Public safety is Job One for every city. It doesn’t matter what your role or job title is, you have a responsibility to your citizens that you take very seriously.
More and more cities are turning to video monitoring and surveillance systems to increase public safety while maximizing their existing budget. Video monitoring and surveillance systems can increase public safety in three ways: by deterring dangerous or illegal behavior, by providing real-time information to first responders, and by documenting incidents that do occur for subsequent prosecution and restitution.
Deterrence: stopping bad things before they start.
If you’ve worked with the public for any amount of time, you know the unfortunate fact that people behave badly. People steal. They’ll steal anything, from the pen on your desk to a 500-pound bronze statue — regardless of its value. People also misuse and break things that don’t belong to them. We’ve seen the gamut from poor choices that result in accidental damage to willful destruction of public property. And people — especially people in large groups and public spaces — behave so recklessly and irresponsibly that they put themselves and others in danger.
Many of those people, however, can be dissuaded from their dangerous or illegal behaviors if they know someone’s watching. People that like to steal things really don’t like getting caught. When would-be thieves know that their actions will be captured on video, they’re far less inclined to attempt theft. The same people who damage property to impress their friends also hate receiving scorn from their family members, neighbors, or peers. And people who act recklessly because they feel anonymous in a crowd will restrain themselves under the watchful eye of a police officer.
That’s why the real power of a good Video Monitoring and Surveillance system comes from highly-visible, strategically placed cameras.
Real-time monitoring: more information leads to a more effective response.
Public safety officers have a difficult, demanding, and sometimes dangerous job. It’s their responsibility to maintain and restore order. Ask any officer and they’ll tell you that one of the most challenging aspects of their job is walking into unknown situations.
When you add video monitoring and surveillance to select areas of your city, you give your first responders — police officers, firefighters, and EMTs — the ability to respond to situations more effectively. For example, a multiple-vehicle accident might be a simple fender-bender, or it might be a horrendous crash that requires an ambulance. Is the man acting strangely in the park just eccentric, or does he pose an active threat to themselves or others? When your public safety officers have a clear picture of what they’re walking into, they can respond quickly and appropriately. This is safer for your citizens and safer for your officers.
Documentation: this will go down on your permanent record.
It’s true that video monitoring & surveillance system like PASS Municipal OverSite serves as a powerful deterrent to vandalism, theft, and other illegal behavior. However, it’s also true that “you can’t fix stupid.” When members of the public steal somethings, damages something, or injure someone, a video monitoring and surveillance system can provide valuable evidence to assist in successfully prosecuting lawbreakers — or defending your municipality against unwarranted legal action.
Learn more about video monitoring and surveillance.
Obviously, there are no magic potions or silver bullets when it comes to public safety. However, through a combination of deterrence, monitoring, and documentation, a video monitoring & surveillance system can make your city a safer place to live and work. If you’re curious about what it takes to add a video monitoring and surveillance system, our Strategic Account Manager, Brad Pickett, is happy to answer them. Or you can download our free guide to video monitoring and surveillance for municipalities.