Friday, October 31, 2008

As cities cut back on their police force, will it increase the purchase of better security systems?

Buried behind the front page articles on the economy and the campaign was this interesting Wall Street Journal article about the drop in police positions in California. For my security customers, this could represent an increase in sales, as more and more communities will turn to surveillance cameras, wireless configurations, new doors and open architecture software systems. One client, HBMG, has introduced a wireless solution that allows the local police to have a video feed of construction projects. Another ABM Data Systems has a pending partnership with a video verification company.

The implementation of these solutions is still in its early development, but perhaps as more police administrators recognize the potential of a video feed that goes directly to a laptop where the officer can see a surveillance camera's video signal, it will help this Austin client grow in sales. Right now, most companies and home owners like me use a keypad alarm system which sends a signal to a monitoring station who then contacts the police. As many police and industry officials will tell you, about 90 to 95-percent of all keypad systems (think ADT and Brinks) are false alarms.

So, with the decrease in police in some communities, the movement to connect homes and businesses with a video feed like HBMG's ArmidaWare product could grow considerably. So, I see this trend as a chance to help my customers tell businesses and home owners why it's a good time to change their old system to one where a video system can monitor an intruder. The problem will be convincing my wife that an updated system is better than the current one. The folks at Brinks have done a good job of targeting her fears so getting a change will be a long uphill battle. Perhaps, we'll change it when we move to a new home someday.

Still, for those building or renovating their businesses and homes, the opportunity to upgrade a security system is something they should address with their builder and architect.

1 comment:

Sam said...

The logic here generally holds, but there are two important issues:

1. A bad economy means consumers and businesses will cut back just as much as police forces. How are they going to afford new security systems?

2. People need to understand how to use video as evidence and to gather video that's actually helpful. It's possible more criminals will be caught in the act, but it's more likely we'll just have a lot of video of bad guys doing bad things. If we can't tell who the bad guy is, all it results in is depressing footage.