Americans have grown accustomed to being watched. Many take for granted that almost every time they enter or leave a store, use an automated teller machine, walk into an office lobby – or even stroll down a city street – they are being surveyed and likely recorded.

For a city – such as Chicago or Baltimore, which are considered progressive in the use of video surveillance – the purpose may be to keep the streets safer. Businesses have multiple reasons for installing video surveillance, including employee safety, limiting shrinkage and theft of merchandise, documentation of break-ins or holdups, and liability.

American businesses and institutions have never been more concerned about security as they are now, so Security Distributing & Marketing set out to measure the industry’s progress in providing that security. In a series of articles, SDM reports the results of the first-ever research that asks Americans about electronic security measures used at work. To achieve simplicity and consistency, SDM’s survey asked which of six different security measures were used at work: burglar alarms, video surveillance, door locks, card access/keypads, ID badges and fire alarms. These results were cross-referenced by demographic segments, such as major metropolitan areas, to provide a gauge of the present and a benchmark for the future.

Across the United States, 37 percent of Americans say that video surveillance cameras are a workplace-employed security measure. But the national total belies the intricacies found in each market. For example, those in New England are most likely to work in a facility with a video surveillance system, while workers in the Pacific region are least likely. City by city, the results vary, sometimes widely. According to SDM’s research, the top five major metropolitan areas in which workers say they have video surveillance cameras in the workplace are:

- Hartford and New Haven, Conn.

- Atlanta, Ga.

- Nashville, Tenn.

- St. Louis, Mo.

- Cleveland-Akron, Ohio

The first four of these metro areas are profiled in this article, as well as the last metropolitan area on SDM’s top 30 list – Sacramento, Calif. By examining these cities’ business climates and talking to security companies in these markets, SDM attempts to get the story behind the numbers – at the very least, a clue about why these areas exceed the national norm. Each city has a story to tell.

No. 1 in workplace Video surveillance: Hartford-New Haven

For the third installment in this series of articles, SDM again reports that the Hartford-New Haven, Conn., metropolitan area leads the nation in not only card access and burglar alarm systems used in the workplace, but video surveillance systems, as well. As many as 55 percent of employed people in the Hartford-New Haven metro area say their workplaces are equipped with cameras, according to the results of SDM’s Consumer Study: Workplace & Home Security.

What is it about Hartford and New Haven that make this area more likely to implement electronic security in businesses and institutions? One possible answer is the types of businesses that populate this area.

While a heavy manufacturing strain still exists, it is being replaced, especially in Hartford, with insurance, financial, real estate, and computer science businesses, says Joseph Rusnak, director of marketing communications at the Connecticut Business & Industry Association in Hartford. “A major source of income is insurance. My feeling is that in an in industry such as insurance, they are extremely concerned about the security and confidentiality of their data. So they would be amongst the leaders in that area of security,” Rusnak says. In fact, Hartford is known as the insurance capital of the world, and if any industry understands the concept of limiting risk, it is the insurance industry.

Connecticut residents also have the highest per capita disposable income of all 50 states (but less than the District of Columbia), according to 2003 data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income is the income available to persons for spending or saving. This means that Connecticut residents have great purchasing power – and that may extend to the ability for small and medium-size business owners to invest in video surveillance systems.

Hartford-New Haven,


• Population rank: 42

• Property crime rate: 3,108.8

crimes per 100,000 inhabitants

• Percentage of white-collar

workers: 67%

• Percentage of burglar

alarms in the workplace: 68%

• Percentage of card access/

keypads in the workplace: 52%

• Percentage of video surveillance

cameras in the workplace: 55%

Atlanta: center for security-conscious corporate headquarters

Atlanta, Ga. – the economic hub of the South – ranks second in usage of video surveillance cameras in the workplace, according to SDM’s Consumer Study: Workplace & Home Security. Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, is the 11th largest metropolitan area in the United States. Its population grew 39 percent between 1990 and 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Atlanta is home to nearly 120,000 business establishments – 5,000 of which are manufacturing facilities and more than 11,000 of which are high-technology firms, according to the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Many Fortune 1,000 companies call Atlanta home, including United Parcel Service, BellSouth, Coca-Cola Company, Georgia-Pacific, The Home Depot, Delta Air Lines, The Southern Company, and Equifax.

