Peoria Police Department Offers Tips to Business Owners to Avoid Robberies

By Tami Vigilante

The Peoria Police Department recently distributed pertinent information to business owners to help discourage crime at local businesses throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area. While the police department cannot prescribe a potion or cure-all to rid a business of robbers, there are ways to discourage them and to minimize the chances of violence through sound business practices and proper employee training. The tips below outline some basic robbery deterrents that can be practiced as a minimum line of defense.

• Stay alert! Know who is in your business and where they are.
• Also, be aware of suspicious activity outside your place of business.
• Don’t be afraid to call the police if you see something suspicious.
• Try to greet customers as they enter your business. Your attention can discourage a robber.
• Never block the view into your business by crowding windows with signs or merchandise.
• Use low display counters and cases to maintain visibility from both inside and outside the business.
• Keep all entrances, exits, and parking areas well lighted.
• Keep cash in registers to a minimum. Place large bills and excess money in a safe as soon as possible.
• Make frequent cash drops.
• Keep your safe locked at all times.
• Use two or more persons to open and/or close the business. There is better safety in numbers.

For additional crime prevention tips or to become a certified crime shield property, go to peoriaaz.gov/crimeshield.

Increase in Auto Inventory Could Lead to Potential Criminal Activity at Car Dealerships

By Tom Vigilante, Jr.

The current economic rebound has been great news for auto dealerships throughout the United States.

According to a recent J.D. Powers and Associates study, new cars and trucks sales are expected to reach nearly 1.5 million vehicles in March and experts are forecasting that 15.3 million automobiles will be sold in 2013.

Because growth in auto sales is outperforming earlier expectations, dealerships in Arizona are adding more vehicles on their lots to satisfy customer’s demands. However, an increase in an auto dealer’s inventory may also bring the potential of theft, vandalism and trespassing at dealerships.

Providing real-time video managed services for auto dealerships has developed into a core part of our business at Centralized Vision. With the addition of Earnhardt Cadillac in North Scottsdale and Desert Cadillac in Scottsdale as clients recently, Centralized Vision now monitors 16 auto dealerships in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

By providing remote-camera monitoring with real-time response actions, our technicians have been successful in capturing and arresting trespassers, graffiti taggers and thieves on the property of various clients, including car dealerships. Centralized Vision posts signs throughout our client’s properties to act as deterrents and if available, has the ability to utilize one or two-way audio speakers, to speak throughout the property with, to warn would-be criminals that they are being watched. Our service has proven to be a more affordable and efficient option when compared to other similar security options, with savings up to 85 percent less than the typical physical security officer.

As long as the economy continues to grow, people will continue to purchase big-ticket items like new vehicles. Centralized Vision’s service is designed to eliminate petty theft and vandalism and to ensure vehicles remain on the lot so auto dealers can meet consumer’s demands.

Tom Vigilante, Jr. is President & Founder of Centralized Vision, which has offices in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Denver. For more information on real-time video managed services or GPS monitoring, go to centralizedvision.com or call 855-888-8094.

Centralized Vision Adding More Space at Phoenix Corporate Headquarters

By Tami Vigilante

I read an article recently that said small business optimism levels were down during the last quarter of 2012 after reports from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) showed slow sales were holding back job growth and expansion plans.

Whether these reports were true or just political propaganda surrounding Election Day in November, I can honestly say we are not seeing any signs of slow sales at Centralized Vision. We grew our revenues 30 percent in 2012 during our company’s fifth year of existence. My husband, Tom, and I are optimistic about the video security monitoring industry because of the efficiencies and inexpensive costs we can provide our clients looking to enhance their security needs.

We are so excited about our future at Centralized Vision that we recently have begun expanding our footprint at our corporate headquarters in Phoenix. We have already started construction on adding 400 square feet of office space that will house our new tech center, allowing us to increase to a total of six work stations for our techs to monitor our clients’ properties and assets from. Each tech can comfortably monitor 40-50 clients at each work station while also completing online logs from our centralized location that is manned 24 hours a day.

Construction will be completed during the first half of February, allowing us to serve the many clients we will be taking on in the near future. If we keep growing at our current rate, we will probably have to add additional space in a few more years.

Hopefully other small businesses in Arizona and throughout the U.S. will be able to say the same in the near future.

Tami Vigilante is Executive Vice President & Co-Founder at Centralized Vision. For more information on real-time video verification services or GPS monitoring, go to centralizedvision.com or call 855-888-8094. 1717 West Northern Avenue #200. Phoenix, Arizona 85021

Centralized Vision is adding an additional 400 square feet of office space for the company's new tech center in 2013.

Police Say Dumpster Diving Can Lead to Theft & Property Damage

By Tami Vigilante

I routinely receive various crime prevention tips from local police departments because of the great relationships Centralized Vision has established with local law enforcement agencies. A recent email I received from the Peoria Police Department is worth passing along because it warns businesses about the circumstances if people are going through trash dumpsters on their property.

