The Diamond District located in the heart of midtown Manhattan on 47th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues is home to more than approximately 2,600 independent jewelry stores brimming with precious- and semi-precious stones, silver and gold. New York City, including the Diamond District, is also home to more than 15,000 surveillance cameras operated by private-security firm SW24 Security, New York, which was founded and is staffed by decorated veteran law enforcement professionals from the New York City Police and Fire Departments, among other security experts. These cameras are accessible by NYC-area first responders as part of the SW24 Citywide Safety Initiative.
The tens of millions of dollars in diamonds and other stones that are changing hands in the most informal ways on a daily basis in this district make it a target for criminals. “There are over 3,000 different companies and related businesses that have very specific security needs,” said Jay Stuck, SW24’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, who also serves on the National Crime Prevention Council’s board of directors. “We meet those needs by maintaining a presence right in the middle of it all.”
SW24 has strategically located its guard response unit directly in the center of the 47th street area in order to dramatically reduce response time by its guards, because every second, especially during an armed intrusion, counts. Most insurance companies for jewelry stores have strict rules for owners in regard to security. “Armed response is a key component,” Stuck said.
Recently, SW24 Security received Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certification for meeting all requirements under the UL Standard for Central Station Alarm Service(CPVX/CVSG)for burglar alarm monitoring, service and guard response.
The new listing makes SW24 one of only 50 central station owners in the United States with this type of listing, according to a UL spokesperson. UL certification is the minimum table-stakes for central stations this decade, and this UL certification (and most jewelry insurers) require response to an alarm — which usually includes a guard response, although armed guard response is not required.
“Our customers, and especially jewelry retailers and insurers, expect the highest standards of central station monitoring,” Stuck explained. “UL certification demonstrates that we meet the highest standards of security technologies, training and response.”
The distinctive certification was awarded to the company’s SW24 Fusion Centre for its monitoring and armed guard response. The Centre is a technologically advanced 25,000-square-foot monitoring facility that offers cloud-based, business-to-business, enterprise-level and residential services ranging from hosted video and access control, virtual security tours, video concierge services, video escorting, and real-time event reporting to PERS services, intrusion, video monitoring and video verification of alarms.
“Our system can not only track the package being delivered, we can buzz open the door, plus send an image of the person dropping it off, so that they can be identified, among other things,” Stuck described.
What’s next for SW24? “We cut our teeth in the last 10 years; in total we have sold 30,000 cameras nationwide,” Stuck said. “We service our customers very well, and we are looking to possibly expand our guard services into other markets, on a case-by-case basis.”
He adds, “I think video verification services will be very big in the next three years.” This is especially true for intrusions, because, according to Stuck, “you need video verification for residential and commercial [burglary crimes] in order to get the police to respond.”