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Effectiveness of Security Cameras

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  • Effectiveness of Security Cameras

    Where i work we have about 60 some odd security cameras displayed on 4 LCDs.

    Because of the amount of other things i have to do while on duty i'm not watching them all the time, and its really boring watching them all the time. However they all are (or should be) being recorded on DVRs. The dorm entrance cameras have proven to be very effective to seeing who has come into the building. However because the parking lot cameras are PTZ (pan tilt zoom) their footage is much less effective at times.

    I've taken on the responsibility of setting all the camera patterns on the system to make them as effective as possible but its still difficult to decide what should be covered. I can either have it zoomed in and moving along the rows of cars, or backed out watching the whole lot. I generally set up a mix of the two but because there is a lot of ground to cover and at night the camera takes longer to focus things get missed easily.

    Anyone else had similar experiances with camera systems?

    also as a side note, don't ever do business with HCI camera systems, it seems to be one of the biggest mistakes we've made in a long time.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by knotquiteawake; 04-06-2006, 05:10 AM. Reason: editation

  • #2
    If you have cameras they should be monitored 24 hours a day. The 2 airport hotels I work for are side-by-side. The parking lots adjoin. We have lots of thefts of & from cars. At one time one lot had cameras. The other didn't. The cameras were only recorded. We had the same number of thefts at both lots. The only difference was at the lot with cameras we had a record of it happening. This never helped arrest anyone though.
    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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    • #3
      Cameras are good for documentation of criminal or safety issues. Sometimes, they're good for real-time image capture, as well. Having people watch cameras for a 8 hour shift, unaided by sensing software, is pointless. They will zone out and miss things.

      If you have a good DVR setup, see if the camera multiplexer can do things like determine "out of bounds" or threshold movement, things in areas that shouldn't be, etc.

      This helps do more than document the issue, it helps detect it in real time.
      Some Kind of Commando Leader

      "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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      • #4
        Just to clarify, you have 60 cameras and only 4 monitors? Also, it looks like your two top monitors are mounted a bit too high.

        I hope the DVRs are good because about the only thing you can expect from a system like that is evidence.

        Some people just have no business being in the security industry.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Crinsol
          Just to clarify, you have 60 cameras and only 4 monitors? Also, it looks like your two top monitors are mounted a bit too high.

          I hope the DVRs are good because about the only thing you can expect from a system like that is evidence.

          Some people just have no business being in the security industry.
          Crinsol, I think you got it pegged just right, to me this is a disaster in the making. My hope is he same as yours.
          Hopefully someone will come to their senses and ask for help from either Charlie or Tim.
          Charlie, Tim, is to late for help or can some cost effective changes be made.
          Enjoy the day,
          Bill

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          • #6
            We have over 200 cameras "monitored" at the central alarm station. As the operators also monitor several other alarm systems, dispatch, run access systems, etc. its almost impossible to actually watch any cameras. If a call comes in the cctv is useful to record and/or track activity but mostly its for after the fact evidence. Cameras assigned to sensitive areas are viewed right in front of the officers- the rest are a wall of monitors you couldn't watch if you tried. Several bldgs, have stand alone cctv systems but still face the same problem. Unless you have officers assigned to solely monitor CCTV its a difficult task, add in boredom and sensory overload and you're back to square one.
            One recent addition that has helped is motion activated cameras- they only come up when movement is detected so you know something is happening. You can set the parameters to monitor an entire area, one side of a hallway, a piece of artwork or a doorway. Still testing them but so far working out better than we ever expected.
            Old age and treachery will defeat youth and enthusiasm every time-

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            • #7
              All of our cameras are monitored. The whole idea is to be proactive and immediately investigate any suspicious activity.
              Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by knotquiteawake
                Where i work we have about 60 some odd security cameras displayed on 4 LCDs.....
                Displaying a picture of your security monitoring station on the WWW could be considered a security breach by some employers and clients.
                Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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                • #9
                  its visible from inside public areas, and even from outside at night since you can see right through the windows and main sliding doors... its not very secret. Also, its not necessarily a company but the Campus Safety it fully part of the university and as such no policy like that exists that i know of.

                  now, if i were posting camera footage or still images of stuff from the DVRs than i would be in a different boat.

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                  • #10
                    besides, i didn't even show you the secret multiplexes! oops! forget i just said that.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mr. Security
                      Displaying a picture of your security monitoring station on the WWW could be considered a security breach by some employers and clients.
                      Amen to that! My officers would be seeking new employment if they were caught doing that!

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                      • #12
                        anyways, now that i 'edited' the picture for 'confidential' content, back to what i started this thread about...

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                        • #13
                          I have seen 3 different setups

                          one was live feed no recording device - b & w cameras

                          two was colored cameras, with a vcr recorder with "daily" tapes one for mondays, tuesday, weds, thurs,fri, sat,sun - etc the only problem with this setup up is overtime the tapes wear out and you get old footage botched over new footage, or lots of breaks in the recorded info, or pic quailty is bouncy

                          three was dvr, dvrs are great as all the info is digital recorded and easy to pull up although a bit more expensive you get more for the buck :P data that will not deterate as easliy etc....

                          i would love to see every cctv system use dvrs but some ppl say they cost far to much cash, and would rather have the choppy videos or none at all...
                          When not at work or out watching a moive.. passed out at the keyboard.

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                          • #14
                            In our hospital we have 31 cams covering every entry/exit point as well as strategic locations throughout the facility to monitor traffic. Our entire property (including five parking lots) are also covered by programmed PZT cams. The long term care centre that is attached by a tunnel link has five cams that are monitored in our central office at the hospital.

                            Everything is captured on DVR for future investigation. We have assisted local law enforcement with solving domestic disputes, car thefts/vandalism, thefts of hospital or staff property (in and on the property) an arson across the street and a bank robber who entered the facilty after holding up a Credit Union in the area.

                            We are also able to respond to investigate disturbances and suspicious activity/person(s) we witness on CCTV.

                            We have applied to the local Health Authority for an upgrade ($70,000) that we hope to have approved this budget year.
                            ========================================
                            Keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out! - Unknown

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                            • #15
                              I would like to see some type of software that is able to detect unusual activity and alert the CCTV operator to the appropriate camera. Having many cameras will usually help when investigating an incident after it has occurred. However, being able to zoom in on suspicious activity as it happens is always preferred.
                              Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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