Video Surveillance Cameras in Pool Areas Can Decrease Drowning Epidemic

By Tami Vigilante

As the temperatures rise in Phoenix when we enter the hot summer months, sadly so do the number of children that drown or have near-drowning experiences in swimming pools in Arizona.

Just last week, a 2-year-old girl drowned in West Phoenix after Phoenix firefighters pulled her from a backyard pool after she had been reportedly under water for five minutes. Neighbors had originally called 911 after hearing screams coming from the backyard area, where the pool had no surrounding fence.

Although many may correlate Centralized Vision’s real-time video managed services with preventing or solving crimes, we also monitor video surveillance cameras at a variety of apartment complexes or master-planned family communities that feature common-area swimming pools, clubhouses and entertainment areas. Some of our current clients include Park Place Condominiums in Surprise, Valencia Crossing Apartments in Mesa, Fountain Shadows Apartments in Glendale and Adora Trails, a Taylor Morrison master-planned community in Gilbert.

Although our video monitoring services are not a replacement for on-site lifeguards or parental supervision, Centralized Vision technicians in our corporate headquarters that monitor surveillance cameras at our client’s properties have the ability to visually see that rules are being adhered to by residents, such as no glass bottles or alcohol near the swimming pool. We can also make sure that residents are not using the pool after hours when there is no supervision and watch out for children or small animals playing near the pool area.

As a mom, it breaks my heart to hear of drowning tragedies on the news like we did with the 2-year-old girl last week. Hopefully, we can decrease the number of drowning deaths with more supervision and surveillance cameras and make swimming in the hot summer months in Phoenix more enjoyable for everybody.

Centralized Vision Set to Monitor Video Surveillance Cameras at Arizona Medical Marijuana Dispensary

By Tom Vigilante, Jr.

It has been some time since voters approved Proposition 203 in the November 2010 general election to allow the sale and use of medical marijuana in Arizona. After the Arizona Department of Health Services released its rules for distribution and use of medical marijuana in March 2011, a few dispensaries have opened to serve those who have a state-issued medical marijuana registry identification card.

Over the past six months, we have targeted medical marijuana facilities to provide real-time video managed services for because the State of Arizona requires each dispensary to comply with specific security requirements, including mandatory use of video surveillance cameras. Starting May 6, I am pleased to announce that Centralized Vision will begin providing video monitoring services at Giving Tree Wellness Center’s medical marijuana dispensaries in North Phoenix, and later this summer when their other location in Mesa opens.

Centralized Vision will monitor numerous video surveillance cameras on the interior and exterior of Giving Tree Wellness Center’s two locations, as well as provide one-way audio response to ensure the facility is not vandalized, burglarized or targeted by criminals. We are also providing Giving Tree our Scout Ahead service, which allows their employees to talk with our techs at our Phoenix headquarters while being watched on video surveillance to ensure their route from the facility to their car is free from harm. If necessary, Centralized Vision has long-standing relationships with a contracted security patrol company and local police departments to dispatch police officers.

In addition to the many auto dealerships, retail centers, recycling facilities, office buildings and warehouse distribution centers we monitor, I believe medical marijuana dispensaries will be a new industry we will be able to lend our expertise to in the near future. We can help each dispensary develop their state-mandated security plan, which requires every facility to have security equipment to deter unauthorized entrance to limited access areas, exterior lighting and video surveillance cameras. A dispensary must also have policies and procedures in place for the use of the security equipment to prevent unauthorized access to medical marijuana at the facility.

Most importantly, we have proven to be a cost-effective solution for Giving Tree and other medical marijuana dispensaries in Arizona because our monthly rates are approximately 80 percent less than a security officer to patrol the premises. With medical marijuana being legal in 17 states now, Centralized Vision can provide the same affordable rates, customer service and real-time security options to deter criminal activity at any dispensary in the country.

Surveillance Video Part of Our Future After Helping FBI Identify Boston Marathon Bombers

By Tom Vigilante, Jr.

I wonder what would have happened if video surveillance cameras were not able to provide the Federal Bureau of Investigation any identifying evidence of the terrorists responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15.

Once the FBI released still images and good quality video surveillance footage from a Lord and Taylor department store that publicly identified two male suspects in conjunction with the Boston Marathon bombings on April 18, federal authorities had their needle in a haystack of evidence to launch a massive manhunt to track down the terrorists. A day after the video footage was made public, one terrorist was dead and the other was in federal custody, preventing further harm to people living in Boston.

There is no doubt that surveillance video played a crucial role in solving the Boston Marathon bombing. Video cameras have helped solve and prevent other crimes as well.

The criminal investigation of the failed car bomb in Times Square in 2010 was helped enormously by surveillance video. Closed-circuit television footage identified four men involved in the London subway bombings in 2005 that killed 56 people. Phillip Markoff, who became known as the Craigslist killer, was captured in part because of video footage identifying him at the scene of the crime.

According to NBC News, more than 30 million video surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the United States over the last decade. There are surveillance cameras everywhere and you cannot operate on public property and public streets thinking that anything you do is private. And people are asking for more video cameras to be installed to catch criminals and deter terrorists.

Across the Atlantic Ocean, there is probably no other capital city intensively photographed as much as London. Great Britain currently has approximately 2 million surveillance cameras installed, which is an astounding one camera for every 32 people in the country. An average person walking throughout London can expect to be viewed on surveillance video hundreds times a day.

While privacy and civil liberties groups have recently expressed concern about too many video surveillance cameras being available for the government to view, I believe the good heavily outweighs the bad when it comes to having Big Brother watching over us. If surveillance video can help law enforcement officials solve a crime and prevent other crimes from being committed, I believe it is a fair trade for all of us to appear on video surveillance every now and then.

After all, what more could have happened if video surveillance cameras did not capture images of the Boston Marathon bombers?

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