Crescent Guardian Security Company


Crescent Guardian Security Company
Headquarters: New Orleans
Offices: Atlanta | Dallas
1 (800) 650-0706 or (504) 483-7811
Crescent Guardian Security Company

Security Tips Blog

Facing Concerns about Facial Recognition

// posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jan 16

Facial recognition is becoming increasingly popular.

Applications such as Facebook and Google+ are using the technology to augment their social-interaction offerings by, for example, automatically adding names of people to photos posted on the sites.

The Departments of Motor Vehicles in 32 of the 50 US states are also utilizing facial recognition in conjunction with driver's license photos. This lets the DMVs determine if someone has illegally acquired licenses under more than one name.

Law-enforcement and national-security agencies such as the US FBI are using the technology to, for example, compare a still picture taken at a crime scene against a database of known felons.

However, the growing use of the approach is causing concern for privacy advocates, who contend that companies and individuals could use facial recognition for activities such as unwanted marketing and identity theft.

In addition, false positives by facial-recognition systems could create problems such as public-safety officials detaining an innocent person at an airport.

Read the entire story on Computing Now by clicking here and see what quoted source and CGI vice president, Ray Cavanagh had to say on the topic.

Is your cargo hitting the black market? - An infographic

// posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jan 16

The computer or smartphone that you're reading this on right now, the paper on which you print customer reports and even that medicine you're taking all hit the road at some point and is part of more than $650 billion in revenue.

Since 80 percent of all U.S. communities receive their goods exclusively by truck, cargo theft has many victims, including you:

  • Employees (i.e., drivers, warehouse workers) who can be hurt during an armed hijacking or robbery,
  • retailers who lose merchandise,
  • consumers who pay as much as 20 percent more to make up for the theft,
  • state and local governments who lose sales tax revenue,
  • and even insurance companies, manufacturers, and shipping companies.

Proper procedures, training and security measures can help ensure cargo gets to its intended destination without incident, but what kind of solutions are there and how do they help?

Review the infographic below and then email us at or call 504-483-7811 to see if your trucking business or company qualifies for a free security assessment. (You can download the graphic by clicking here.)


Let us help keep your business from becoming a victim to crime. Email or call us at 504-483-7811 to find out how.

Hold The Line: The Importance of Security Guards

// posted on Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dec 13

For most security companies, the focus is often on the newest technologies to prevent crime-Night-vision cameras, RFID tracking, thermo-sensors, vehicle permission switches and behavioral analytics software have revolutionized the security industry and are often the hot topics that lead conversations and presentations.

While these technologies are incredibly important and prove their value across the world on a daily basis, it is often the traditional security guard and his or her training that remain the first, last or only line of defense for many organizations across the country, and we don't want to overlook this.

Technology certainly makes enacting security easier and often much more efficient, but at the same time, it takes a human with know-how for any system to be used as effectively as it can be. Security guards, whether integrated with technology or used singularly, are the backbone of keeping ones business, assets and employees safe and secure.

Occasionally, we like to celebrate the successes of these individuals and the revenue that they save their respective organizations through prevention rather than remediation after a crime occurs. One such instance recently occurred a few months ago at Upper Darby High School in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania when a security guard caught two young men in the process using an unlocked window to steal three school computers valued at $1,700 each. The guard, without hesitation, contacted the police with 'flash information,' which was used by a police officer to identify and arrest the one thief who was not apprehended on site. Although one computer did sustain some damage, the other two computers and all other property remained safe.

This instance teaches several lessons worthy of notice. First, the value of a trained guard. Second, the importance of security-police communication. Security systems by themselves often rely on police answering any set-off alarms, which can sometimes take 5-10 minutes... plenty of time for a criminal to get in and out without getting caught.

It is often said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And this saying is almost never more true than when it comes to preventing crime. The difference between the $5,100 of stolen property plus stolen student/teacher/grade data is staggeringly higher than the cost of a guard or security system. That is why I am a huge proponent of prevention over remediation. It saves money, headache and, often, you assets.

So, bring in the guards to get the most from your security system. And of course, periodically check your window locks.

Read more about the incident and the successful prevention here:

security guard, surveillance camera, crime prevention, security, RFID, security system

Top 6 Security Threats To Businesses - An Infographic

// posted on Monday, December 10, 2012

Dec 10

More money is exchanged during the holidays than any other time of the year. Is your business prepared to handle the security threats that come with it?

