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February 15, 2017

Security Cameras — Yes, You Need Them

By John Bocker

A dependable security camera system is essential for every FFL as part of the security layering process we have discussed in recent posts. Security cameras are not just a deterrent against burglaries, they also serve as a strong deterrent to other aberrant behaviors such as internal theft, vandalism, physical violence and shoplifting.

Although security camera systems come in many shapes, sizes and prices, it’s good to understand the technology available that produces an optimum recording of your operations. Depending on what your budget and needs are, deciding on how many cameras you will need and which recording technology you should choose today can actually be quite simple.

Security camera systems available today, and the data analytic software that accompany them, give retail owners and managers unprecedented power in deterring criminal behavior, effectively driving a low-tech product into high-tech value for the business owner. Since most small businesses can’t afford a security staff to monitor their locations day and night, a video surveillance systems is the most practical alternative.

Video surveillance systems are comprised of two main components: video cameras and recording devices. The cameras monitor what is going on both inside and outside the business, while the recording devices store all the video so that business owners can watch footage directly on a display monitor, via a smaller technology device or by retrieving recorded video later from a networked computer.

Security camera technology has advanced a long way in the last decade. Camera systems are now available at local discount warehouse stores as well as online, and many can be installed by someone with even just a basic understanding of such technology. Indeed, modern plug-and-play technology has provided for easy installation for almost any purchaser. My advice is to conduct research on manufacturers and suppliers of technology available to consumers, review comments and feedback from past purchasers and then balance quality against costs. A professional installation is also a viable option, of course, depending on the budget you’ve allowed.

Most of today’s security camera systems are IP-based (internet provider-based) and utilize digital cameras that transmit their footage over Ethernet cables to either a digital video recorder (DVR) or network video recorder (NVR). This is a big move away from the prior analog camera and video technology, whereby video could only be transmitted over a dedicated video cable. More and more businesses are turning to IP-based video surveillance because of the advances in technology and the value they place on their employees and customers; not only do they record criminal activity, they allow business owners to study customer and employee interaction, customer traffic patterns and more.

My next articles on this subject will discuss the specifics of new security camera technologies available today. Until then, should you have questions about your current security system setup, contact John McNamara NSSF Sr. Director, Retailer Services at or visit the NSSF Retail Security website. Remember, too, that NSSF has a company it works with that provides discounts on security cameras and burglary alarm systems to NSSF Members. To learn more, log in the Members-only side of and view your available Affinity Member Benefit Partners.

You may also be interested in: Put the Criminals on Notice


About the Author
John Bocker is an NSSF Security Consultant Team Member and the Managing Director at JB Group, LLC, based in Denver, Colorado. JB Group specializes in providing businesses with security, firearms, risk management and integrity advisement. Visit or call (720) 514-0609 for more information.

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Tags: cameras FFL retailers security Store Security video surveillance

Categories: Featured, Ranges, Retailers