain safe and protected.

Read more SJA exclusives here.

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