Surveillance options to keep your church safe

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (Raycom News Network) - Police increased patrols, members conducted watches, yet no one has laid eyes on the church arsonist. Some churches have technology on their side - surveillance systems keeping a close watch when human eyes can not.

"If we were going to put in what we have on this building, it would probably be within the $25,000-$30,000 range," said Tony Hairford, president of Isis Investigations.

At Isis Investigations someone is always watching.

"It's not cheap but it's good peace of mind and you can watch it from wherever you are," said Hairford.

He offers cameras for every place and price imaginable.

"These are about a $100, these are $179, these are $200," said Hairford, motioning to the cameras. "These are the ones if you want to deter someone. They can look up there and everybody knows that's a camera."

The camera is just one piece of surveillance strategy.

"Video signal is gonna come out of that camera there, travel down this and come over here and this is a portable DVR that runs off battery power," explained Hairford.

A power supply fuels the recording device, capturing. Everything the cameras see you can later watch on a screen.

Each Isis camera is hardwired to home base where motion detectors start recording. The total price is expensive, but not always necessary.

CPU Wholesale Computers offers cameras for indoors and outdoors, handling nighttime as well.

"This is an outdoor dome camera also has infrared and color," said Richard Vickers, with CPU Wholesale Computers.

Video surveillance of any kind can give security a serious boost. But, add another camera and you get watchful eyes almost anywhere all the time.

Camera cost runs from $50-$1,000, depending on your needs. A one- or two-camera setup connected to a DVR can run close to $600.

The most cost effective option goes to one used on animals. A scouting camera has everything included for around $100. Throw the batteries in, slip in an SD card and go to work. A menu inside the camera case gives you several usage options letting you take still pictures or shoot video.

When all else fails experts say the best way to keep the bad guys away is any camera - even if it is not even real.

"It really pays to protect yourself," said Vickers. "Just having cameras up noticeably actually is like a deterrent."

Experts say the science of surveillance is one that do-it-yourselfers may want to try, but should leave to professionals. Some camera installations are also restricted to licensed professionals.

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