Securing the Workplace Part 2: Surveillance and Technology 

Drinkwater’s Auto Sales, a family business in Milford, operated without surveillance equipment for years.”In a small bedroom community like this, crime really wasn’t there. I can remember years ago when Dad would leave all the keys in the cars and there was never any problems,” said Manager Gary Drinkwater.But as we see on the news almost daily, times have changed. It’s an unfortunate fact Drinkwater learned the hard way.”In March of 04, we had some burgulars break in and try to steal the safe,” he said.Drinkwater decided to invest in a surveillance system and contacted Black Shepherd Security for help.”I talk with them, ask them what their major concerns are and we do a walk through. We talk with employees and we come up with a plan,” said George Deforge, a technician at Black Shepherd Security who installed Drinkwater’s system.Security experts like those at Black Shepherd and those at Maine Security Surveillance know these kinds of systems aren’t one size fits all or one price fits all. “The corporations that need multiple cameras 20 or 30 cameras, it’s probably a pretty sizable system in Maine, so you’re looking at all digital. You can be anywhere from 20 to 30,000 dollars on the install costs, to the small mom and pop stores you might be in the $1,000 range. It’s really custom made to whatever you need,” said Steve Hayden, Vice-President and General Manager at Maine Security Surveillance.While it’s always going to be an investment for an employer no matter how big their business is, technology has actually made security more affordable.”The last 5 to 7 years has been drastic improvements on quality of production but yet price reduction. Similar to microwaves, where 25 years ago they were 1,200 pounds and $1,200, now you can buy them for $50,” said Hayden.Like all electronics, surveillance systems have come a long way for both recording video and watching it live.”It used to be that you had something similar to a VCR. Now you really have a computer hard drive digitally storing the video that is recorded,” said Jim McGuire, Owner of Black Shepherd Security.Hayden said, “Just like watching HDTV at home, digital picture is a lot more clear than an analog so that’s what’s more popular nowadays with the camera system.”All of this is available for business owners to view on premises or on the go. “I can view it on a smart phone or a PC at home and it’s all recorded. As well as the machine has the intelligence to send out an email alert even if you’re not watching you can get notified if something happened at the premises,” said McGuire.They can even arm and disarm their security systems from their phone, almost like using a remote control. All of this new technology and better quality equipment is making it easier than ever to keep intruders out of your business, and aiding police in catching them if they do get in. Chief Joe Massey of the Waterville Police Department said, “Some of our best evidence comes from video surveillance so it’s important to number one, get the right video surveillance, get the right coverage and believe it or not, have someone on the premises that knows how to run it.”It makes Gary Drinkwater feel more comfortable knowing he can keep a better watch over his business.He said, “We’re able to use the internet on a smart phone or anything to look through our camera system anytime, anywhere in the world.”He said that feeling of safety anytime, anywhere was worth the investment.If you’d like to get in touch with either of these security companies visit their websites: Black Shepherd Security and Maine Security Surveillance.