Phoenix TV Station Discusses Surveillance Cameras with Centralized Vision After Boston Marathon Bombing

With the FBI and Boston Police Department reviewing every photo and piece of video footage they can gather from the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy on April 15, 3TV television reporter Jared Dillingham looked into the increasing role of surveillance camera video and how it is being used in solving various crimes.

Dillingham interviewed Centralized Vision President and Founder Tom Vigilante Jr. about how the Phoenix metropolitan area is increasingly being monitored by more video security systems. Centralized Vision recently expanded its video monitoring service center in Central Phoenix after growing its client base by 30 percent in 2012.

“It’s pretty safe to say that somewhere somehow you are being watched,” Vigilante told Dillingham.

The real-time video verification services provided on the more than 5,000 cameras Centralized Vision monitors in the Phoenix area has helped local police departments make a couple of arrests each month to protect its clients’ assets.

“Improving technology, dropping costs and improving crime fighting are giving more birds’ eye views of everything we do,” Dillingham said in the segment.

Hopefully, the presence of security cameras at large public gatherings, sporting events and office buildings will deter criminals from committing these devastating acts of violence in the future. Because of technology and enhanced communications methods, it is nearly certain they will be brought to justice.

Centralized Vision Tabs Casey Casdorph as Company’s 2012 “Tech of the Year”

By Tami Vigilante

My husband, Tom, and I have seen incredible growth for our company in the video security monitoring industry since starting Centralized Vision five years ago. In 2012, we grew our revenues more than 30 percent and expect similar growth in 2013 as well.

The main ingredient that has allowed our company to grow exceptionally fast is the family atmosphere we created at Centralized Vision. We have a group of dedicated employees that are passionate about their jobs and understand the importance of protecting the assets that Centralized Vision is contracted to monitor for our clients.

However, Casey Casdorph stood out among all of the employees at our company this past year and was named Centralized Vision’s 2012 Tech of the Year.

Casey Casdorph
As a tech working from our centralized tech center at company headquarters in Phoenix, Casey monitors closed-circuit security feeds from surveillance cameras located on the properties we manage for our clients.When seeing suspicious activity through the camera surveillance monitors on his computer screen, Casey logs the activity in our computer system and can use a variety of methods to deter the suspect from committing a crime, including dispatching local law-enforcement authorities to the property.

In 2012 alone, Casey captured seven suspects on camera either trespassing or stealing from properties we monitor. One incident included a naked male trespasser near a trash dumpster behind a West Phoenix shopping center that attracted the attention of the Phoenix Police Department and its police helicopter hovering above the property. Video surveillance Casey captured from the incident was broadcast on local Phoenix television stations 3TV (KTVK-Ch. 3) and Fox 10 (KSAZ-TV, Ch. 10) during their nightly newscasts in October 2012. Casey also captured suspects steeling copper and other metals on video from a recycling facility Centralized Vision monitors in 2012.

Casey started working for Centralized Vision in July 2011 and focused on Information Technology while earning an AA degree from Phoenix College. He plans to pursue his Bachelor’s degree in the near future.

Congratulations Casey on being named Tech of the Year and providing deterrents and services to make the community safer for our family and others to live in.

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.

Dangers Associated with Autistic Children Wandering Away is Preventable

By Tami Vigilante

My life revolves around my two children.

Like most mothers, my day starts by getting them out of bed, making sure they eat breakfast and then driving both to school – hopefully on time so they are not late for their first class. After school, the daily tasks usually consist of getting Dayne to his flag-football practice or Tatum to her dance class while balancing time with their friends and making sure homework is done. And on the weekends, along with my husband Tom, we all spend time as a family doing various activities.

Knowing how much my children are a part of my life, it broke my heart to read an Arizona Republic article earlier this summer of how a mother lost her 9-year-old boy in Mesa, Arizona. Her son, Au-Juna, was struck and killed by a truck after wandering out on the freeway.

Two hours before being killed, Au-Juna was with his two brothers and sister having fun playing in the neighborhood. When Au-Juna didn’t return with his siblings to their Mesa apartment, their aunt, who was babysitting at the time, alerted the police he was missing. Mesa police spent an hour trying to locate Au-Juna until receiving a 911 call that a child was struck and killed on the U.S. 60 freeway – five miles from his apartment.

Au-Juna had wandered away because he was autistic.

Children with autism suffer from a developmental disorder that affects their social interactions, language and behavior, causing some to wander without a typical person’s sense of fear or danger. Parents must have an aura of constant vigilance to stay a step ahead of their autistic child. That is why in 2011, “autism wandering” became an official diagnosis in the United States with its own medical code.

That hour police and Au-Juna’s family spent franticly looking for him could have had a more pleasant outcome if they had an option of locating him with a GPS device. Those options are now available for parents to locate their autistic children.

Although our company, Centralized Vision, specializes in real-time video verification services to prevent theft and vandalism, we also offer various GPS monitoring devices that could quickly locate children with autism after wandering away from their home. Along with our partners at Adiant Solutions, we offer GPS devices that could be used as a keychain, worn as a pendant or bracelet or clipped to a belt. The same devices are also being used by seniors diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, so they can be located after wandering away from their loved ones or assisted-living facilities.

Our safety-certified operators that man our call center at Centralized Vision 24 hours a day are trained to quickly locate a person wearing a GPS device. The operators are also well-versed in communicating with local law enforcement or medical personnel to quickly administer any emergency.

