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Introduction to Surveillance for Parks and Recreation Areas

Posted on September 11, 2014 in Surveillance for Parks & Recreation Areas

Covert Field Surveillance Trail Cameras

For technology, there are several great choices of covert video gear designed specifically to meet the field surveillance needs of law enforcement. All of these can be placed into three main categories trail cameras, video based devices and cellular based devices.

In this multi-part blog series you will learn more about leveraging portable covert video surveillance.

Effective Solutions for Tough Times

Law enforcement agencies tasked with providing enforcement activities for areas such as parks, wildlife refuges, and reservations have always had a tough job given the vast expanses of land and the tendency for criminals to exploit the natural seclusion.

Today, that job is more tough with budget crisis after budget crisis that has put parks at the top of the list for cuts. In response to crime such as meth production, burglary of motor vehicles, or sexual crimes our basic law enforcement training tells us to react with a very visible threat to deter future crimes.

Some of the basics that we’re trained to employ are:

  1. Increase visible patrols
  2. Repair, rehab and replace (property in disrepair encourages further vandalism)
  3. Improve lighting
  4. Minimize areas of concealment
  5. Install CCTV surveillance systems

I agree that all of the classic responses to criminal activity should happen, however I argue that there is an alternative that should be done in tandem with traditional park security measures. Regardless of the budget, traditional response have an effect on crime but tend to only push that activity to a different area and/or conceal the activity even further.

Additionally, traditional measures are for the most part costly, and in the case of fixed CCTV you can’t move the equipment once you’ve spent thousand erecting poles and trenching concrete.

The alternative I recommend employing in tandem with traditional security approaches is covert video equipment. I’m not the first person to come to this conclusion, and there are thousands of agencies across the country that practice this every day.

The advantages they find are:

  1. Removal of the undesired elements – Traditional measures are not effective in catching activity but instead, pushing it around. Conversely, covert activities allow the activity to persist long enough for law enforcement to make an arrest. Once caught, those elements can be removed – hopefully on permanent basis.
  2. Portable – Today’s covert video gear for outdoor surveillance is meant to be deployed quickly. This gives agencies the advantage to move the gear where and when it is needed.
  3. Easy to operate – Unlike systems from the 90’s and early 00’s, covert video gear today is truly simple to use. In some cases it is just a push of a button and the camera is ready for action.
  4. Use in tandem with traditional measures – Traditional measures, especially the visible threats to crime, such as patrols and traditional CCTV surveillance can be used to enhance efforts to catch the bad guy. Used together, agencies can funnel criminal activities into a smaller area and make it easier to use covert video equipment to increase results.
  5. Relative low cost – Relative to the traditional measures of extra fuel, manpower, construction and fixed surveillance, covert video is a bargain – especially given the results it delivers in the hands of law enforcement.

Part 1: Trail Cameras »