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Case Study

Detroit – Video alarms deliver 70% arrest rate

Sites Secured: 30 vacant school buildings

Detroit Public School (DPS) buildings closed for renovation and resale were repeatedly targeted for copper theft. The school district carried the burden of restoring buildings to code and keeping them in condition to preserve property values. In mid-2009, video intrusion alarms were installed to protect the vacant buildings.

Unique Challenges

  • Reduced budgets
  • Vacant lots scheduled for resale, future costs needed to be minimized
  • Older buildings with difficult-to-secure, multiple points of access
  • Dispatching officers to expansive buildings and locating perpetrators inside

Installations and Results

  • In 2009, four technicians from a local security company installed Videofied alarms in 30 school buildings around the city. Time required: 2 days.
  • In 2010, 101 burglaries occurred in vacant facilities, with over 70 leading to closed arrests.
  • The success of the video intrusion alarm led the DPS Police Department to update its dispatch center and policies.
  • 45 apprehensions in 4 weeks. Burglary arrests reached the highest point in department history.
  • Officers arrived on scene with visual identification of the intruders, and if needed could intercept them on the street for arrest.

Credit: as seen in The Police Chief, March 2012

“Short video clips of burglars has proven invaluable in making arrests.”

“Quick response to the scene gives intruders less time to damage the building, minimizing loss.”

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