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Crescent Guardian Security Company
Headquarters: New Orleans
Offices: Atlanta | Dallas
E-mail: info@cgiprotects.com
1 (800) 650-0706 or (504) 483-7811
Crescent Guardian Security Company

Security Tips Blog

Preventing crime with new surveillance camera technology

// posted on Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Jun 04

 

When it comes to preventing and solving crimes, surveillance video is only as good as the person looking at it. But what if the cameras could learn to spot suspicious behavior before a crime is committed?

After the Boston marathon bombings, it was surveillance and other photos that helped catch the two suspects.

Now there's a company that says those same cameras can prevent crimes like that from happening in the first place.

It's a software program tied into existing surveillance cameras and it looks for suspicious or out-of-the-ordinary behavior. Police are then alerted to this suspicious activity.

To watch the full story, click on news clip above from KPRC-TV in Houston.

In one actual surveillance video, captured in an undisclosed location outside of Houston at a train platform, a man put something suspicious under a bench. The camera noticed it and placed a red box around it, alerting authorities.

"We are trying to identify through video feeds what anomalous behavior is occurring," said Ray Cavanagh with software technology company Crescent Guardian. "If it's something out of the ordinary, it warrants a second look and should be responded."

It's not just packages. The software highlights other odd events, like video of a car following a train through a tunnel or where someone left a bag unintended.

In all these cases police or others were notified.

While none of these examples took place in the Houston area, Cavanagh said he has clients in Houston. For security reasons though, he can't disclose specifically what offices or agencies.

"It's not a magic pill in and of itself," said Cavanagh. "The video is out there. We know the video systems exist."

Cavanagh said outfitting an existing camera with this technology could run $5,000.

"Most importantly of all, what's the cost of a human life?" said Cavanagh. "A human life is worth trying to save and so if there are security events that we can prevent, such as some of the events that have occurred recently, it's well worth the price."

Visit KPRC-TV's website to see the original story.

 

 

May 23

Recently, Time Magazine published an article titled Homeland Insecurity: After Boston, The Struggle Between Liberty and Security. The piece questions at what point does the increased threat of terrorism encroach on our right to privacy. Well, as the world becomes more populated and potential threats rise, this very hot topic will continue to grow.

In short, the TIME article states, “With al-Qaeda weakened abroad but self-taught, wi-fi-empowered jihadis increasingly a threat at home, balancing freedom and security is an old problem we’ll have to get used to once again."

Security is a way of life in today’s world, and yet, all Americans deserve the right to their individual freedom. So, how can we strike a balance?

The article points to video surveillance and its intrusion on all individuals regardless of the possibility of security threats. While I believe that all individuals deserve their right to freedom, I equally believe that we deserve to be protected, or as protected as can be, from senseless and arbitrary violence.

The article goes on to say, “The failure to detect the brothers’ [Tsarnaev] plot seemed to some like a replay of 9/11, when communication failures between U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement services blew a chance to stop the attacks.”

In today’s world, video exists, whether we like it or not. Whether it is from stationary cameras posted on stoplights and street corners, or cameras in retails stores or offices, or on phones and handheld devices, it is everywhere. It is used most often as a forensic tool – evaluating situations after a breach occurs, such as breaking and entering, holdups, or even more violent acts of crime.

Although a camera captures images of all those in its field of view – perpetrator and victim alike – it is really only those who have had a hand in illegal acts that have cause for concern. According to Time’s article, authorities have identified a total of 21 homegrown jihadist-inspired terrorist plots and two attacks in the eight years after 9/11, and U.S. law enforcement made 42 arrests from May 2009 to December 2012. So whether it is acknowledged or not, the threat is real and it is here.

Now, take the fact that the average attention span of a security guard viewing CCTV feeds peaks at only 20 minutes. Given fatigue and other human factors, such as the blinking of an eye or some type of distraction, a high probability exists that some behavior will be missed. Fortunately, there are new tools, such as behavioral analytics, that assist human eyes by taking these video feeds and highlighting the potential threats while ignoring normal or ongoing behavior. This allows security personnel to anticipate possible threats and act accordingly. 



Not all potential threats can be acted upon and stopped before they occur, sometimes, because there is not enough warning. But the solutions such as behavioral analytics bypass the burden of needing human eyes staring at hundreds and hundreds of minutes of video footage 24x7, enabling primarily potential threats to be highlighted. At that point, experienced security personnel can decide if the threat is real and if it warrants further investigation.

