Integrating Law Enforcement into Security
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- May 01, 2018
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?
Guendry: 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
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?
Guendry: 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
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.