F&M Bank gets clear robbery images from Milestone IP video surveillance

Evidence sent to police within minutes!

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 5 August 2004

On May 20, 2004, the Modesto, California, branch of Farmers & Merchants Bank had a robbery. But thanks to their new IP video surveillance solution using Milestone Systems software, the video was viewed by police on the scene within 20 minutes of the robbery, e-mailed to the local police department within one hour, and on the air at a local TV news station that same evening.

The newscaster reporting the occurrence remarked before showing the images: "As you will see here, these photos are incredibly clear."

The Modesto Police Department also issued a bulletin that stated "The bank's surveillance system took several good quality photos of the suspect…", and included a full description of the perpetrator with details of the events as seen in action.

"When the robbery occurred, our network administrator was out of town and he was the only one well trained on how to use the newly-installed software. But it's so easy to run the system that management, with very little hands-on exposure, was able to use the web interface, find the images, create AVI files, and e-mail them to the police within minutes of the robbery," says Deborah Hodkin, Executive VP/Chief Administrative Officer, F&M Bank

This fast response would not have been possible with the security system F&M Bank used previously.

"Our old systems were all analog black and white, low resolution cameras connected to VCRs that required branch operations personnel to check and change tapes," explains Peter Ducato, Assistant VP of Management Information Systems at F&M Bank. "The video images were low quality and often provided little assistance in identifying suspects."

The installation partner for F&M Bank's Milestone solution was BrightNoise Inc. based out of Arizona. "BrightNoise was very responsive to our early selection and setup questions," reports Ducato. "They provided demo units which we installed at our "test" location, advice on camera and other hardware selections, and great pricing. Their expertise resulted in a demo system that beat the competition head-to-head."

The new solution allows F&M Bank to scale their surveillance system to handle increasing needs or take advantage of new technology. In addition to this flexibility, cost effectiveness adds to the software's benefits. The software is easily updated when new enhancements or technologies become available, and the browser interface for remote access allows viewing of the bank's video images without the need for proprietary software applications.

Peter Ducato confirms: "Milestone was selected for several reasons. The system runs on Microsoft Windows XP, an industry standard for banking. The open architecture allows a mix of hardware that provides great cost savings, and it was the only solution that allowed us to scale the storage high enough to allow 90+ days of archived video. It fit our current needs and will also scale nicely for future expansion."