I recently visited the video monitoring center of Stealth Monitoring to study trucking security. I was curious to see how live video surveillance might be used during in-transit truck or trailer and last mile courier moves. Stealth Monitoring management stated that whether the technology is deployed at the corporate facility or actively on the trucks themselves, the trucking industry now has the ability to provide real time monitoring, which could reduce cargo theft and other losses, improve productivity and allow the load to be much more secure because authorities can be immediately contacted and dispatched in the case of problems.
Recent Dallas Police statistics published for 2010 indicate that commercial crime incidents, including those for trucking, are 10% lower over the last eight years in Dallas, Texas. Police credit this downward trend to the use of surveillance cameras and advanced technology, including live video monitoring that notifies police or stakeholders when there are unusual or unauthorized activities. Having someone proactively live monitor security devices allows trained operators to determine if police should be dispatched or stakeholders should be notified.
By installing a two camera system and a GPS tracking device for trucking security in a vehicle along with a cellular mobile internet connection, the vehicle can be monitored not only for exact location, but also as to who is entering the vehicle and what is being loaded or removed.
Stealth is already working with law enforcement and police departments to deploy bait cars, cargo, and trucks which can be monitored remotely. Stealth is also now interfacing the technology with some local police departments to provide direct access to video cameras at client’s locations. With the widespread availability of 3G and 4G high speed mobile networks nationwide, there are less and less “dark spots” where coverage is not available.
During my visit to the Stealth Video Monitoring control center in Dallas, I witnessed their capability to monitor thousands of cameras for hundreds of commercial clients. Norm Charney, owner of Stealth, discussed logistics security. He said he recognized the need of live monitoring because of the lack of effectiveness of surveillance cameras without monitoring or alert capabilities. Having a trucking security video recording after the fact is too late to stop vandals or thieves and most of the times, does not provide the needed evidence to identify suspects. When the cameras or devices are live monitored, police can be dispatched in real time and have a great opportunity to arrest the perpetrators.
Stealth Management also showed me how they can utilize their cargo and trucking security technology to provide access control and video surveillance equipment to lock down a facility. This virtual gatekeeper outsourced service includes opening and closing gates, activating audio speakers, controlling lighting, and allowing authorized entry and exit from the central monitoring center.
J.J. Coughlin, Chairman
Southwest Transportation Security Council