Peoria Police warn businesses that they could be held liable if information in their trash is left unprotected. While people may be “dumpster diving” for treasures, they can also collect customers’ personal identity information, business information or precious metals that can be resold on the black market. The Peoria Police Department highlighted Sec. 22-9 of their criminal code that addresses “disturbing contents of containers”:

(a) Any person not authorized by the City to utilize for other than its intended purpose the lid from any solid waste or recycling container.
(b) Any person not authorized by the responsible party to remove, collect or disturb the solid waste and recyclables stored in such containers or to remove from a solid waste or recycling container any solid waste or recyclables
(i) set out for recycling or collection and disposable by the City, licenses solid waste contractors, their agents or assigns or
(ii) deposited at a City recycling drop-off center. This prohibition does not apply to law enforcement officers acting within the scope of their official duties.
(c) Any person to scatter solid waste or recyclables upon any private or public property.

Centralized Vision offers an innovative security platform that provides pro-active protection of property and assets for companies by using remote-camera monitoring with real-time response options that act as a crime deterrent. Our technicians visually monitor our clients’ property in real time and can dispatch security or law enforcement officers to prevent dumpster divers from collecting a company’s private information.

Tami Vigilante is Executive Vice President & Co-Founder at Centralized Vision. For more information on real-time video verification services or GPS monitoring, go to centralizedvision.com or call 855-888-8094.

Centralized Vision Expands Into Denver & Las Vegas Markets

By Tom Vigilante, Jr.

We have seen our company grow rapidly since founding Centralized Vision in 2007. In just five years, we have developed a great book of business in providing real-time visual monitoring of auto dealerships, retail centers, recycling facilities, office buildings and warehouse distribution centers throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Two years ago, we diversified our company after launching an operator division to track GPS devices and monitor convicted felons and individuals with special-needs suffering from cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s, dementia or autism.

Now, we are ready to take another step forward by expanding Centralized Vision’s resources into the Denver and Las Vegas markets.

We are excited about the potential Denver and Las Vegas bring to our company because both metro areas are similar to Phoenix. According to 2009 crime data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Phoenix averaged 410 reported property crimes per 10,000 residents. Denver was not far behind with an average of 348 property crimes reported per 10,000 residents, followed by Las Vegas with an average of 345 crimes. All three markets have also seen an increase in the growing epidemic of copper and HVAC thefts from residential and commercial properties.

We have already secured one client in Las Vegas and plan on reaching out to more businesses through sales efforts from our Phoenix headquarters. Our newest employee, Casey Kowal, will lead all of our sales and customer service efforts in the Denver market.

As Centralized Vision’s Business Development Representative, Kowal will be successful in extending our brand throughout the Mile High City because of her great communications skills, an attention-to-detail personality and a follow-through customer service approach. She has been successful in sales efforts throughout her career and we know she will help our company grow in Denver.

We are really excited to start talking to companies in Denver and Las Vegas about how Centralized Vision can be a service to them. However, it is more important that our company can be a solution to prevent increases in property crimes reported in both markets as well.

Tom Vigilante, Jr. is President & Founder at Centralized Vision. For more information on real-time video verification services or GPS monitoring, go to centralizedvision.com or call 855-888-8094. For businesses in the Denver area looking to connect with Casey Kowal, please email her at caseyk@centralizedvision.com.

Music Awakening Seniors Suffering From Cognitive Disorders

By Tami Vigilante

A growing part of our business at Centralized Vision is real-time GPS monitoring and tracking. We can easily keep track of low-level criminals or locate a fleet of transportation vehicles by having our team of 24-hour support technicians monitor GPS tracking devices anywhere around the world.

But a significant portion of our GPS monitoring business has nothing to do with criminal activity.

Many of our GPS monitoring clients are assisted-living facilities that house seniors afflicted with cognitive disorders, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Because people may suffer memory loss or be disoriented, having those that suffer from either of the disorders wear a GPS bracelet allows our company to locate them if they wander away from the facility.

Currently, there are more than a million people with dementia or Alzheimer’s living in assisted-living facilities throughout the country. Centralized Vision adds another level of security and safety to protect loved ones living in such facilities. But there are other organizations that offer various therapeutic options to improve the quality of life for people spending the remainder of their lives in these facilities.

One of those organizations improving the quality of life of seniors afflicted with dementia and Alzheimer’s is Music & Memory. Started by social worker Daniel Cohen six years ago, Music & Memory’s mission is to improve the quality of life for the elderly suffering from cognitive disorders through the use of personalized music and digital technology.

I learned about Music & Memory when the organization was featured on an episode of “The Doctors” recently. On the show, they told the story of an older gentleman named Henry living in an assisted-living facility and being unresponsive to most things because of dementia. He didn’t recognize family members and sat in a daze most of the time. However, when he was given an iPod with his favorite songs to listen to, Henry came alive. It broke my heart to hear him talk about his favorite singer Cab Calloway and to hear him sing a few lines from Bing Crosby’s 1943 classic “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

The therapy Music & Memory provides helps seniors suffering from cognitive disorders remember who they are and helps reacquire their identity after listening to their favorite music on an iPod. You can help the non-profit organization allow seniors to relive their younger years by donating a used iPod or giving as little as $49 to assist them in purchasing new iPod Shuffles. Log on to www.musicandmemory.org to learn more about how to donate used iPods or purchase new ones and to watch the video segment from the recent episode of “The Doctors.”

Keeping seniors living in assisted-living facilities safe and secure is important. But making sure those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s have an improved quality of life is something we all can contribute to.

Tami Vigilante is Executive Vice President & Co-Founder at Centralized Vision. For more information on real-time video verification services or GPS monitoring, go to centralizedvision.com or call 855-888-8094.

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