Enrolling Your Exterior Security Cameras in CapitalShield is an Easy, Low-Cost Way to Protect Your Business and the Community
In response to the significant increase of active shooter situations and other emergency security incidents around the globe, many cities like London, New York and Chicago are responding with increased video surveillance to enhance public safety. Now, Washington, DC is also improving its emergency preparedness and response plans thanks in part to CapitalShield — a citywide initiative created by Kastle Systems that is helping commercial property owners, businesses, institutions, and law enforcement agencies combine forces and share access to video surveillance during emergency situations.
Launched in late 2014, CapitalShield makes it easy for business owners to provide the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) direct access to their security cameras. This expanded visibility not only helps law enforcement assess and prevent crime, it also enables first responders to quickly gain the situational awareness needed to assist citizens during emergency situations.
Businesses interested in joining CapitalShield can enroll existing Kastle security cameras at no charge and would be connected to the MPD’s Joint Operations Center; businesses without existing Kastle video surveillance can get a free site survey and assessment on how to make their spaces safer with a new video system, which, in turn, can be enrolled. Any system purchased from Kastle with the agreement to enroll in CapitalShield is heavily subsidized by Kastle as part of Kastle’s support of MPD and the CapitalShield Program. When alerted to an emergency situation or serious crime, the MPD accesses area cameras to formulate the fastest and most effective response.
The value to both community business owners and law enforcement officials is significant, which is why several business leaders — including Douglas Development, Vornado Reality Trust, PN Hoffman, First Potomac Realty Trust, The Tower Companies and Tishman Speyer — have implemented and enrolled their cameras in CapitalShield. “It’s a great way to give back to the community while enhancing the security of your own property and business,” said George Ballman, President and General Manager of Kastle’s Mid Atlantic region. “It’s a win-win for everyone."
Also attractive to business owners is the fact that CapitalShield adds protection to their property without compromising their privacy. “All the cameras are outdoors — in alleys, around the perimeter of a building, or in other visible and public areas where no one has an expectation of privacy,” Ballman explained. Moreover, the MPD is legally prohibited from monitoring live camera feeds on an ongoing basis. It can only access the cameras if there is a crime in progress or during an emergency crisis situation.
Of course, the impact of a program like CapitalShield is completely dependent on the willingness of business owners to participate — that’s why Kastle is donating its time and resources, including 1,000 video surveillance cameras, to any business that wants to become involved in this effort to make the city safer. So far, it has significantly increased video coverage across Washington, DC, signing 727 cameras at 100 different sites.