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Albuquerque PD use the MSU Hybrid

Mobile Surveillance for Law Enforcement Agencies

By Carlos Hazbun | Law Enforcement | No Comments

Mobile Surveillance for Law Enforcement Agencies

Modern law enforcement agencies are facing more dangerous and complicated situations than ever, and facing them more often. They are tasked with following up on increasingly complex crimes, and with preventing crime in increasingly creative ways. Law enforcement agencies have never faced such daunting odds, and they are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve their service to communities.

More and more, law enforcement agencies are turning to technology to ensure that they can do their jobs the safest, most effective, most efficient manner.

What is a Mobile Surveillance Unit?

Most mobile surveillance for law enforcement can be implemented through the use of a single or multiple mobile surveillance units, or MSUs. Mobile surveillance units are highly portable security stations no larger than a small rolling food cart. They can be positioned anywhere, deployed and redeployed rapidly, and are compact enough to be set up in such a way that they are unobtrusive to both clients and potential criminals. Conversely, they can also be set up as high-visible units that will act as a deterrent to criminal activity.

What Can an MSU Do?

Here are some of the major features of a high-tech mobile surveillance unit that might be used by law enforcement agencies:

Solar powered

MSUs are powered by built-in solar panels powering powerful onboard battery systems. This allows for MSUs to be deployed anywhere, regardless of a power supply, and for them to operate day and night


Mobile units can be equipped with tower lights which extend high into the air, providing full floodlight coverage to either wide or specific areas as needed. MSUs also come equipped with strobe lights, which can be activated to give visual warning that a disturbance has been detected.

Voice-down technology

Quality MSUs feature voice-down technology, or the ability to broadcast audio remotely. This means that a law enforcement officer can communicate with persons who are near the unit—whether to give instructions, warnings or to signal that a crime is being observed and recorded.

HD and IP Video with Analytics

The foundation of mobile surveillance is, of course, video detection. MSUs can be equipped with any number of HD video cameras, arrayed in such a manner to provide 360-degree visual coverage. These cameras can be linked via IP technology so that they can be monitored from headquarter locations, a laptop setup in a police cruiser, or anywhere else. To take video detection even further, MSU cameras can be equipped with state-of-the-art video analytics, which makes it possible to preprogram automated monitoring functions, such as detecting license plates, monitoring crowd size, or analyzing traffic flow.

Remotely Monitored and Remotely Controlled

A mobile surveillance unit is no good without the ability to monitor and control the unit from afar. Modern MSUs allow for remote monitoring, allowing law enforcement officers to monitor from any computer or laptop, cellular phone, or dedicated monitoring station. Beyond just monitoring, law enforcement can interact with the MSU and persons near it with the touch of a button. Lights and alarms can be activated, communication can occur through voice-down measures, cameras can be monitored, and MSU functions can be controlled. MSUs can be linked with cell phones, computers, and even key fobs.

Law Enforcement Applications for Mobile Surveillance Units

It’s not hard to argue that a modern MSU offers amazing capabilities with near limitless applications for any client, but law enforcement, in particular, can benefit greatly from an intelligent application. This story from Security Today details the way that law enforcement in one area was able to prevent crime and increase the quality of life, all with a single MSU.


Just the presence of an MSU will keep away most would-be criminals. Although they can be deployed discreetly when needed, MSUs can also be used as highly-visible security stations that will turn away would-be trespassers or undesirables.


When a disturbance does occur, MSUs can alert law enforcement immediately. Because they are so easy to link with devices and monitoring stations, an MSU can offer instant detection potential.


If a detection does occur, law enforcement officers will be able to make a full assessment of the situation and make the appropriate response based on that assessment. This greatly cuts down on false alarms, and greatly increases the effectiveness of the response. Even after a law enforcement response has occurred, the eyes and ears of an MSU will have recorded each moment of the incident, so that the ensuing investigation doesn’t miss a thing.


Reacting and responding to a crime or disturbance in progress is the final step of MSU application. Since monitoring officers will be able to get instant alerts, confirm those alerts, and observe the nature of the disturbance, responding security or emergency personnel will be able to cater their actions to fit the situation at hand.

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