By reducing the requirement to view all footage all the time, it does not offer greater liberty, but does put the emphasis squarely on prevention of threats rather than reacting to them after the fact.

We at Crescent Guardian believe it is every citizen’s right to civil liberties, but we also believe it is every citizen’s right to expect safety and security measures to protect us from harm. Continued vigilance by our citizens is the best way to reduce threats, but a helping hand from technology can go a long way to helping in the fight against crime and terrorism.

Fo more information on "smart" cameras and behavioral analytics, email rcavanagh@cgiprotects.com or call 504-483-7811.

Read the entire Time Magazine article here - http://swampland.time.com/2013/05/01/homeland-insecurity-after-boston-the-struggle-between-liberty-and-security/

Can An 82-Year-Old Beat Your Security?

// posted on Friday, May 10, 2013

May 10


A nun, a house painter and a drifter walk into a nuclear facility… If that sounds like the beginning to a bad joke, that's because it is.

Last July, an 82-year-old nun and two other fellow activists made their way past fences and security sensors on their way into the Y-12 complex, a Nuclear Security Administration facility called the "Fort Knox" of uranium, and spray-painted antiwar slogans on the exterior of a structure for storage of weapons-grade uranium…. spending several hours in the complex without any trouble. Then, on Wednesday, May 8, almost a year later, the three were convicted of interfering with national security and damaging the facility, possibly sending them to jail for 30 years each.

The incident has raised eyebrows and provided a wake-up call to many security professionals across the world. While the three claim they had no malicious intent, it's been reported that prosecutors argued the act was a serious security breach that continues to disrupt operations at the facility. The defending attorneys argued that the three are being made scapegoats for an embarrassing situation. In way, it is frightening to think what could have happened had someone more sinister tried to break in... But perhaps they were too assuming by the "Fort Knox" moniker to even attempt such a feat or think it possible. Whatever the case, this incident provides a prime opportunity to evaluate your own situation.

Is your business a frequent victim of graffiti?

Do people often trespass?

What kind of security are you using and what kind of holes may there be in it?

Physical security, an incredibly important aspect for proper safety, provides a primary buffer against criminal activity. When used in tandem with security technology, such as surveillance cameras, behavioral analytics software and access control, it helps ensure you employ several layers of security so your business doesn't experience a "Y-12" incident.

Not sure where your security's holes may be? Hire a reputable, professional security company to perform a security risk assessment and provide an analysis of your security. In short, theses assessments analyze the threats and vulnerabilities facing an entity while providing guidance on key areas that need to be addressed when developing a comprehensive and effective security plan and suggesting optimal security solutions and measures to reduce the likelihood of a threat developing.

Don't allow your business or organization to become the butt of a bad joke. Make sure your security is ready for anything criminals throws at you... even 82-year-old nuns. Ask about our security assessments today.

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

 


Read more about the Y-12 convictions:

Convicted Y-12 protesters remain jailed while judge mulls legal options
, Knox News -  http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/may/09/convicted-y-12-protesters-remain-jailed-while/


Nun, protesters guilty in nuclear plant break-in
, USA Today - http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/08/nun-protesters-guilty-nuclear-plant/2145361/


The Prophets of Oak Ridge
, Washington Times - http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/style/2013/04/29/the-prophets-of-oak-ridge/

 

More details of stunning Y-12 break-in; protesters offered bread to guards, Knox News - http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/jul/31/more-details-of-stunning-y-12-break-in-offered/

 

Cost of intrusion at Y-12 nuke plant by peace activists goes beyond physical damage, Independent Mail - http://www.independentmail.com/news/2013/may/09/cost-intrusion-y-12-nuke-plant-peace-activists-goe/
 

Apr 05



Businesses usually get so wrapped up in their operation that security can often take a backseat and become an afterthought. The unfortunate thing is that line of action can cost a business... and cost them big.

Recently, copper thieves in the Greater New Orleans have been targeting air conditioner units in residential and commercial locations because they are easy targets. While this has increased in New Orleans, it's important to remember that copycat criminals often start similar crime waves in other areas. The thieves have been stealing the copper and aluminum condenser coils inside the units to sell as scrap, but because the metal is a mixture, it doesn't fetch as high a price as refined copper.

