Security Cameras vs. Security Officers
Many times decision makers are faced with making choices during security planning between investment in security officers or Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) systems.
It is easy to understand that with todayâsÂ competitive environment, organizationsÂ seek to save money any way possible. Â Emerging developments in camera technology, combined with inexpensive high speed internet connections, makes CCTV coverageÂ betterÂ and less expensiveÂ technology than ever before. Â While wages and bill rates for guard services haveÂ remainedÂ fairlyÂ consistent over the past few years, a camera isÂ still cost competitiveÂ especially when compared to high quality security staffing. Â With the newÂ artificialÂ intelligence, the surveillance cameraÂ system software can even effectively interpret motion, sound alarms, alert remote monitoring stations, play messages over a loud speaker, turn on lights, etc. This makes them a real alternative in many ways. SoÂ those areÂ the pluses, what about the down side? Â WhileÂ it may be true that CCTV has come a long way, it still has its limitations. Can it hear glass breaking, can it smell smoke from a fire, can it get that âfeelingâ a good guard gets whenÂ someoneÂ or something âjustÂ isnât rightâ, can it tell a slow driver from one whoâs âcasing the jointâ? Â No of course not. Â Can it help a customer, answer a phone, wave (or not wave as the case Â may be) to the passing policeÂ vehicleÂ to signalÂ everything isÂ OK, or not OKâŠ as the case may be? No certainly not. Cameras do deter some small percentage of criminal activity, but many crimes are committed on camera.Â Cameras can not escort unauthorized parties from the premises, or take notes from a witness. Perhaps most importantly in higher risk areas, a camera can not stop a violent criminal act before people are harmed. A highly trained professional security officer can intervene to stop criminal activity, and in the case of Paladin Securityâs past performance this has benefited our clients on many occasions.
CCTV is a very valuable tool in many security applications. However, it can not be considered as a replacement for capable âliveâ security staff on site protecting locations, assets, people, and the interests of the client. Cameras are good for documenting event that may assist in the prosecution of criminals but they cannot provide protective services.