“Many of these large corporate or global type employers all have national initiatives going out to standardize their facilities and systems since 9/11,” notes Darryl Keeler, president of Tech Systems in Duluth, Ga., SDM’s 2004 Systems Integrator of the Year. “[In the past, perhaps] they didn’t worry much about [a particular] facility because it was in Sacramento and crime was low. It’s now an absolute mandate that they reach a minimum expectation for safety and security, regardless of what the demographics of their area may say.”

Atlanta also is home to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int’l Airport, the busiest airport in the nation.

“I think that Atlanta is progressive in just about every facet of the business climate – period,” says Counte Cooley, president and owner of Electronic Sales Co. Inc., Gainesville, Ga., and vice president of the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association.

“We are finding more and more companies moving [their] national headquarters here. In fact, there was a survey not long ago that rated Atlanta very, very high as a place to do business. And they’re moving here in a very aggressive manner.”

Cooley is referring to Inc. magazine’s “The Top U.S. Cities for Doing Business,” (March 2004), which ranked Atlanta as the No. 1 large city in which to do business.

Cooley observes that because the Atlanta metro area is home to so many headquarters locations, it has a more profound effect on the level of security installed.

“Usually the headquarters buildings are more conscious about security than they would be if it was a satellite location. A lot of the main offices are having video tied through their networks and being able to view their satellites,” Cooley says.

In addition, the Centennial Olympic Games held in Atlanta in summer 1996 gave the city “a big booster shot right in the arm,” Cooley notes. “When you’ve got an entourage of that magnitude coming into a city for the pre-Olympic years before 1996, we were already working feverishly up to three or four years ahead of that,” Cooley says. “The whole Olympic mindset and strategic planning got kicked off immediately and we were meeting with a lot of Olympic people all over Atlanta and they heightened security.”

Atlanta, Georgia

• Population rank: 11

• Property crime rate: 4,319.9

crimes per 100,000 inhabitants

• Percentage of white-collar

workers: 66%

• Percentage of burglar

alarms in the workplace: 52%

• Percentage of card access/

keypads in the workplace: 44%

• Percentage of video surveillance

cameras in the workplace: 49%

Nashville: economic initiative, leadership in security implementation

While it ranks only 39th in the nation in population, the Nashville, Tenn., metropolitan area is experiencing above-average growth in population – meaning that new construction is a factor fueling growth in security. Nashville has the nation’s the third highest usage of video surveillance cameras in the workplace, according to respondents in SDM’s Consumer Study: Workplace & Home Security.

Nashville is the capital of Tennessee. The city is proud to claim it is No. 1 in Expansion Management magazine’s 2005 “America’s 50 Hottest Cities” ranking. The report is compiled by corporate site location consultants who chose the 50 best U.S. cities for business expansions and relocations. In ranking Nashville as the best city in America in which to expand or relocate, the magazine cited Nashville’s Partnership 2010 economic development program as having a major impact on population growth, income growth, and the successful landing of some major corporate relocations, including Dell Computers, Saturn Corp., HCA headquarters (the largest investor-owned hospital management company in America), Caterpillar Financial, Ford Motor Credit and more than 350 others.

The Nashville metro area is up to 1.5 million people, says Paul R. Owen, regional vice president at ADS Security in Nashville.

“It seems that virtually every major project that’s breaking ground is including CCTV as part of the package,” Owen notes.

“What’s causing the wave to break is that state government and city government are leading the way. In the last six or eight months, cameras went out for bid and were awarded on the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. They just redid the parking garage at metro courthouse and put in 85 cameras. The brand new Symphony Hall was just constructed and that is heavily CCTV,” Owen says.

