Industry Professional

Integrating Law Enforcement into Security

Longtime law enforcement professional Gawain Guedry has joined Total Recall Corporation as a senior account executive representing the Western Region of the United States. Based in Las Vegas,

Guedry brings invaluable field experience to Total Recall and its parent company, Convergint Technologies. Guedry served the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for more than 25 years— working various assignments as a patrol officer, detective, and a commercial helicopter pilot and instructor—before achieving the ranks of patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, administrative lieutenant, detective lieutenant, and section commander. During his work with LVMPD, Gawain received a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and completed Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command.

Jensen: Why did you join Total Recall and Convergint Technologies?
The first part of my career was spent in law enforcement, as that was my desired profession since I was a young child. For the last seven years of my policing career, I was fortunate to have been part of an incredible team of “technical” law enforcement professionals. We had many responsibilities related to electronic surveillance and technical solutions; however, what brought me the most sense of accomplishment was our team’s role in designing and installing a citywide surveillance system for our city. After retiring, it did not take long for me to realize just how much I missed helping our community and serving others.

I researched opportunities in the private industry and quickly identified Total Recall Corp. and its parent company, Convergint Technologies, as leaders in public safety-based video surveillance solutions. They have been providing smart technologies to improve the capabilities of communities for years, they achieve their success through the collaborative efforts of teams of well-educated professionals, and they are companies founded on a core set of values and beliefs, fostering a unified culture of people committed to results.

In this role I can serve multiple communities at once by helping law enforcement and municipal leaders understand the ways public safety technology can improve quality of life for residents and tourists.

Jensen: What is your experience with video surveillance solutions for cities and governments?
Guendry: While working for law enforcement, my team was tasked with learning how to deploy surveillance technology within the city in which our agency had a geographical responsibility.

Early on, we decided to take a slow and methodical approach to the learning and technology deployment process. We sought the assistance of local academic partners; we developed surveys to understand the needs of our residents, business owners, and area-based first responders; we conducted meetings with governmental and nongovernmental leaders; and we talked to other municipalities who had deployed similar solutions.

Through this process, we gained a true understanding of what it meant to work together towards the shared goal of improving the quality of life for everyone who resided within, and visited, our community.

In addition, we learned that video surveillance solutions do make a difference when deployed in a manner consistent with the needs of a community. I was privileged to have talked directly with citizens and business owners who recognized the positive changes that occurred in their neighborhoods as a result of the public safety cameras we installed. I listened to them praise the increased safety aspects as a result of the technology and ask for additional equipment so that other neighbors would also realize the benefits they achieved.

What excites me now is that I have found that the tenets of the process I learned are easily replicated across communities. Law enforcement and municipal leaders have a shared responsibility of protecting their citizens, protecting their businesses, and ensuring a safe environment for everyone to thrive.

I am fortunate to have first-hand experience in what it takes to successfully deploy video surveillance solutions within a municipality.

Jensen: What needs to law enforcement, cities and government have that differ from a regulation commercial business?
Guendry: A significant differentiator between government and business centers is the need for tax revenue as a primary funding source. Government leaders who had budgetary responsibilities during the economic downturn of 2008 and 2009 garnered an immediate and long-lasting education on the need to maximize value on capital and smaller line-item expenditures.

Having been in a management position with budgetary responsibilities during that time, I needed reliable and well-designed technological solutions so that I would not have to worry about replacing equipment before the life expectancy was achieved. Had my team and I not planned and this occurred, it would likely have resulted in a negative impact on other budgetary mandates, potentially reducing or eliminating our ability to meet other needs.

This was another reason I was excited to join the Total Recall team, as they understand the budgetary constraints facing governmental leaders. My colleagues have been dedicated to developing solutions that are built to last and engineered to provide results that can enhance the capabilities of an organization’s human capital. Maximizing the value of every single tax dollar is critical to government leaders today.

Jensen: Do video surveillance systems for smaller cities differ from the needs of larger cities? How do Total Recall’s Crimeeye products service the needs of cities big and small?
I do not believe video surveillance needs differ based on the size of a city. All geographies experience crime and disorder, and you can calculate the resulting effect based on population size. While the quantifiable impact is realized through real crime data, it is achieved through the perception of safety by a community’s residents, business owners, and tourists.

Given this, a community member or visitor that feels unsafe in a small city is no different than one who feels unsafe in a large city.

What matters is that governmental leaders identify technological solutions that are designed to last and meet their technical and financial objectives. It is also important they develop a strategic plan to remediate the concerns of those affected by the crime. The solutions can then be scaled based on need and financial capability. This should be the case regardless of a city’s size.

Total Recall’s CrimeEye is a perfect solution for both small and large cities. Given the team’s experience with deploying citywide solutions across the country, and having recently been acquired by Convergint, the possibilities are endless. Total Recall’s solutions can be deployed on a temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent basis and scaled to meet current and future objectives.

Jensen: What has changed over the years in security and video surveillance in particular for law enforcement, cities and municipalities?
Guendry: For me, a critical, emerging capability is the proliferation of private- and business-based surveillance systems, and the ability to foster public-private partnerships.

A key strategy espoused by the Department of Homeland Security, including many local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, is the hope that citizens will “say something when they see something.” The premise behind that concept is a strategy designed around “force multiplication.” In simple terms, the more of us that watch for suspicious behavior, the better chance a serious issue can be resolved before it occurs. The same concept is starting to be recognized with video surveillance.

As technology efficiencies are incorporated by citizens and businesses, their video surveillance capabilities can be leveraged by local governments and police departments to enhance an existing infrastructure. The key component is for municipalities and law enforcement to have a technology backbone through which the privateand public-based solutions can be added. Once that is in place, the ability to stretch a limited and valuable tax base can be expanded through partnerships.

Jensen: What re the key components of a video surveillance system for cities, municipalities and law enforcement?
Guendry: If a customer were to do their own research and/or talk with a manufacturer or integrator, they would more than likely learn that basic components would include cameras and hardware associated with collecting video feeds, networking components responsible for delivering the resulting video to a monitoring location, and computer servers and a software platform for storing and viewing surveillance imagery.

Because I have worked as a member of a law enforcement and have experience deploying and working with video surveillance solutions, there are a few additional essential elements I would recommend to help achieve citywide safety.

First, I believe an absolute key component in the design and implementation of a successful citywide surveillance solution is the use of an educated, committed and service-oriented professionals who have substantial experience in this type of work. Public safety surveillance solutions are deployed to improve citywide security and serve as a proactive means through which criminal violators can be apprehended and successfully prosecuted. This means any surveillance solution implemented should be capable of providing video when it counts. A team that is not exposed to the many complications that can develop within complex citywide deployments may not be capable of guaranteeing long-term project success.

Second, as simple as this sounds, is the oft-forgotten component of maintenance. Whether it’s updating firmware, monitoring networking devices for connection issues, or simply cleaning camera domes due to inclement weather, a citywide solution requires a commitment to proactive maintenance to ensure effectiveness and reliability for the long term.

Finally, the third element is a commitment to understanding the needs of the community in which a video surveillance system is deployed. Through collaboration with key public and private stakeholders, potential concerns about privacy, evidence handling, and video monitoring can be addressed through the incorporation of policies and procedures.

This article originally appeared in the May 2018 issue of Security Today.

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