Solve the Challenges of Theft, Vagrancy and Dumping While Saving Money
Citrus Construction is one of Florida’s leading licensed contractors, specializing in multi-family housing developments. At any given time, it manages operations at several active building sites throughout the state. Citrus Construction is a subsidiary of The Richman Group, the seventh largest rental apartment owner in the United States.
Citrus Construction needed an effective and affordable way to deter trespassing, reduce criminal activity, and respond to suspicious incidents on their construction sites during off-hours.
Greg Van Haute, Vice President at Citrus Construction, explains, “We’ve tried using security officers in the past, and it hasn’t been very successful. Even when we’d have agents on-site, there were still incidents of crime occurring on our properties. Sometimes, the officer may have even been involved. We needed to find a new solution based on today’s technology.”
Citrus desired a flexible and scalable solution appropriate to deploy across its many job sites. While each construction project is unique in its physical design, the sites pose common logistical challenges for security technology deployment.
- Construction equipment is always on the move. Security devices must have a small footprint and be located out of harm’s way.
- Infrastructure is lacking. In most cases, a local wireless (or wired) network does not exist.
- Vandals and criminals have become immune to the presence of common security cameras. Any solution must be highly visible, command authority, and have a deterrent effect.
- Security technology must be smart enough to “understand” what it detects – accurately differentiating people and vehicles from their surroundings within a dynamic, constantly changing landscape.
Citrus also sought a technology that could be easily transferred from site to site, as the company completed projects and initiated new ones. Therefore, fast and straightforward installation and configuration were non-negotiable.
Citrus Construction deployed ROSA units, Responsive Observation Security Agents, manufactured by Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD).
ROSA is a compact, self-contained, security and communication solution that can be deployed in about 15 minutes. All it requires is power. ROSA’s AI-driven security systems include human and vehicle detection, license plate recognition, responsive digital signage and audio messaging, and complete integration with RAD’s software suite notification and response library. Two-way communication is optimized for cellular, including live video from ROSA’s dual high-resolution, full-color, always-on cameras.
Citrus Construction has mounted ROSA units at entrances to their sites – the bottleneck points through which all people and traffic must pass to enter the construction zones. Each device is mounted on a pole or wall, about 15 feet high, and provides 180° coverage. “The biggest thing with ROSA is that it has a presence,” says Van Haute. “When people initially see it, they don’t know what it is. They might have second thoughts about coming to steal from us or engaging in criminal behavior.”
Anyone entering the properties can’t miss seeing ROSA’s bright, scrolling LED text, neon ribbons, and two video cameras. Should they come within approximately 250 feet of the unit, Citrus’s ROSAs have been set to automatically respond with flashing red lights and a visual warning to “leave immediately!” If, after a specified period, ROSA continues to detect a presence, the alert messaging intensifies. This can include a blaring siren, more threatening digital signage and pre-recorded audio warnings, and the option for monitoring personnel to issue live instructions over ROSA’s loudspeakers.
Van Haute, along with other senior members of his team, receives an automated text notification when an event occurs. Using RAD’s SOC dashboard, which is accessible through a mobile app or web browser, they can call up live video and determine a course of action. For Citrus, if ROSA fails to serve as a deterrent, the police are summoned.
The fact that ROSA’s notifications are being directed to Citrus management, rather than to a guard service, is a considerable shift from the traditional security operations paradigm. ROSA is, in effect, doing the job that an on-site guard would typically perform, mitigating crime by its presence and automated response protocol. Like a human guard, it only calls for “back-up” when it is actually needed. But unlike a human officer, ROSA is not limited to an inflexible chain of command that requires it to contact its own guard organization to request assistance. The role of reviewing periodic notifications and initiating responses can be handled by Van Haute and his colleagues, rather than paying a patrol service to do so. False alerts are infrequent, thanks to the accuracy of ROSA’s cloud-based intelligence, thereby reducing the burden.
“The automated alerts are great,” says Van Haute. “We get a text message whenever something happens.” RAD also offers an optional low-cost, turn-key monitoring service. Cameras on ROSA units (and on other RAD security devices) are observed 24-7 by security professionals trained to initiate responsive actions as appropriate. “We plan to start using this service soon so that our team can stop picking up those warning notifications in the middle of the night,” Van Haute adds.
ROSA has improved security at Citrus Construction sites for a significantly lower out-of-pocket cost.
The company contracts the use of its ROSA units via RAD’s subscription service. The low hourly-rate that Citrus pays per-device is all-inclusive. “We don’t have to worry about anything,” says Van Haute. “If somebody steals it, or it stops working, it’s covered. That’s what we want – total piece of mind.” The subscription service also includes help with installation, set up, and programming. “We’re moving these units from site to site, and we’re getting better at doing it ourselves. They’re pretty simple to install; because ROSA communicates via cellular, we never have to worry about an internet connection.”
“In addition to nighttime hours, we used to spend a lot of money for 24-hour security on Sundays,” Van Haute explains. “Through RAD’s subscription model, we’re paying a fraction of what we were paying before.”
“More importantly, we’ve seen a drop in crime. ROSA is doing the same or better than having a security guard in place. When ROSA sees someone at night, its response is scary enough that it does the trick.”
Citrus Construction’s successful deployment of ROSA devices is just one real-world example of Automated Remote Services (ARS) at work. ARS represents the digital transformation of security guard services that is currently underway, by which AI-driven technologies replace or supplement human patrols. The results include cost savings, greater efficiencies, and enhanced security. Applications extend not only to properties currently paying too much for guard services, but also to entities that have previously been unable to afford 24-7 security coverage. Citrus Construction’s future plans speak to the company’s appreciation of ROSA as a winning solution. Van Haute says, “Ultimately, we expect to have several more units in our inventory, enough to cover all of our properties!”