Propelling some of the interest is a video surveillance system’s ability to be monitored remotely. One of ADS Security’s multi-national accounts had an incident, although not in Tennessee, in which an employee was murdered but not found until the following morning, Owen says. “Their reaction was they started doing due diligence…looking at putting remote video in all their locations. They felt a very strong responsibility for their employees, and the system wouldn’t have prevented it from happening, but they could have been aware of it. The remote video capabilities are becoming more of a buzzword.”

Owen observes what he calls a “dual trend” in metro Nashville.

“What’s happening right now in Nashville is that the incidence of apartment complex fires has really sent the market over the top in fire systems. Any apartment complex, nursing home, daycare – even though the fire marshals have tried to do a good job enforcing, they’re really coming down hard because of these incidents,” he states, citing that same public awareness of what could happen as a force in the video surveillance market.

“The whole thing with parking lot abductions, wherever that happens, it plays real big in Nashville in throwing it into the forefront. People being accosted, very often it’s the lead item on the news. When you actually have it happen in the city and the image is captured, it leads a frenzy,” Owen says.

Nashville, Tennessee

• Population rank: 39

• Property crime rate: 4,479.8

crimes per 100,000 inhabitants

• Percentage of white-collar

workers: 65%

• Percentage of burglar

alarms in the workplace: 49%

• Percentage of card access/

keypads in the workplace: 29%

• Percentage of video surveillance

cameras in the workplace: 49%

A good mix in St. Louis

Under the arch is a burgeoning Midwestern city known as the Gateway to the West. More than 2.6 million people live in metropolitan St. Louis, Mo., which includes 16 counties covering 6,375 square miles in Missouri and Illinois. It is the 18th largest metropolitan area in the United States, and ranks fourth in video surveillance in the workplace, according to SDM’s Consumer Study: Workplace & Home Security.

According to the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association, St. Louis is home to 19 Fortune 1000 companies. These include Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc., Graybar Electric, and May Department Stores. Main industries include aviation, biotechnology, chemicals, electrical utilities, food and beverage manufacturing, refining, research, telecommunications, and transportation, according to the association. It further states that St. Louis has a higher-than-average concentration of jobs in computer systems analysis, hardware engineering, software applications engineering, medicinals, and industrial chemicals. These are the types of businesses that place a high value on tight security, and likely are progressive in their implementation of video surveillance systems.

Brian Modglin, regional general manager of Interface Security Systems in Earth City, Mo., a St. Louis suburb, credits a mix of factors to this security success story. He thinks that the overall St. Louis economy, the mix of businesses and good communication between security providers and end-users all work together.

“St. Louis is the crossroads of America. It is a very diverse city with all types of businesses. Many Fortune 100 headquarters are here, and we have every type of business in St. Louis, so it’s a good sampling of America,” says Modglin, who has been employed with Interface Security for 13 years. “The economy is strong in St. Louis.”

He also points out that the multi-faceted uses for video surveillance are a contributing factor.

“CCTV is being used as a tool by more than just the security director nowadays. The facility managers and the marketing folks…can look at a retail site remotely and see if the shelves are stocked and the display is as it should be, if the store is clean, saving a regional manager from driving to the store. It allows us to tap into the marketing budget to provide CCTV to the customer,” Modglin says. “The customer can do a whole lot of managing his business from his laptop with network video.”

Modglin says that Interface Security, which has served the St. Louis market for 20 years, is currently working on some projects that involve video verification – another use for CCTV systems. “It’s not because of legislation, but more of a common-sense approach to control false alarms so customers don’t get fined and don’t get suspended from the police department. And it adds value for the customer because we can call the customer and give them a great description and give the police a vivid description of what’s going on in the premises and let them know what they’re walking into, so it’s a life-safety issue for law enforcement,” he says.

Modglin is an active member of the Greater St. Louis chapter of the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS), which, he claims, has very strong communication practices among security professionals.

