Critical infrastructure is an extremely important part of our everyday lives, but we rarely think about it. When was the last time you wondered if there would be a road to get to the store or if your lights would turn on when you flipped the switch? What about your water—have you ever thought it wouldn’t come out of the tap when you turned it on?
Critical infrastructure impacts every American, every day whether they realize it or not. There are more than 6,400 power plants, 3,000 power companies, and more than 55,000 substations across the country that make it so you can have light with the flip of a switch. Also, there are more than 164,000 miles of freeway and 153,000 public drinking systems in the United States. So, whether you are turning on a light, getting a drink of water, or driving to a store you are using critical infrastructure.
Millions of lives, thousands of businesses including law enforcement, hospitals, and telecommunications rely on it. That’s why protecting critical infrastructure is so important.
Criminals, including trespassers, thieves, vandals, and more target critical infrastructure. Often, there is equipment, materials, and property left in remote areas with no one onsite. It makes for the perfect criminal recipe—free pickings and no one to stop them.
Scott Parker, the Manager of Security and Emergency Management at Snohomish PUD, has seen criminal activity of all shapes and sizes. “In my 30 years’ experience in law enforcement, now two and a half years with Snohomish PUD, I can unequivocally say that criminal activity has increased, it's gotten worse,” he said. “It ebbs and flows where maybe one type of crime is really popular at a certain period in time, and then that goes away. And then another type of crime increases or replaces that one. And being in critical infrastructure and key resources, that security piece is pivotal in maintaining situational awareness with the criminal activity that is occurring within our service territory and working towards security solutions to combat those types of crimes as they come and go.”
Deploying LVT Enterprise Video Surveillance Systems
The Snohomish PUD decided to deploy LVT when they were struggling with vandals and thieves. Located in Snohomish County, the Snohomish PUD is the twelfth largest public utility in the country and the second largest in the state of Washington. They serve more than 875,000 residents, providing electric services to 373,000 homes and businesses and water service to more than 23,000 homes.
Several of their sites sit on DNR lands that are open to the public, which makes securing them difficult. “We were having issues with people breaking in, stealing stuff, cutting fences, causing all kinds of problems,” said Matt Hoffman, the Security Project Manager for Snohomish PUD. Also, they couldn’t afford to have people get to the powerhouse or the dam, where they could maliciously or inadvertently cause lots of damage.
“Security is really important in the critical infrastructure family,” said Parker. “If something goes down, whether it’s just a petty theft or vandalism or a fence cut versus an organized group trying to take out a substation, it impacts our customers. It impacts healthcare, law enforcement, telecommunications, water, utilities, [and] pump stations.”
The company decided to deploy LVT Units as an additional layer to their current security measures. Not only are LVT mobile surveillance units specifically designed to be off-the-grid at any location, they also alert the end users the instant there is an incident at the property. Something that is invaluable to the Snohomish PUD. “Anytime someone comes on the property that we don't want to be there, our guards are already alerted, it's popped up, they're aware of an issue. Now, we can get ahead of it, instead of waiting until we find something in the morning, and then have to look at the recording,” said Hoffman.
Added Parker, “With the LVT cameras, we've transitioned from reactive to a more proactive security posture, meaning if something was reported and it was discovered that it was two or three days, it occurred two or three days previously, we had to scour video, we had to save video, and that was time consuming.”
Adding Deterrence with Trailer Security Systems
LVT Units also add deterrence to a location wherever they are deployed. Hoffman said now people see the camera trailers or hear a warning through their speakers and they just turn around. “For the most part, people when they see that, they know they’re not supposed to be where they’re not supposed to be…And since we’ve put the LVT trailers in there, we’ve had no instances.”
Parker echoed Hoffman. “To put it simply, there’s just no issues where the trailers are located,” he said.
The LVT Units augment Snohomish PUD’s other security efforts which include guards, stationary cameras, alarms, and more. “When you start looking at a security system, you've got to look at it holistically,” said Parker. “…It’s a layered approach, right? So, the LVT cameras [are] another layer in our system. It augments humans. Security officers. It augments fixed cameras. It augments alarming systems. It augments a number of different things. It's portable. So, we don't look at just the LVT system, or the LVT security solution. We're looking at a system and the LVT plugs in very nicely to our system at Snohomish PUD. It's another layer within our system. It gives us advantages.”
Ready to Learn More?
Is your business struggling with increased criminal activity? Read more about how LVT helps critical infrastructure or learn how you can add another layer to your business security systems by contacting us today.