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Security companies face challenge of face mask enforcement, adapt with new technology during COVID-19

(WJRT)
Published: May. 5, 2020 at 10:42 PM EDT
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(05/05/20) - Have you been wearing a face covering in public indoor spaces?

Governor Gretchen Whitmer made it a requirement a little more than a week ago.

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“It’s a tough thing to manage but we’re managing," said Brian Carr, co-owner of Michigan Security.

But the governor is leaving it up to stores, not the state, to enforce the rule.

Friday’s senseless act of violence at a Family Dollar and an incident at Dollar Tree Saturday painfully illustrates just how difficult enforcement of the face mask policy can be as Brian Carr of Michigan Security shared with ABC12.

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From the company's surveillance center in downtown Pontiac, Michigan Security is monitoring more than 200 4K High Definition cameras from 16 locations, including Burton and Flint.

“We monitor and we also patrol each of these buildings," Carr said.

Carr says they’re doing much more surveillance of the outside of buildings because of decreased foot traffic at closed businesses, but armed guards still have to enforce the rules at places that are open. That means social distancing and wearing a face covering.

“So when we’re on private property of the actual business owners and somebody that doesn’t want to follow those rules we ask them that they kindly leave," Carr explained. "If they want to comply, they need to comply with what the state’s measures are."

So, what can security guards do if someone gets out of line or even violent when being told to follow the rules?

“For the most part we just advise. There’s nothing that we can do to really to enforce it," Carr said. "If somebody were an imminent threat or posting symptomatic, we would call our local sheriff’s department and have that person dealt with.”

The businesses Michigan Security works for are choosing to abide by the governor’s order. What he is anticipating, however, is more people turning to companies like his once business starts to really flourish again in the state. That’s why they’re looking to new technology to help them adapt.

“I see an increase in the demand. We even have such technology coming our way such as thermal cameras that can actually detect people’s body temperature as they enter the buildings," he said.

Carr says residential buildings, in particular, are interested in the new thermal cameras because of the amount of people coming in and out of the buildings.

“We’re actually in talks with a few different buildings that have high demand that are like 10 stories or taller that have a lot of inflow or outflow of people that want to implement those type of cameras into those type of buildings," he said.

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