“It’s a well-organized chapter and an award-winning chapter for their web site and their newsletter,” he says. “If one security director has a success using a CCTV solution, it is quickly communicated to all the ASIS members, because they work together to solve each other’s problems for an overall safer community.”

St. Louis, Missouri

• Population rank: 18

• Property crime rate: 3,901.5

crimes per 100,000 inhabitants

• Percentage of white-collar

workers: 56%

• Percentage of burglar

alarms in the workplace: 43%

• Percentage of card access/

keypads in the workplace: 37%

• Percentage of video surveillance

cameras in the workplace: 46%

Building awareness in Sacramento

Capital of California, Sacramento, is home to about 2.1 million people in its metropolitan area, as well as 43,624 businesses, according to the Sacramento Metro Chamber. It ranks 25th in the United States in terms of population, yet it ranks last on SDM’s top 30 metropolitan areas to have video surveillance in the workplace, according to SDM’s Consumer Study: Workplace & Home Security.

Having recently visited ADI’s newly remodeled distribution branch in Sacramento, SDM editors were impressed with what appears to be positive residential development in the area. One of the reasons ADI chose its Sacramento branch to remodel is due to the area’s high new construction activity. But, at least in Sacramento, that development may not yet have translated to increased awareness and demand for security in the commercial market.

George Mathew, now the sales manager at Bay Alarm’s Sacramento branch, also covered San Francisco, Oakland and part of San Jose when he sold CCTV systems for ADT Security Services. He thinks one of the main differences in those markets may be the cost.

“I can only think of the cost factor, the money that the business people are prepared to spend in Sacramento. I really think the business people in the Sacramento area – the money they’re willing to invest in security – seems to be really low in terms of percentage,” Mathew says. “When we do a medium- to a large-size presentation, cost always is a factor, and it’s not a big deal initially, but it does come up later in the conversation. But what I have noticed in Sacramento is that is how the conversation starts. CCTV being a high-priced item, it seems to be a big factor. When we do a presentation in San Francisco or Oakland, it will come down to price, but price is just one of the reasons people will choose a product.

“I have clearly seen the sticker shock that comes with the CCTV price tag. The alarm system that we sell is practically put in at no cost. Even a mid-size system is less than $1,000 and that is a perception that people have, that security is kind of a cheap item. When you’re talking about a digital recorder and CCTV system, they’re not prepared to spend that kind of money – $3,000 to $5,000 for a good system.”

But Mathew points out a larger issue and that is an awareness gap.

“The camera is no longer used as a security device; it’s more like a management tool to make sure the employees behave and they show up on time. That is the primary reason business owners are putting it in,” he says. “I don’t think the businesses in Sacramento see that. They think it’s for break-in reasons. The other cities are all ahead of the game.”

In Sacramento, and other cities low on the list of video surveillance in the workplace, it may simply be a matter of exposing businesses to the security industry. Mathew says that when his reps make CCTV sales presentations to Sacramento businesses, they usually are the first company to have done so, whereas in Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose, they say ‘I just had someone talk to me the other day about that.’ We have a big opportunity here and we’d like to at least make the market aware of the need and benefits of CCTV,” he adds.

Sacramento, California

• Population rank: 25

• Property crime rate: 4,225.9

crimes per 100,000 inhabitants

• Percentage of white-collar

workers: 65%

• Percentage of burglar

alarms in the workplace: 47%

• Percentage of card access/

keypads in the workplace: 29%

• Percentage of video surveillance

cameras in the workplace: 24%

Sidebar: Study Details

To conduct the SDM Consumer Study: Workplace & Home Security, SDM – through its Market Research Division, mailed surveys to 20,000 U.S. households. The household panel was selected to conform to the latest United States Census data for the nine geographical divisions; within each division by market size, age of head of household, annual household income, and household size. By the cut-off date, there were 13,997 usable returns, resulting in a 70 percent response rate.

Definition of property crime: the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson, as defined by the United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports. A word about the city comparisons: SDM’s city areas are drawn by Nielsen Designated Market Areas. With this methodology, the city area is defined by the area a television signal reaches.