The GPS devices are affordable with annual or monthly service plans to give anyone associated with an autistic child peace of mind if an emergency would occur.

A parent, teacher or care giver still can’t predict when an autistic child may elope. But if a child wanders on their own, now there are options to quickly locate them while being returned to a safe environment. And hopefully a number of situations like the unfortunate one that took Au-Juna’s life can be prevented.

That’s all a mother can ask.

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.

 

Well Maintained Video Cameras Can Prevent Costly Obstructions

By Tom Vigilante, Jr.

Living in Phoenix during the summer, one might think the only weather element you have to deal with are the hot temperatures. And although those of us that live in the desert still maintain it’s a dry heat, we also have to routinely deal with large-scale dust storms between May and September each year.

More commonly known as haboobs, these massive dust storms sweep through the entire city, causing low visibility for drivers on the roadways and a flurry of news coverage from local television stations. They also leave layers of dirt transfixed on homes, businesses and parked vehicles.

Haboobs also cause problems for us in the video verification services industry because layers of dirt can block a camera’s view while monitoring a company’s property and assets. Light rain mixed with dust turns into dirt spots on the camera lens, causing a nuisance while trying to accurately identify objects on video. Our company, Centralized Vision, provides pro-active protection of property and assets for businesses using remote-camera monitoring with real-time response options. Any obstruction for video cameras we are monitoring could be the difference in preventing a crime or being able to apprehend a perpetrator.

Because Centralized Vision technicians are constantly monitoring numerous video cameras 24 hours a day, we can always alert our clients if there are obstacles in preventing us from protecting their assets.

Below are a few suggestions on how to maintain video cameras in order to provide optimum viewing:

  • Installation: When installing video surveillance cameras, it is imperative to make sure they are directed properly so they cover a full range of the property. Blind spots in camera coverage could allow thieves to escape without having video footage or a photo image to forward to law enforcement authorities.
  • Landscaping: Each month, it is a good idea to make sure bushes and trees are not blocking each camera’s view. High winds and storms can cause branches to fall and constant rain may cause vegetation to grow rapidly, standing in the way of a camera’s view. Landscapers can also hinder proper viewing if they use blowers to clean pathways, causing dust or dirt to collect on the lenses of video cameras.
  • Wiring: Periodically, it is essential to make sure wiring for each camera is not exposed or in danger of being ruined by moisture, animals or insects. Not keeping an eye on this may cause a loss of power to the camera or interrupted viewing because of a short in the wire.
  • Focus: Having a blurred image or video footage makes it more difficult for law enforcement officials to track down criminals. Wind, moisture or various movements can cause a camera to be out of focus.
  • Lighting: Make sure video cameras are not pointing into direct sunlight at certain points of the day to cause a disturbance in coverage. It is also essential to make sure external lighting sources are working so that maximum video surveillance can be maintained at night or in dark settings.

Having a modern video surveillance system along with 24/7 monitoring from Centralized Vision is a great investment to protect a company’s assets and to minimize financial loss. But just like every other investment, periodic maintenance is key to achieving the maximum results.

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.

Eye in the Sky Can Deter Metal, Air Conditioner Thefts

By Tom Vigilante, Jr.

While hot temperatures in the Phoenix area kept most of us indoors during the summer months, some local business owners were unable to keep cool after a number of crimes involving the stripping of air conditioners occurred throughout the Valley.

Recently in Peoria, a band of suspects went on top of a strip mall on Bell Road and removed the parts from 11 air conditioning units. The removal of copper pipes and wiring, backflow vales or anything else with scrap value cost the business owners thousands of dollars in repairs and lost business.

For all of the trouble they caused to others, the criminals received a couple hundred dollars for the metal on the black market.

In 2011 alone, the Phoenix Police Department reported more than 3,000 air conditioning units were dismantled, destroyed or stolen all for their metal – and especially their copper parts. Metal theft has become an epidemic since the economic downturn started in 2008. Law enforcement agencies blame the trend on a combination of the unemployed seeking items to sell for cash and drug addicts looking to finance their next score. Insurance claims arising from metal thefts rose nationwide by 81 percent during the last three years compared with the number of claims filed from 2007-08, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Local law enforcement agencies are doing their best to track down metal theft suspects and bring them to justice. Some agencies have metal theft task forces and have formed alliances with neighboring cities to stake out and deter criminals from disabling air conditioning units.

At Centralized Vision, we are a deterrent to the recent trend of air conditioning and metal thefts by offering real-time video verification services with monitoring by our team of technicians 24 hours a day. Centralized Vision technicians visually monitor our clients’ property in real time and can dispatch security or law enforcement officers to prevent a crime from occurring. Some of our clients even have one-way audio speakers near video cameras on their property so our technicians can speak to the perpetrators and let them know they are under surveillance. If a criminal does leave the property, we can immediately send video and photo images of the suspect to local law enforcement agencies for an immediate response.

Some of our clients include auto dealerships, retail centers, recycling facilities, office buildings and warehouse distribution centers, and they all have seen a decrease in suspicious activity on their properties.

I always hear from our clients about how happy they are in pro-actively investing into our services at Centralized Vision. It’s definitely a more affordable investment than losing thousands of dollars and an interruption of business if your company is a target of metal theft.

Tom Vigilante, Jr. is the President & Founder of 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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