Could early detection and remote response saved a life?
Could early detection and remote response have de-escalated the incident where police killed an unarmed college student at a Texas car dealership?
On Friday, August 7, 2015, a police officer shot and killed a man who smashed his car into the Classic Buick GMC auto dealership in Arlington, Texas.
- Around 1 a.m., police were contacted by the security company that monitors security cameras at the dealership to report a suspected burglary in progress.
- Police were advised by the security company that someone had driven a car onto the lot, started to damage another car, and then drove his own vehicle through the glass front of the showroom.
- Two police officers entered the dealership and approached the subject as other officers set a perimeter around the dealership. An altercation ensued and the police fatally shot the suspect.
Dealerships present a complex security challenge for multiple reasons. Dealerships stock high-end models for the public to see, and thus are placing high-value assets out in the open, where theft and damage can occur. This approach is imperative to the success of their business as open & customer-friendly venues attract and invite buyers; so, virtually no dealerships have fences or barriers to prevent access. They also have indoor and outdoor areas that require security including repair depots, show rooms, service bays, paint shops, and more. While car dealerships invite customers to browse, they also need to seek protection from unauthorized personnel accessing the site after hours. For security professionals, one thing is clear from this tragedy — security cameras and monitoring might detect, but can’t prevent a tragedy.
Auto dealership owners must strike the right balance between serving customers and operational costs associated with protecting their business and assets. On-site security guards may seem like an effective option, but the added costs of paying salaries, benefits, and providing the necessary equipment to effectively respond can add up quickly. Further, human error, constant monitoring, and personnel risk add to the cost of this approach.
A typical CCTV system with a DVR or NVR might record a crime, but not actively alarm and alert the proper authorities to prevent a crime. In many localities, visual verification of a threat is also required even before police are dispatched. So the typical auto dealership might have appropriate security to provide forensic evidence after a crime, but why not employ pro-active preventative measures to prevent a crime? Auto dealerships should have an effective & reliable security system for the lowest possible cost to support their business model.
In the case of the Arlington dealership, they relied on surveillance cameras monitored remotely by a security company. It appears the trigger for the security monitoring was not at the perimeter but alarmed when the suspect drove his car through the showroom glass window, no doubt setting off motion detectors. This was way too late — significant damage and crime had already occurred— with a tragic outcome.
The Xtralis® solution for perimeter protection provides very early and reliable detection at the edge of a property with innovative intrusion detection technology. Using few security cameras and advanced video content analytics (VCA) running on a Remotely Managed Multi-service Gateway™ (RMG) will accurately detect and alarm for perimeter intrusion threats with great reliability to allow for preventative action. The Xtralis detection solution is a true electronic first responder; with audio talk-down from a remote location many threats can be eliminated before they escalate. In extreme circumstances, like that in Arlington, TX, Xtralis solutions also assist police and first responders with real-time visual situational intelligence.
There are a variety of detection capabilities on the market. Xtralis detection technology is unique, based on decades of innovation, and testing based on thousands of hours of actual footage, ranging from environmental, seasonal, and time of day variations to ensure Xtralis analytics achieve low false alarm rates while maintaining high detection probability and reliability. The Xtralis video content analytics employed in the award-winning Xtralis IntrusionTrace™ engine is i-LIDS® certified as a primary detection system for operational alert in sterile zone monitoring applications. This standard, for Intelligent Detection Systems (i-LIDS) is the UK government’s benchmark for video analytics (VA) systems. It has been developed by the Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) in partnership with the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and is recognized worldwide for its demanding requirements. IntrusionTrace is deployed worldwide for the primary protection of perimeters. The i-LIDS certification for IntrusionTrace is a badge of excellence in security. Xtralis solutions have maintained this certification for over 10 years.
Protecting car dealerships is complex because the system has to be immune to false alarms associated with swaying vegetation, flags, clouds, animals, insects, and more. Xtralis IntrusionTrace delivers the highest rate of detection combined with the lowest rate of false alarms.
In addition to IntrusionTrace, Xtralis also offers LoiterTrace™, a video analytic to detect unauthorized loitering in a protected zone. LoiterTrace has been proven very effective for car dealerships with extensive deployments in Europe. In the case of Arlington, if LoiterTrace was deployed the entire situation could have been managed differently. Prior to the intrusion alarm, the security monitoring company would have received a LoiterTrace alarm as the suspect approached or entered certain areas of the car lot & building.
Even with Xtralis, early detection isn’t enough. Once the intruder has been detected by our intrusion detection technology, reliable transmission of the alarm and visual verification is imperative to establish the threat, evaluate the situation, and deliver the appropriate response. An Xtralis RMG with IntrusionTrace and LoiterTrace analytics delivers very early detection and ensures reliable transmission of the threat event to a remote monitoring station.
Depending on the Xtralis RMG selected, a system can scale up to 32 IP HD cameras with up to 32 channels of analytics running simultaneously. In Arlington, the first responders were dispatched to a developing situation where they relied on the information verbally given to them by the security company. They didn’t know if the suspect was armed, had accomplices, etc. and did not have any remote visual verification capability that could assist with effective response. A tragic loss of life was the result.
ACI Protection, a leading security company and central monitoring station that protects many car dealerships throughout the U.S., utilizes Xtralis solutions to provide early detection, visual verification, and remote response. The Xtralis system enables operators to act as soon as a potential threat is detected. Each operator can support multiple dealerships, because they don’t need to constantly view surveillance cameras waiting for a threat event to occur; Xtralis IntrusionTrace alarms and directs them to the appropriate site and camera viewing the scene. The operators can visually verify the threat and remotely warn off the intruder with audio talk-back. Potential intruders can be notified in real-time that they are being watched and that the Police have been informed and are enroute. In the majority of cases, the intruders leave the premises upon hearing the audio warning – preventing the crime from ever taking place. In the case of the Arlington tragedy, the security company could have de-escalated the threat and avoided the altercation between the suspect and police.
Another aspect to consider is the benefit of remote monitoring and situational awareness. Xtralis provides applications for smartphones & tablets to monitor & manage a site from anywhere in the world. ADPRO® iTrace™ for Apple & Android devices enables a user to connect to a site and display live camera views from an RMG in addition to event views, bi-directional audio capability, and commands for opening/closing doors, turning on/off lights, etc. ADPRO iRespond™ for Apple devices provides remote event notification & verification for first responders & site owners to provide situational awareness. These tools could have been additional “eyes” into the situation developing at the car dealership, providing first responders better situational awareness prior to taking action.
The Xtralis prevention solution has been proven to be more effective than standard CCTV system, even with on-site security guards. It is an innovative, reliable, and cost-effective solution for protecting car dealerships and preventing theft & vandalism. This prevention solution delivers the highest detection capabilities with the lowest false alarm rate while offering the lowest cost per monitored channel, 24/7 reliable remote monitoring, and remote response capabilities. It may have made a difference in Arlington, TX.