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How Video Verification Will Shape the Future of Retail Security


Whether it’s a blustery storm that rattles your windows, or an employee who forgot their keys behind the counter, everyone has experienced the initial panic that ensues after accidentally tripping a security system alarm.

According to various police agencies, over 95% of triggered security system alarms turn out to be false due to natural causes or human error. The remaining 5% can be the ultimate difference for a business and its employees, and in some cases, life or death. Communities across the nation are reviewing whether vital first responders are being deployed as efficiently and intentionally as possible. One solution on the rise is video verification technology and services.

Video verification is the use of interactive video monitoring to validate emergency situations and provide real-time intelligence to first responders. If an alarm is triggered, a central station operator can view both live video and clips from multiple cameras taken pre- and post-event to make appropriate dispatch decisions. Over 30 municipalities nationwide already legally require video verification before assigning police and other emergency aid to a security system alarm. These regions are deemed “non-response cities.”

So what does this mean for business owners, how should you approach video verification and why does it matter? One thing is for sure; one solution does not fit all. At ADT, we have representatives available in 200 different locations throughout the U.S. who understand unique security concerns, such as video verification, need to be addressed from a hyperlocal perspective.

Video verification takes the guesswork out of retail monitoring

In the past, video recording technologies have served in a passive capacity, providing proof after a crime for evidence. Criminals, however, have smartened up to these practices, executing countermoves by covering their faces with ski masks, for example. Today, video verification technology and processes allow a dynamic, real-time defense mechanism that enables business owners to take control of their security as an incident is happening.

Video verification maximizes time and effort of first responders

Along with the real-time monitoring, video verification provides valuable context that is vital to first responders. How many individuals are involved? Are they armed? Is anyone injured? Have they fled the scene or are they still on-site? Any number of variables can impact the way in which first responders approach a scene.

Real-time imaging provides detailed information to keep authorities, respondents and employees as safe as possible. Additionally, this context allows call centers to conduct a situation analysis and dispatch authorities with higher priority while crimes are in-progress.

There are also financial implications of video verification technology. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Justice, some agencies have recorded a sharp drop in the time allocated to investigating lower priority crime such as petty theft and fugitive tracking. With video advancements, first responders are able to operate more efficiently, and reduce costs and time associated with an emergency dispatch.

The human interaction remains a key piece in the security and automation space

Similar to many trends we see today, human interaction remains the core of smart technology. At ADT, the integration of tech and human intelligence is vital in order to deliver the best possible security. Having a professional on the other end to translate contextual inputs into an actionable output is a process requiring a seamless partnership.

Policy, technology and security are all complex topics, but when they come to a head under one issue, such as video verification, it can be overwhelming. Having a knowledgeable consultant is key to staying in the know about this movement. For retailers, regardless of locale, now is the time to think about video verification and how it impacts your business.

Luis Orbegoso is president of ADT Business.

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