What's that mean? While the thieves do not make much on the actual theft, the businesses that fall victim to the crime are often left staring at a significant price tag of a few thousand dollars for fixing or replacing the units. One victim incurred $70,000 worth of damage. That's pretty incredible since the thieves don't really make that money on the theft, but do cause significant damage.



Theft 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 or thefts before they can occur. And if they do occur, it's important to have the resources in place to be used for prosecution and insurance purposes.



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 rcavanagh@cgiprotects.com or call 504.483.7811.

For more on the copper theft from air conditioning units story, click here - http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/04/copper_thieves_again_targeting.html#incart_river_default

U.S. Ports Activity & Security - An Infographic

// posted on Friday, March 08, 2013

Mar 08




U.S. ports are tempting targets criminals looking to smuggle or steal goods and for terrorists bent on killing large numbers of people, grabbing media attention, and disrupting the U.S. economy.

Port, ferry, and cruise-ship terminals are often located in highly congested areas where large numbers of people live and work. Given the importance of foreign trade to the U.S. economy, an attack that shuts down a major American port for even a few days could devastate the regional economy served by that port.

With billions in goods and hundreds of thousands of people moving in and out of U.S. waterways every day, the incredible pressure on security personnel to constantly safeguard vessels, harbors, ports, waterfront facilities, and cargo from threats can seem overwhelming. But through some ground-breaking technology such as smart cameras with behavioral analytics, ports across the country are discovering there is an easier, more effective and cost-efficient way to protect themselves and the nation.

Review the infographic below and then email us at info@cgiprotects.com or call 504-483-7811 to find how this new technology can help put your port's security among the most advanced in the nation. (You can download a high resolution PDF of the graphic by clicking here.)






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



An American Woman Goes Missing: A Case For Security Cameras

// posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Feb 13

 

Traveling abroad can be perilous at times, especially for Americans. Citizens are typically advised by the U.S. State Department to be cautious when leaving the country due to various factors. Even with that in mind, situations can still develop.

Recently, an American woman went missing after visiting a mall in Istanbul, Turkey in what was her first trip outside U.S. borders. It is with a hopeful heart that we wish for her speedy and safe return. Now what, if anything, could have been done to help prevent this situation from occurring? 

One of the first lines of defense against any crime is a surveillance camera. Video systems are essential to deter theft, alert security of suspicious behavior and also provide the forensics necessary to help law enforcement find those who perpetrated a crime. The mall she visited just prior to her disappearance had a few security cameras in place that captured her alive and well, and even what she was wearing.

Now imagine if the surrounding businesses all had cameras, providing a web of eyes capturing all that went on. While this much surveillance may sound like a case of paranoia or “big brother,” it is important to note that cameras, even if not in service, can help prevent malicious behavior. It is the responsibility of every business to not only protect their assets and employees, but their customers as well—That includes around their stores as well. Better yet, a good security camera system will often decrease your insurance costs while providing more peace of mind to both you and your customers.

State-of-the-art surveillance cameras are now being equipped with cutting edge behavioral analytics software. These next-generation behavioral analytics packages “learn” behavior through observation, such determining the difference between employees working a loading dock and someone who is suspicious hanging around it. Within a few hours of launching, the analytics software can identify ongoing “normal” behavior and send alerts or alarms only on any behavior that is out of the ordinary, which can be delivered to a guard’s handheld unit for rapid response to stop potential crimes. Also, 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.

Whether you use standard surveillance cameras or advanced models, they can help prevent crime and expedite remediation if something does happen. Some people only need to see the security cameras on the wall to think twice before committing a crime. The threat of efficient punishment is often enough to dissuade a would-be criminal and, at other times, it can provide enough video to track the movements of an individual, such as the missing American.
 
While some people may feel adding more public surveillance cameras to be an invasion of privacy, they must remember that most cameras are operated by private businesses to protect their assets, employees and customers. Finally, imagine if a situation like the one with the woman happened to someone you cared about and there was a web of cameras to witness it as opposed to few or no cameras—Which would you prefer?
 
For more information on the latest surveillance systems and other security and technology, email us at info@cgiprotects.com or call 504-483-7811.

Read more about the missing woman here - http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/01/29/missing-american-woman-turkey/1875587/


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