SJA Exclusive: Remote guarding – creating a culture of security

Remote guarding - man at desk with monitors and security radio

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Elite Interactive explores the advantages of utilizing remote guarding to protect people, places and assets.

Every individual has the right to feel safe and secure as they go about their daily tasks – at work, while shopping, etc. Yet at times it seems that all we hear about is the acts of violence that dominate the news. With so many stories about workplace shootings, racially-motivated violence and seemingly random attacks, it is almost easy to forget the more mundane and yet more common threats.

For example, property crime in the US happens much more frequently than violent crime, with the most recent FBI reports reflecting a total of 2,109.9 property crimes per 100,000 people, compared with 379.4 violent crimes.

It is therefore the responsibility of business owners and employers to cultivate a culture of security to fight against threats, both perceived and real. This means implementing robust security measures that not only deter and detect crime but prevent it as well.

Stakeholders need to both see and understand the various ways in which they are being protected to help them feel secure in the spaces they inhabit. A sense of security is not a feeling to be overlooked, having the potential to affect everything from workplace productivity to society at large.

Security, safety and the big picture

The key to developing a culture of security is to create an environment in which employees, visitors and contractors can feel safe while also rightly assuming their safety.

However, many stakeholders tend to falsely assume they are always safe because there are security solutions currently in place designed to deter and/or detect crime, such as an alarm system or standard surveillance system. These solutions tend to be passive in nature and lack preventative measures.

Effective security solutions must be unobtrusive to foster an environment that people want to be in. Feelings of safety, security and warmth matter, particularly in a workplace, because these contribute largely to an organization’s success. A lack of such feelings can lead to poor mental health and mistrust, ultimately leading to lessened productivity and even a hostile work environment. Employees require a space where they feel safe, both physically and mentally, to truly thrive within an organization.

Creating a culture of security should also extend to customers and guests. Organizations will spend thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars on building spaces that will attract customers and ensure their comfort. However the bottom line is that no matter how visually appealing or great a space is, people will not go there if they do not feel safe. This is especially true if a crime does occur on property, as this can negatively affect public perception of an organization and ultimately impact their bottom line.

Lastly, the safety of those employed to keep people safe is also worth consideration yet too often goes overlooked. For example, organizations often hire guards to patrol areas during and after hours. Many of these individuals are simply used as a visual deterrent to discourage criminals and are not trained to engage with them.

This not only puts these individuals in harms way, but also contributes to a false sense of security. Even professionally deployed law enforcement officials deserve to feel safe in the environments they protect. Creating a culture of security is therefore just as much a matter of corporate social responsibility and the greater community as it is the organization itself.

Remote guarding is the answer

One of the best ways to create a culture of security is by implementing a guard replacement solution using proprietary security intelligence and 100% verified police calls resulting in law enforcement support and priority response. This “digital guard” solution has proven effective in preventing crime 96% of the time in non-violent situations without involving police dispatch. The result is a safe environment for those who work in, visit and serve a deploying organization without the costs and inefficiencies of other security solutions.

Advanced remote guarding solutions work by using AI security technologies to autonomously identify anomalies at a client’s location, such as when an individual or vehicle appears on premises during off hours. Once an anomaly is detected, the AI driven system analyzes and determines if it is a false or non-security event in real-time. If the incident is determined to be non-threatening, it is dismissed, effectively eliminating a false alarm. 

Events identified as being potential or imminent threats are managed by experienced security professionals with law enforcement or military backgrounds who immediately engage the individual(s) directly via two-way audio technology (coined “voice downs”). The goal of voice downs is to deter and stop the perpetrator’s intended behavior by having them leave prior to causing property damage, theft of inventory or threatening life safety.

This ‘deterrent’ function is by far the most frequent engagement, with the majority of voice downs resulting in the prevention of crime without law enforcement involvement.

However, if the perpetrator fails to listen to voice down commands, crimes are escalated to local law enforcement partners for further intervention, detainment or ultimately arrest. With a remote guarding solution in place, local law enforcement agencies are confident when responding because they know that the call is 100% verified.

Not only does this prompt a priority response, but also saves local law enforcement teams valuable time and resources. Officer’s time and efforts can now be better spent responding to other emerging events within the community, again contributing to the bigger picture of community safety.

Why remote guarding?

Beyond its ability to prevent and deter crime, an established digital guard solution provider offers a holistic solution that eliminates security vulnerabilities and mitigates risks, while reducing costs and risks associated with traditional security guards. As security guards are contracted to only observe and report, their effectiveness is limited. The ongoing labor shortage has also created a smaller hiring pool for guards, increasing their prices while limiting their availability.

Remote guarding overcomes these challenges, offering 24/7 coverage of an environment without the hefty price tag and risk associated with traditional security guards.

Additionally, remote guarding creates a culture of security by addressing security threats in a largely non-invasive manner. The voice down process attempts to de-escalate crime without an in-person police response. This non-combative approach eliminates potential confrontation with traditional guards while also protecting the safety of law enforcement responders. All stakeholders involved can feel better knowing their involvement in addressing security concerns is largely limited, with the reduced possibility of physical escalation.

Company stakeholders can also find comfort in the knowledge that under the protection of remote guarding, they are afforded additional layers of security that go beyond legacy surveillance or guarding services. Today’s top performing remote guarding solutions are resilient, offering continuous system​ diagnosis to ensure proper functionality.

Cyber-risk management is further integrated to protect critical systems and sensitive information from digital attacks. For even higher levels of security, modern remote guarding solutions can further integrate with existing access control systems and license plate recognition technology.

A holistic culture of security 

The result of remote guarding deployment is a security solution that stakeholders can see and understand, but does not make them feel as though they are living and working in prison-like conditions. People are free to come and go under the 24/7/365 watch of both trained technology and people.

First responders can also feel confident that their resources are actively addressing real concerns with their personal safety also being taken into consideration. This ultimately creates a workplace and community culture of security that improves quality of life, increases economic activity and strengthens community bonds.

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