LAST EDIT April 4, 2023
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Are drones and robots set to replace unarmed security officers?
ADT Commercial seems to think so.
Gemini, ADT's new security robot, is one of the new generation of critters putting in an appearance this week at The International Security Conference in Las Vegas—the annual event that's billed as the largest security industry trade show in the United States.
The robot is part of a suite of new products by ADT Commercial known as EvoGuard. The EvoGuard product suite features a fleet of humanoid robots and drones with the purported purpose of helping organizations enhance security and supplement human guard services through the use of intelligent autonomous guarding solutions; or, in the words of one high-ranking ADT official: "helping to cost-effectively enhance corporate security programs, while responding to high turnover rates and ongoing labor shortages in the guarding market."
While we've yet to see evidence of the robots in the wild, ADTs drones are already undergoing a pilot program at Swiss watchmaker Movado's New Jersey's plant.
The drones boast an:
Ability to go to a programed destination or follow an autonomous patrol route at routine intervals;
Respond to alerts to trigger investigatory flights and interact with security incidents in virtually real-time; and
Sport an always-on video feed to provide more comprehensive surveillance coverage—whether in flight or monitoring from a docking station.
What do you think? Will these drones and robots replace unarmed security, keep reading to the end of this article for the all wise, official prognostication of The Security Officer Network.
To the Ottawa train station where one Canadian security officer has gone viral after appearing to tell a Toronto man, "don't pray here, we don't want you praying here," before instructing the man to pray outside. When the man refused to commit to this request, the footage appears to show the officer stating, "I am going to complain to your employer." The video of just 28 seconds earned approximately 300k views in just its first day.
It's not yet clear what took place before the recording started but that hasn't stopped the state-owned Via Rail—which is charged with operating the station—from already issuing a public apology to the man. An investigation into the circumstances of the incident is planned after which Via Rail intends to take "appropriate action."
CTV news reports the man as saying that the officer's fellow employees have defended the officer and describe him as a long-time officer who routinely responds to issues regarding the homeless that use the station.
So, it's probably a safe bet that robots wouldn't give in to the human pressures of dealing with the challenge of securing a public access facility and potentially declaring "no praying here."
And, they probably wouldn't retaliate by complaining to the man's employer.
To the Tulsa zoo where a wanted fugitive has turned himself in—to the zoo's contract security officer.
Owl Nite Security officer Jermey Cryer says he was just wrapping up his shift at the zoo when a subject by the name of McGlothlin approached and turned himself in. As it would turn out McGlothlin had been featured by the Tulsa Crime Stoppers and was wanted for multiple alleged crimes against children. He has been charged with 11 counts.
Owl Nite runs some very professionally marked patrol vehicles and a review of their site shows officers sporting professional, dark navy uniforms. It's just the right amount of professionalism to encourage a wanted fugitive to give himself up.
Maybe we should poll McGlothlin to see if he would have been so eager to voluntarily run himself into—Mr. Gemini.
We now know the fate of the proposed new law that would require banks, gas stations, grocery stores and pawn shops to employ at least one armed guard during operating hours.
The controversial plan was proposed earlier this year by an Illinois politician—presumably in response to Chicago's crime spike. Though it would have had a potentially significant impact on the security industry, the plan had been panned as a potentially inflation-inducing measure in a time when customers are already dealing with big spikes in prices.
And, it appears that even the big-spending, heavily regulating politicians in Springfield weren't going to go this far. The bill didn't receive committee approval. Last week marked the deadline for House action in Illinois and thus it appears that for now, the proposal is dead.
This isn't the first such proposal in this area. A proposed city ordinance requiring certain gas stations to hire mandatory armed security has been supported by the Mayor and debated by the City Council in nearby Gary Indiana with some suggestion that it should be applied to food stores as well.
Look for these types of proposals to continue into the future as desperate governments increasingly turn to private security providers to assist them with restoring a civil society.
So, if Mr. Robot does take your unarmed security job, there might just be a new armed security guard position with your name on it.
And, finally to San Clemente where the government is once again acknowledging the limitations of the police and looking to private security for help. The City Council is debating on hiring a private security company to prevent homeless from setting up camp on North Beach after locals have described the constant barrage of homeless people trespassing onto private property, interrupting events, breaking windows and leaving drug paraphernalia behind.
“This is about the safety and security of our families," declared Gene James, the council sponsor of the proposal, who explained that he doesn't want San Clemente to become like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland and more.
Police, specifically the Orange County Sheriff's office have attempted to "refocus" deputies on providing coverage to the beach but acknowledges that this means other places in the city will receive fewer patrols.
The proposal would retain a security firm that's already providing services in nearby Oceanside California where private officers are now patrolling downtown, beachfront and Civic Center neighborhoods as part of a one-year pilot program that started last October.
The San Clemente plan would use four security guards patrolling the beaches 24/7 with marked vehicles and body cams and would potentially cost $131,400 per month, over $1.5 million a year.
The plan has drawn criticism with some calling it unconstitutional.
In a recent meeting, the Council narrowly voted to put the plan on hold but it is set to re-consider the idea in mid April.
So, will robots begin replacing unarmed security jobs?
Perhaps, perhaps to a small extent in the near future; but, not to a large extent, at least not any time soon.
As the last two news stories have demonstrated there's an increasing demand for security; specifically human security. And, while yes, in some cases unarmed security positions are set to be replaced, the industry will continue to grow and there will be more and more demand for all types of security both human and automated.
Those who are just getting into security and who are willing to learn the new technologies will more than likely always have a job in this industry; one way or another, either by providing direct human security or indirectly through the oversight and maintenance of autonomous security devices.
We should know more on this in just a few days as the new Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers are set to be released. Have the number of guards under badge increased or deceased? And how much has inflation driven up security guard pay? Stay tuned! We go live with the new numbers just shortly after they are released.
Is it a pre-ordained certainty that robots replace unarmed security officers? If so, how long do security officers have before they are usurped by the new drone and robot hordes?
What have you witnessed?
Have you seen a single security job replaced by automation?
Leave your opinions in the comments below the attached YouTube video.
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