Ready for the Showdown
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Mar 01, 2016
All signs are pointing to Las Vegas for ISC
West. Even though I’m writing this two
months ahead of the show, it is pretty much
all that is on my mind, as far as work is concerned.
I’ve had a couple of interesting security experiences
that are worth noting. Not long ago, my wife’s
company, a financial institution, bought a new building
and planned for an upgrade. Not long after that
purchase, I received a call from their IT guy. He wanted
to know if taking out the old analog system from
the previous location would be detrimental to use in
the new building.
Of course they could use the old system, but why
would you? My logic was that because they were moving
into a new building, and there were crews inside
refurbishing the facility, it seemed like their best decision
was to switch to IP networked cameras so you
can actually see what’s going on.
After their due diligence, the bank installed several
IP cameras, and to their pleasant surprise, it took fewer
cameras than they thought it might, and the images
were better. Well, you could see what’s going on. The
bank president was pleased because he could pull the
system up on a mobile device and get a clear picture,
day or night.
Another one of my security experiences includes
my granddaughter. She attends a day school, and the
first thing I looked for when shopping for a school
was the security. As she turned two, she moved up to
a new classroom, and that meant different cameras.
As it turns out, the cameras are analog and it’s pretty
tough to pick her out of the crowd.
I’m guessing when the cameras were installed a
few years ago, it was not done with a qualified and/
or certified security integrator. It looks to me like the
contracted electrician put the security system in place.
I complained, mightily.
It would seem that I’m the only person that accesses
the video system during the school day. Maybe I’m
an overprotective grandpa, but that’s my job. I protested
the location of the cameras as one was pointed
from the top shelf of a bookcase and the other was
placed in a spot that looked upon a spot in which children
never were seen.
I tried to explain to the day school that the system
was archaic. If parents, or in my case, the grandpa,
were paying for high-quality childcare, it should come
with high-quality surveillance equipment. The school
heard my cries for help and finally changed out the
cameras, but to my surprise, the cameras were purchased
at a local, or nearby Big Box home improvement
store. The so-called improvement was not really
a step in the right direction.
Again, I complained mightily, but to no avail.
Part of the reason I’m excited about ISC West is a
first-run view of today’s newest products. From those
manufacturers that I’ve spoken with, there will be lots
of new technology for the integrator and end user.
These products are what stick in my mind when I am
asked about the system at my wife’s place of business
or the security systems in my granddaughter’s classroom.
I know how good the security can be.
One important product that I’ve brushed aside,
which I realize now I should not have, is the use and
technology of body worn cameras for law enforcement.
The general public has recently coined the phrase,
“Shoot first, ask questions later” when referring to
the policies of law enforcement officers. There have
been protests and riots to show the growing concern
for those killed by police officers. The bottom line is,
police have a difficult job, at best. I’m not saying everything
that we’ve seen lately is justified, but it is the
law enforcement official that is putting his/her life on
the line. It is certainly not those who would protest.
My last and final security experience revolves
around the body worn cameras on police officers.
In a recent story from Salt Lake City, a police officer
responded to a reported car accident. The driver
of the damaged car fled on foot and when the officer
approached him, to determine if he needed medical
help, he was gunned down. There were no protests
over this unwarranted killing.
My nephew, a sheriff’s deputy, was first to respond
to the officer down call. He certainly didn’t expect
what he found, and could only hold the officer as he
slipped from this life.
So, yes, body cameras are needed. The sooner the
better, and hopefully police and sheriffs’ departments
will start to provide this necessary technology. If not
for the protection of the general public, then for the
validation of what police actually go through on a
I love ISC West and the opportunity to see the newest
technology, as these new products play a very important
role in my daily life. I hope to see you there.
This article originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of Security Today.