LP Magazine

MAY-JUN 2019

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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1,000 C-level executives representing thirteen industries in fifteen countries reported that the executives believed improved weather insights can reduce annual operating costs, with nearly a quarter saying the savings can be between 2 percent and 5 percent. Naturally, there is a limit to technology's ability to prevent harm from violence in open environments such as retail. "If you're a corner store and someone comes in shooting, it's not going to be a savior at that point," noted Maira. But he added that for a big box or shopping mall, a critical event management platform, tied to other technology such as gunshot detection, can provide a way to spark real-time communication with employees that could be lifesaving in an active-shooter event. At the 2019 ISC West trade show, booths touting gunshot detection solutions had a larger footprint than in years' past, from big names like Johnson Controls to smaller ones like Amberbox and Safe Zone. Although the retail applications may be limited, the technology seems to be ripening, and cost has also come down. Safe Zone's sensors are priced at $149 apiece, which would allow an average-sized convenience store to benefit from coverage for about $600. Late last year, Charleston International Airport added a more complete technology solution from Shooter Detection Systems, which will help steer first responders to an incident more quickly (via shot location information) with more information (by streaming relevant video streams), as well as activating appropriate door locking and unlocking. Technology can be a deterrent to violent criminals as well. For example, a late-night armed robber of a convenience store will often wear a mask or hoodie to evade identification by surveillance video, but integrating video with a store's front door can provide protection without putting store associates behind off-putting bulletproof glass encasements or using revenue-limiting "wall through" windows. Moto Mart locations in the Midwest, for example, are using First Line facial recognition by Blue Line Technology to deny entry to individuals who wear masks or otherwise attempt to conceal their identities. During overnight hours, the stores' doors remain locked until a surveillance camera outside the store entrance captures a clear image of an approaching customer's face, at which time software unlocks the door, with the goal of preventing incidents by forcing potentially violent criminals to be videotaped. "Retailers' number one priority is the safety and security of their main assets—their associates—as well customers, but we've been living for a decade in an environment where LP is being asked to do more with less," explained Hedgie Bartol, business development manager for retail at Axis Communications, which is where networked security technology comes in, he said. Unlike a closed video-surveillance system (CCTV), a network solution is easy to scale and redeploy, which provides LP with real options for leveraging technology to enhance safety and security without the cost of deploying additional LP staff. One example, he noted, is to use audio analytics, either as a standalone module or a camera add-on. "They can tell when things are getting heated, like between a cashier and a customer," said Bartol. "It can immediately send an alert to a manager or someone who is specially trained in de-escalation to go to the scene to help," said Bartol. In an ISC West conference panel discussion on physical security applications for artificial intelligence, Ken Mills, general manager of IoT, surveillance, and security at Dell, recounted how one European city's shopping district, hampered by rowdy behavior late at night, deployed audio analytics to trigger street lights to increase brightness when it detected escalating voice levels. Doing so helped to modulate patrons' behavior and restore the shopping area's reputation in continued from page 22 TOOLS AND TRAINING HELP LP TEAMS PUNCH BACK AGAINST VIOLENCE The Top Threats* That Retail Organizations Are Preparing Against Active-Shooter Situations 89% Workplace Violence 78% Natural Disasters 66% Cyber Crime 53% Supply Chain Issues 44% Terrorism/Man-Made Disasters 41% Executive Protection/Travel Security 31% Product Tampering 28% Organizational Malfeasance 22% Other 6% Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Release 3% None of the Above 3% *Survey respondents were instructed to select "all that apply" (Source: Responses of thirty-seven retail companies to the 2018 Active-Shooter Preparedness Survey, Everbridge/ASIS International) Hedgie Bartol 24 MAY–JUNE 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM continued on page 26

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