For threats, an ounce of prevention may be worth a pound of cure. Preventive measures may not prevent your business from becoming a burglary target, but research shows that appropriate safeguards can reduce the likelihood of a commercial burglary happening to you.

When you take into consideration that the cost of preventive measures, even low-cost actions, are significantly less than the cost to repair or recoup damages from a crime committed against your business - you may find it is well worth the investment.

Review the infographic below and then email us to see if your business qualifies for a free security assessment. (You can download the graphic by dragging it to your computer's desktop.)

Let us help keep your business from becoming a victim to crime. Email or call us at 504-483-7811 to find out how.

Nov 21


$500,000? Not a bad haul for nine people.

What is bad is that Duke Energy is one of the latest victims of a growing threat to businesses across the United States: Copper theft. While Duke's situation was somewhat unique in that employees and former employees pulled off the heist over four years, many other businesses are discovering thieves target them for easy pay days by doing similar things.

In a world where the simplest things can often bring a company to its knees, it's interesting to note that little is typically done to prevent security breaches. Thefts of copper, brass and other valuable metals have become common as the cost of metal has risen. Thieves often will pull copper piping in homes under construction and cut brass fittings off office-building emergency fire hoses for easy scores. This type of theft is increasingly becoming one of single the biggest headaches for businesses. Not only are these metals increasingly valuable, access to it is generally pretty easy. Most construction sites or holding areas leave these items out in plain site, with little or no security in place to protect it.

Like any other company asset, copper needs to be accounted for and managed. Businesses concerned with protecting their assets should have a security risk assessment performed by a reputable security firm. It is essential to make sure the premises has all the appropriate security precautions needed. Guard Services and Video Monitoring solutions, such as surveillance cameras, motion detectors, and access control systems, can greatly help reduce loss via theft. These systems can play a large role in deterring crime, often identifying and preventing potential breaches before they can occur.

Crescent Guardian has the means and capabilities to add video to any company's security mix, and guards to respond to potential security breaches -- saving a tremendous amount of time and money in prosecuting and trying to recover lost goods. 

For more information on our free security risk assessments or how we can help you increase your security while decreasing your costs, email us or call 504.483.7811.

The Convergence of Physical and IT Security

// posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sep 13

It wasn’t long ago when physical security was comprised simply of locks and keys and the occasional fence or guard dog as a deterrent. Those days have passed as surely as vinyl records have been replaced by digital music.

Guard services serve a two-fold purpose: To deter potential security breaches via their presence, and to react to breaches as they occur. However, the technique of simply stationing a guard or patrolling an area is no longer adequate and must be augmented by electronic tools that enable personnel to increase overall coverage.

Unlike on TV shows and movies, a guard making rounds typically will not see signs of forced entry very easily. Although the move to automated access control, such as swipe, prox and smart cards, has modernized entrance points of facilities, it also becomes more difficult to identify when those portals have been breached. Access control can be fooled through the use of cloned cards or access to the network, making the facility appear as though all is well.

So, how does today’s security officer counter the potential threat? The use of video is one possibility. But how does a guard both observe video while inspecting a facility? One answer can be found in the next generation of analytics.

While video is ubiquitous today, many cameras still employ analog devices. Moving to digital IP video systems enables roaming guards to receive real-time alerts through the use of handheld devices, which allows for rapid response to potential threats. Video analytics have traditionally been rules-based systems, meaning software that allows you to write a rule using Boolean logic to anticipate suspicious behavior. The problem in that scenario is rules must be written for every camera since they will all have different views and encounter different potential threats. In addition, the operator needs to anticipate every potential threat, which is not really feasible. This setup makes rules based analytics software difficult to manage, requires enormous upkeep and still may not “catch the bad guy.”

On the other hand, next-generation behavioral analytics packages operate by “learning” behavior through observation, completely eliminating the need to write rules. Within a few hours, the software can identify ongoing “normal” behavior and only send alerts or alarms on anomalous behavior, which can be sent to a guard’s handheld unit to facilitate rapid response and stop potential breaches. This system essentially allows the user to “set it and forget it,” making it one of the easiest, most effective systems to install and use.

