Security is big business in America, with estimated annual revenues of $350 billion. The federal government alone spends nearly $70 billion a year on homeland security. Despite those big dollar figures, security organizations are always looking for force multipliers, and many turn to wireless technology.
Wireless equipment and devices have a long track record as effective force multipliers. They also deliver discretion, mobility, and improved coordination—all key issues for an industry that continues to refine the balance between vigilance and visibility. Meanwhile, the security industry finds itself with a new responsibility: the protection of information.
“Security organizations are well known for their ability to provide physical security,” said Hugh Johnston, Product & Purchasing Manager at BearCom. “But increasingly, they have become responsible for securing not only those physical locations, but also the information they house. As they do this, they are embracing four essential wireless technologies: two-way radios, speaker-microphones and surveillance kits, IP video surveillance, and remote call boxes.”
Two-Way Radios and Repeaters
Two-way radios and repeaters are essential tools for security organizations. Among their most popular choices:
- Motorola CP200, one of the most successful two-way radios ever released
- Motorola XPR3300, which combines the best of two-way radio functionality with digital technology
- Motorola XPR6550 that boasts advanced features one-touch calling, quick text messaging, and enhanced call management, making it ideal for professionals
Now the CP200 is available in a digital version, the Motorola CP200d. The CP200d retains the radio’s simplicity and durability, and the form factor is virtually the same. The new model is backward compatible, so it uses the same chargers, batteries, and speaker-microphones as the CP200. Also available is a digital-capable version that can be converted later from analog to digital operation.
Speaker Microphones and Surveillance Kits
To keep radio communications simple and discreet, the security industry has long relied on speaker-microphones and surveillance kits. With a speaker-mic clipped to a shoulder, a security officer can talk without taking his or her radio out of its belt holster. A surveillance kit lets an officer in uniform or plain clothes hear what is being said without others getting that information. Two-wire surveillance kits let the user clip the mic to a shirt or jacket, while three-wire kits hide the push-to-talk button in a jacket sleeve, so the user can transmit without noticeable hand movements.
IP Video Surveillance
IP video surveillance is essential for security organizations needing to cover large areas and do so safely. Wireless cameras don’t require extensive cabling, just a power source. These systems can be monitored remotely—even from mobile devices—and they can provide recordings as well as live viewing. The mere presence of video surveillance cameras has been shown to deter criminal activity.
Remote Call Box
Another established security industry tool is the remote call box, which brings radio communications to people who don’t carry radios, such as those seeking access through a gate or interior door. The presence of remote call boxes also helps deter crime, and wireless call boxes eliminate the need for expensive wiring.
“The one-to-many communication of two-way radios is perfectly suited for bringing attention and manpower to the right place in the face of a threat or an emergency,” Johnston said, “and more effective communication bolsters officer safety.”