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Drive-by Patrols: Make the Switch from Physical to Virtual

Drive-by Patrols: Make the Switch from Physical to Virtual

If you are researching security solutions for your business, you may have read about drive-by patrols. Drive-by patrols are often conducted by a security professional hired through a third-party company to check a property or area periodically without a specific purpose or incident to respond to.  

Because security professionals are not responding to specific incidents and are only physically present at the property for a limited amount of time, drive-by patrols are not always effective at preventing or responding to security incidents quickly and efficiently. Because of its disadvantages, another security solution like VirtuGuard™ remote video monitoring may be better suited to your business. 

Disadvantages of Drive-by Patrols 

Drive-by patrols are limited in their reach and ability to prevent or deescalate security breaches. Those disadvantages include: 

Effectiveness of Drive-by Patrols

The effectiveness of drive-by patrols is limited due to their nature. Security Officers patrol the area in their vehicle periodically at scheduled intervals. The lack of security presence during the large gaps in time leaves room for unwanted or illegal activity to occur without being detected by a drive-by patrol. 

Additionally, security professionals conducting drive-by patrols may not have time to thoroughly inspect a property for disturbances or respond to disturbances quickly.

Lack of Deterrence

Scheduled and periodic drive-by patrols can be studied by criminals. They take account of when patrols occur and plan their trespass, vandalism, or theft during the gaps between patrols. Drive-by patrols are less likely to deter criminals than an onsite physical Security Officer or proactive remote video monitoring.

Inadequate Response Time

If a security issue arises during a gap between patrols, it may take several minutes for the patrol officer to return to the property. The delayed response to an incident may allow criminals to escape or cause property damage. Additionally, there is a risk of criminal behavior going entirely unnoticed until damage or crime has already occurred.

High Cost

Drive-by patrols can be costly, as they require designated security personnel and the use of a vehicle. The cost of periodic patrols can be disproportionate to the actual amount of time a security professional spends on your property. 

Limited Surveillance

Drive-by patrols are limited to areas that a vehicle can drive through. Security professionals focus on the visible areas and may miss threats or suspicious activity that occur in less visible and accessible areas on your property.

Reactive in Nature

Drive-by patrols are not proactive, but instead are reactive. The focus is on responding to and resolving an incident after it has already occurred but less concerned with actively preventing security issues or addressing potential risks.

Lack of Documentation

Documentation of a clear record of activities and incidents is reliant on the security professional conducting the patrols. A lack of documentation can be problematic when trying to investigate security issues and even the effectiveness of security measures.

Dependence on Human Factors

Drive-by patrols are reliant on the vigilance and attention of the security professionals. This is not always consistent, as security professionals can become complacent and less diligent over time, which can reduce the effectiveness of patrols.

If an incident occurs during a drive-by patrol and is not handled effectively or according to set protocols, questions can arise about the level of responsibility of the security provider. Inadequate documentation and response can also lead to legal complications and liabilities.

Better Alternatives

There are more effective and affordable security solutions than drive-by patrols. Remote video monitoring can remotely observe and respond to security breaches or threatening activity at your property.

VirtuGuard™ Remote Video Monitoring

VirtuGuard™ remote video monitoring is a comprehensive security solution that can be tailored to your property and your security needs. From our Command Centers, VirtuGuard™ Agents can remotely monitor surveillance cameras and other security infrastructure throughout your property. When a threat or abnormal activity is detected, Agents react immediately based on protocols we develop with your team during onboarding.

Virtual Patrols

Most similar to drive-by or foot patrols conducted by security professionals, virtual patrols of your property are conducted through surveillance cameras throughout your property. These can also be conducted in the interior of the building without requiring physical access afterhours.

Virtual patrols can be conducted at random or regularly scheduled intervals and can operate around the clock or at predetermined times. If your property is spread across multiple locations, virtual patrols can assess the state of each area and react to abnormal or illegal activity in an instant.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Alarm Response

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other advanced video analytics or sensors can be applied to your surveillance cameras for further proactivity. When applied, AI can detect and alert VirtuGuard™ Agents of activity occurring on your property. This includes detecting motion and visually verifying whether an alert was triggered by a viable threat or an environmental factor, like wildlife or tree branches waving. 

AI allows Agents to respond to events that might not have been detected by the human eye during a proactive patrol. Proactive detection enables Agents to respond more quickly and appropriately to security events before they arise or escalate.

Deter with Two-Way Audio

Installing two-way audio speakers throughout your property is another way to deter and address illegal or unwanted activity at your property. When activity like a trespass is detected by VirtuGuard™, Agents can issue prerecorded or live voice commands to directly interact with people who should not be at your property.  

If an unauthorized individual is detected entering your property, an Agent might deliver this audio message: “To the man in the red baseball cap: [Business Name] is closed for the evening. Please return during normal business hours at 9am-5pm.” 

If a gentler command does not urge the individual to leave the property, an Agent can deliver another, firmer message like: “[Business Name] is closed for the day. Please vacate the premises and return tomorrow from 9am-5pm for services. Failure to leave the premises will be considered trespassing and will result in police response.” 

Voice commands are an effective deterrent for unwanted activity occurring on your property. However, if unwanted activity persists despite the voice warnings, VirtuGuard™ can escalate the response to resolve any incident that is threatened or in progress.

Collaboration with Onsite Security or Local Police

VirtuGuard™ collaborates with both onsite Security Officers and local law enforcement agencies to resolve security incidents that arise on your property. If you utilize onsite guards, Agents can direct them to specific locations where activity is detected. This prepares the guard for the incident they will be responding to, keeping them safer by knowing what to expect when arriving.  

If you do not utilize onsite Security Officers, VirtuGuard™ can report incidents to local law enforcement agencies. Agents can relay essential information to police, like the exact location of the incident, physical descriptions of people involved, details about relevant vehicles, and more. By relaying vital information to police, responding officers can be best prepared to deescalate a security incident at your property safely and effectively.

Detailed Incident Reporting

For each incident that occurs and is resolved on your property, VirtuGuard™ generates a detailed report summarizing the event with images of the event. These reports are given to your primary contact. If a criminal act occurs on your property, VirtuGuard™ can assist police in their investigation with detailed incident reports and photo and video evidence of the incident.

Switch From Drive-by Patrols to Virtual Patrols by VirtuGuard™

Opting for virtual patrols and remote video monitoring instead of periodic drive-by patrols for your property will enhance your security measures. By utilizing technology, VirtuGuard™ can provide a more cost-effective and proactive security plan customized to your needs.  

Advantages of virtual patrols include: 

  • Monitoring available 24/7/365 or during specified hours 
  • Real time alerts to activity 
  • More affordable than drive-by patrols or physical security services 
  • Greater deterrence of unwanted or illegal activity 
  • Documentation and evidence 
  • Reduced human error 
  • Can be easily scaled to cover large areas or multiple locations 
  • Improved accountability of security professionals 
  • Easily integrated with other security measures 
  • Reduced risk of confrontation with intruders 

If you are considering drive-by patrols as a security solution for your business, VirtuGuard™ may be the solution for you. More proactive at preventing security breaches and more effective at responding to and resolving incidents, VirtuGuard™ can patrol your property for abnormal activity.  

Interested in learning more? Contact BOS Security today or learn more at 

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