Why You Should Add Robots to Your Physical Security Program

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For as long as assets needed protecting, we have always utilized some form of overwatch through guard patrols, access control and CCTV surveillance. Through the addition of the Community Oriented Policing model, we began to see the emergence of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) in order to develop the site’s terrain in a manner that would make it increasingly more difficult for potential criminal actors to target the site. We are now at a point where security programs are facing increased responsibilities with decreased budgets. Security practitioners are looking for a solution to ensure their properties are protected. Robots are the solution.

For centuries security guards have been the go-to resource for protecting a site. The personal interaction, response and duties of human guarding are a draw to businesses. There is a sense of peace knowing that someone has your best interests at heart and are willing to protect your people and property.

However, the human guarding industry is plagued by high turnover and low wages. This has resulted in compromises to the security program through theft and the inability to fill posts, if not worse. In 2017 a security guard stole $100,000 dollars in cash from his employer. On January 24th of 2019 a school security guard in Florida was arrested and charged with the sexual battery of a student under the age of twelve years old. The suspect in this case had passed both a background check and psychological evaluation.

Surveillance cameras are a very important part of deterring crime at a variety of locations. The advancements in security cameras have given us the ability to add advanced analytics, high definition pictures and the ability to zoom in on an item of interest to gain valuable details. But this technology is not without fault. Improper installation can cause the camera to be installed too high on the building therefore reducing visibility. Guard tours of PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) cameras cause the camera to be facing away from a potential incident, and physically “broadcast” to would-be criminals that the camera will come around after a determined amount of time.

So how do robots fit into the security spectrum? Utilizing robots to enhance physical security reduces or eliminates a lot of the pain points that security teams experience, as well as mitigate the issues explained earlier. There are no personnel issues, licensing or HR requirements with robots. While security machines don’t replace the critical reasoning and response functions of security professionals, fusing advanced technology and superhuman sensor data and analytics with human analysis and response delivers capabilities beyond traditional physical security programs.

Allied Universal®, for example, now utilizes best-in-class robot solutions to lower risk, increase productivity and enhance safety through innovative solutions that expand security coverage without additional investment in manpower, training and supervision.  The capabilities of robots incorporate technologies such as video, audio, communications and more. Furthermore, installing these technologies independently would be a tremendous strain on a budget as well as a network.  

Security practitioners using robots in their footprint have reported back that they have experienced increased employee compliance, reductions in crime and forensic investigative capabilities that they did not have before. Employees have acknowledged that they feel safer knowing the robot is patrolling and greeting them. A robotic solution is no different from the solutions mentioned above, but more of an improvement on what we are already doing in a moving platform. Robots are a cost-effective solution, on the job 24/7/365 while adding innovation and attention to your business.

 
William Santana Li