Outdoor assets and parking lots can be particularly difficult to secure, especially outside of business hours. You can hire 24/7 physical guards, but there are limitations to their view and ability to intervene safely in dangerous situations. After thirty years of experience in providing physical guard services, BOS Security introduced our remote video monitoring solution, VirtuGuard™ to bypass security limitations of physical guarding.
What Are VirtuGuard™ Virtual Security Guard Services?
VirtuGuard™ connects to the security cameras and other infrastructure and advanced technology on our client properties to monitor the activity and security of the internal and external property in real-time. Through virtual guard tours and alarms triggered by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) technology, our Command Center receives an alarm noting the exact location of abnormal activities or behaviors. A virtual guard then views the live video surveillance of the area, observing the event to verify potential threats, weed out false alarms, and respond appropriately according to pre-established client policies and procedures.
The main goal of VirtuGuard™ is crime prevention through proactive and reactive security response to protect a site and its patrons. Not to mention, implementing a virtual guard system is a cost-effective solution to security risk and events.
The incident outlined in this article details how interactive remote video monitoring worked to prevent a potentially fatal altercation.
Outdoor Security Service for Busy Shopping Center
A high-traffic outdoor shopping center chose to implement both VirtuGuard™ remote monitoring services and onsite physical guards to combat smash and grabs, loitering, panhandling, and other security concerns within their outdoor property. Businesses within the center include retail establishments, a grocery store, restaurants, service providers, a Planet Fitness gym, and more.
Onsite guards are on the property for 16 hours a day, from 6am to 10pm, leaving the property under the supervision of VirtuGuard™ for 8 hours overnight. Responsibilities of the physical security guard include completing regular patrols of the property and being available for the tenants to call in the case of a disturbance, suspected shoplifting, or other suspicious or illegal activity.
In addition to the physical guard hours, the property is monitored 24/7 by virtual security guards through onsite security cameras and a Mobile Surveillance Trailer that is parked in the main parking lot to observe foot traffic, specifically outside of Planet Fitness which is open 24 hours Monday-Thursday.
Security Solutions: Mobile Surveillance Trailer
Perfect for rapid, temporary, or long-term deployment, the Mobile Surveillance Trailer is equipped with:
- Solar power and cellular data, making it self-sufficient
- Multiple 180 ° cameras
- Pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras
- Two-way audio speaker used to speak down to employees, visitors, trespassers, and others as needed
- Strobe lights that can be activated as a deterrent to trespassers
Remote Guarding Stops Crime in Progress
Early on a Saturday morning at 3:24am, VirtuGuard™ received an alarm in the Command Center, triggered by AI technology on the Mobile Surveillance Trailer. Command Center Agents immediately began observing the area covered by the cameras, observing three individuals running around the parking lot. The three individuals were wearing black hooded sweatshirts with the hoods up, black pants, and gray or white shoes.
Right after VirtuGuard™ became aware of the activity, one individual appeared to pull out a gun before pointing it at the other two people. After seeing this, a virtual guard immediately activated the strobe lights on the surveillance trailer and initiated the emergency voice down procedure to engage with the individuals. Through the speaker attached to the trailer, an Agent made an audio announcement, saying to the people, “To the individuals in the parking lot, you are being live monitored and recorded. Police have been notified and are on their way.”
At the same time, another Agent was calling local law enforcement, providing details of the location and the activity of the individuals. After hearing the audio warning, all three people started running through the parking lot, going in the direction of a Chik-Fila-A. The person who had pulled out the weapon appeared to be chasing the other individuals in that direction.
The apparent chase continued through another parking lot, leading them near the KFC nearby before they exited all camera views. As this was taking place, VirtuGuard™ remained on the line with a police dispatcher, updating them on their movements and activity to better prepare the patrol officer who would be arriving soon.
Soon after, VirtuGuard™ observed a local patrol car enter the property with its emergency lights activated.
Out of precaution, VirtuGuard™ remote guards continued to monitor the area closely while leaving the strobe lights active throughout the morning. The three individuals never returned to the property.
Interactive Remote Monitoring Can Deter and Prevent Crime
VirtuGuard™ remote video monitoring’s proactive and reactive approach to security sets out to prevent security concerns before they occur or quickly intervene to deescalate or respond to an event in real time. Rather than reacting to an event or concern after it has already happened, VirtuGuard™ Command Center Agents are highly trained and skilled to intervene effectively and efficiently, while maintaining an established brand friendly response.
Had the parking lot been unsecured and unmonitored, a potentially fatal shooting could have occurred and been left unnoticed until patrons arrived at the shopping center hours later. Incidents like this damage the reputation of a shopping center and in turn reduce the customer traffic of the stores.
Rather than the security cameras being used to record and reference after something has already occurred, interactive remote monitoring allowed for virtual guards to virtually engage with the individuals immediately through the audio speaker. By alerting the individuals that they were being monitored and that local authorities were already dispatched, the individuals removed themselves from the property and the virtual guards disrupted what could’ve been a deadly confrontation.
Two weeks prior to this event, VirtuGuard™, in collaboration with the onsite physical guard, intervened in an incident where a male was making violent threats to other patrons. The Command Center Agents were able to dispatch local police who then arrested and removed the man from the complex where he was threatening other guests.
In the short time BOS Security has been in contract with the shopping center, tenants have expressed that their business has increased, as their customers feel safer knowing that the site is being monitored proactively.
Prioritize proactive security for your internal and external property today by working with BOS Security. Whether your concerns are theft, vandalism, loitering, shrinkage, or general safety, complete the contact form below to speak with one of our industry experts. Increase customer, staff, or resident satisfaction by improving your approach to security.