Remote monitoring is another way of leveraging technology with physical security. Video today is used most often for remediation, not prevention. In our litigious society, lawsuits abound on falls from spilled coffee, or broken bones from tripping on a carpet at the store. While it is critically important to be able to use video for remedying these issues, it is more efficient and less time consuming to prevent these issues in the first place. While live monitoring of video might not be able to stop an individual from slipping on a coffee spill, it might provide staff the opportunity to clean up the spot before an accident occurs.

The advent of IP video enables the monitoring of locations remotely via online IP networks. The beauty of this monitoring option is that it keeps a watchful eye and enables rapid on-site response while continuing to monitor the situation. Additionally, on-site monitoring feeds can be disrupted, damaged or even lost.
While the ultimate goal of any security system is to lower response times and increase overall situational awareness, security personnel and emergency responders must be capable and knowledgeable in how technology is used to augment those real-time events. That’s why both the IT organization and the security team must develop an easy to implement, cohesive plan that incorporates all aspects of security. The benefits of such a plan can reduce criminal activity, service disruptions and other risk factors that could impede business continuity.

As criminals become more tech-savvy, it is up to security professionals to stay several steps ahead. We will never eliminate the need for live response to situations and security personnel to deter threats. However, by augmenting the human factor with automation, overall coverage can be vastly improved, costs reduced and the ability to prevent crime before occurring substantially increased. In a peek at the future, the convergence of physical and IT security will play a huge role in better anticipating threats and adapting to trends. Now, it is just a matter of making sure everyone’s security has switched from “vinyl” to “digital.”

To see this article as published in Security Magazine, click here.

Written by Ray Cavanagh, Vice President of Crescent Guardian & ASIS Physical Security Council Board Member

Jun 08

Port Authority to replace security firm involved with fake ID scandal at Newark Airport

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey wants to replace the private security firm that employed a supervisor at a Newark airport who authorities said was an illegal immigrant using the identity of a dead man. The bi-state agency said it will seek bids on services to replace the previous firm. [Read more of the story here]
Identifying The People Behind An ID

It’s truly unfortunate what happened at Newark Airport, but thankfully nothing more serious occurred. Regardless, the situation brings up an incredibly important topic that must be discussed, especially in this day and age.

Security vetting, a.k.a. background checks, is a critical aspect of true security. Whether it’s your child’s babysitter, the pilot of a commercial airliner, a government official or just someone applying to work for your company, it is imperative you know who they really are and if you can trust them.

These days identify theft is rampant, but as criminals become more and more technologically savvy, it’s only going to increase. That’s may be bad news for individuals, but it can mean even greater consequences for critical infrastructure environments such as airports and transportation, where the theft can affect more than one person at any given time.

Having your credit cards stolen or your bank account compromised can be traumatic enough, but having personnel who are not properly scrutinized can significantly impact the lives of hundreds of people at the one time, such as passengers on an airliner.

Bargain Bin Security?

Additionally, proper training and focused education play a key role in keeping our nation’s airports, rail lines and shipping lanes safe for all. Too many companies bid out these services and award the contract to the lowest bidder. But the question we all must ask ourselves is: Wouldn’t you rather pay a little bit more to absolutely ensure your safety?

At Crescent Guardian, we believe background checks are essential and a major part of what responsible security companies do every day. Like the old saying goes, you get what you pay for—So make sure you aren’t selling your safety short.

Call 504-483-7811 or email us at CGI to discuss how we can properly ensure the security of your facilities, infrastructure and more.

Could The "$80 Million Heist" Have Been Prevented?

// posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2012

May 08

Arrests Made in $80 Million Eli Lilly Drug Theft

Two brothers were recently arrested and charged by federal authorities for their alleged participation in the largest drug heist in the history of the state of Connecticut—The theft of $80 million worth of pharmaceutical drugs from the Eli Lilly Co. distribution center in 2010. [Read more of the story here]

Could The "$80 Million Heist" Have Been Prevented?

Tom Cruise's character from the Mission Impossible movies would have been impressed with how the thieves executed their heist, but that's about it. Unlike most movies, the law eventually catches up with criminals.

CGI Protects is thrilled that the perpetrators in the Eli Lilly case were finally captured, but this is a classic example of how our approach to Security—Which is to prevent rather than remediate breaches—is incredibly important now more than ever. The time drained to identify the perpetrators of the thefts and the loss of an estimated $80M in stolen prescription drugs might have been easily avoided with a holistic Security approach that could include video, analytics and RFID tags. 

