Regardless of what industry you work in, the safety of employees and products that are in transit is paramount. Cannabis transportation in particular requires the movement of very valuable cargo, including both inventory and cash. As a business grows, so too does the risk. Some companies elect to install mobile surveillance systems in company vehicles as a part of their more comprehensive security plan. Mobile surveillance gives business owners peace of mind when thousands of dollars worth of product and cash are in transit.
What is mobile surveillance?
It’s pretty safe to assume that most people are familiar with camera surveillance systems. They’re practically a standard now, and are observable around buildings with high foot traffic, including banks, offices, stores, and schools. The cameras you see mounted in and around buildings are all connected to a recording device, typically a station where security personnel can review the image feeds. It’s not all that different for a moving vehicle; cameras are placed on the exterior, the driver’s cabin, the cargo area, and connected to a recorder. However, the mobile environment presents unique challenges that stationary systems likely won’t face. Driving a vehicle down a normal road induces a huge amount of vibration, kicking up dust, mud, water, and anything else that the environment throws at you that day. The cameras and their associated equipment must withstand these conditions, and maintain clear and useful images.
Typical mobile surveillance cameras are specially constructed in housings that are built to endure the location they’re installed in. Cameras intended for use on the outside of the vehicle are built with water-tight seals to resist the weather, while interior cameras are designed to be more compact. Both interior and exterior cameras have built-in microphones for audio recording. Most importantly, however, is the recorder. When these are installed in a vehicle, they are built to endure extreme shocks and vibrations. Mobile recorders are often housed in shock and vibration-resistant housings, using solid-state recording media (solid state drives or simple SD cards) that can handle higher G forces. The system is powered by the vehicle ignition, for hands-free operation that alleviates the potential for human error.
The effects of these cameras are twofold:
- They create accountability, encouraging drivers to perform at their best. Psychology studies have shown that when people believe they are being watched, they tend to behave more appropriately.
- They exonerate wrong-doings, such as when anyone makes a false claim. The advent of body cameras for police officers has helped many to clear their names.
With views on the road and inside the delivery truck, you can see the road conditions, how other drivers are behaving, and how your driver reacts to them. You can use this information to coach your drivers on how to improve, or train new hires. If and when an accident happens, you’ll have irrefutable, hard evidence that you can take to court should the need arise.
Record a Story
Watch as product is first loaded into the truck all the way to when it arrives at its destination. Cargo area cameras keep an eye on all of your valuable goods and who is handling them. Many mobile recorders, including Safety Vision’s, also record timestamps and GPS coordinates. You’ll be able to see exact departure and arrival times, and see the precise route that was taken, including any authorized (or unauthorized) stops. With enough cameras, you can capture the entire story, and can even improve your training materials for new hires.
Ever have the sensation that you’re being watched? Ever behaved a little differently because of it? When everyone knows they’re being observed, theft and other crimes diminish. For many business owners, it might seem counterintuitive to have highly visible cameras; you might think that you want the cameras hidden or otherwise inconspicuous because you don’t want people to know you’re watching.
In reality you want the cameras to be as visible as possible! Criminals will think twice about hijacking a shipment or attacking an employee, and your employees can work with confidence knowing that there is a visible record of events being created. An additional “panic button” should be made available near their seat so that if a dangerous situation occurs, a distress call can be sent to someone in real time, potentially saving a life.
Track Your Assets
Most of this discussion has been about hardware, but some of the coolest innovations in mobile security have come in the form of software. GPS tracking, live video streaming, and custom email alerts are some of the hottest requests made by fleet operators.
The benefits these features are obvious. You can set up a geo-fence that defines an area or route that a vehicle is authorized to operate in; when a vehicle leaves that area, an email alert is sent automatically and directly to the operator. You can monitor idle time, set up alerts for when the vehicle departs or arrives at the dispensary, or receive notifications if the panic button is pressed. With live streaming, you can then view any camera on the vehicle to see exactly what is happening from your computer, tablet or phone.
To learn more about how Safety Vision is helping to keep cannabis inventory secure throughout any and all stages of its transportation, visit www.safetyvision.com/cannabis.
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About the Author
Monica Marcos is a Marketing and Sales Specialist at Safety Vision, where she works with clients in various industries to help inform, educate, and advise them of mobile video solutions for their fleet. Monica has extensive expertise of mobile video surveillance systems across several industries including school, transit, and law-enforcement, among many others.