CGI has been in the business of preventing Security breaches such as this for over 20 years using a wide array of technology solutions, including remote monitoring of sites, first responder services and cutting edge video monitoring and analytics software. With a holistic approach, you not only save money, but also prevent wasted time and money after experiencing a crime.

See if you have any weak points with a Free Security Assessment

Ready to see how you can increase your overall security coverage while spending less?

CGI Protects offers free security assessments for company sites to evaluate and recommend solutions designed to prevent security breaches such as the Eli Lilly case from occurring, potentially saving tens of thousands of dollars in pursuing legal recourse and other costs, such as increased insurance premiums.

Call 504.483.811 or email us to learn more about our free security assessments.

Urgent Action Needed on Shoring up U.S. Ports

// posted on Thursday, May 03, 2012

May 03

Fmr MS Governor Barbour Calls for Urgent Action on Shoring up U.S. Ports - Wall Street Journal Market Watch

Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, speaking to a regional gathering of Gulf states harbor pilots, called for a "bias for action and a sense of urgency...for increased U.S. investment in waterways infrastructure and a national strategic policy to prepare and equip U.S. Ports in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Seaboard for increased cargo and container volume from 'post-Panamax' vessels after the Panama Canal opens in 2015." [Read more of the story here]


A Movement That Holds Water - Crescent Guardian's reaction to former Governor Barbour's Port action 

By flickr user zigazou76Crescent Guardian absolutely agrees with former Governor Barbour and the need to increase our waterways in the Gulf region to prepare for increased volume, which will create a much needed economic boost. We also believes we need to focus on increased security to handle both the good and bad that comes with increased volumes.

Crescent Guardian was recently part of a team that developed increased security measures at one of the critical deep water Ports in Louisiana. We implemented an Analytics package that enables existing IP video cameras to send alerts and alarms if anomalous behavior is detected. It is a patented and unique technology that is easy to implement and begins generating alerts immediately.

Security applications in environments like this need to take an integrated approach. Crescent Guardian offers the products and project management expertise that has been relied on by the transportation industry for more twenty years. When a holistic, proven approach is implemented, we are able to help clients create a safer environment in an uncertain world.

Discover more about our capabilities by clicking here.


Apr 25

San Francisco Puts Brakes on an App for Transit - New York Times

A small team of volunteers took just 10 days last summer to create an Apple iPad app call SMART Muni that uses Global Positioning System technology to track all of San Francisco's buses in real time, allowing transit managers and passengers to monitor problems and delays. But now, 10 months later, the app is unused because the agency is $29 million over budget, cannot afford to buy the iPads required to run the software and San Francisco is unwilling to invest $100,000 to run a pilot program. [Read more of the story here]

On The Right Track
- CGI's response

Today, tracking vehicles is as easy as making a call with your cellphone. Although the technology has been used in the automobile industry for several years now, implementing it for use with municipalities can prove difficult because of high initial cost.

While it is quite useful to know the exact location of public transportation vehicles or if a delay has occurred, the fact that that they run on pre-scheduled routes makes things like the SMART Muni app more of a luxury than a necessity. That's not to say SMART Muni isn't on the right track. Integrating the right technology can help create better efficiency and actually save the client money.

Implementing a system that streamlines processes, automates procedures, reduces paperwork and verifies the licensing and training of vehicle drivers is a win-win for everyone. Transit systems operate smoother, passengers feel content and safety is enhanced. Municipalities worried about high costs quickly realize the staggering price they are paying by not utilizing a more efficient system, like the Vehicle Permission Switch that CGI Protects installed as a demonstration in an RTA bus in New Orleans. Technology like the VPS presents a unique opportunity for integration, as it has the dual advantage of locking out unauthorized users and can also be used to automate pre-usage checklists, much like pilots do in aircraft before takeoff.

All public transportation vehicles have government requirements for safety and systems like the VPS ensure compliance and accuracy of reporting. Unlike the SMART Muni app, it operates on a hardware unit with upgradable and preloaded software, creating a cost model that is managed as a low monthly charge per unit, making it extremely affordable and adaptable. Eventually, technology like the VPS is installed as the value of it can no longer be be denied and operating without it proves cost prohibitive.

If you're interested in finding out more about CGI Protect's Vehicle Permission Switch, please email us at or call 504.483.7811.