Security industry to tap technology to tackle manpower crunch

The new Aetos Headquarters in Corporation Drive is fitted with innovative technologies that will enhance the training and operational capabilities of the firm's 4,300 employees. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

SINGAPORE - A new fire detection software developed by Aetos Holdings and its partners is able to sound the alarm on a fire before it grows too big.

The system, which is compatible with everyday security cameras, also frees up the need for a guard to physically head down to the site to confirm that there is a fire. After confirming that there is one remotely, a response team is dispatched. This reduces the manpower deployed without compromising security.

The Intelligent Fire Detection System (IFDS) was one of the tech solutions cited by Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo at the official opening of the Aetos Complex in Corporation Drive on Friday (Jan 26).

The system took seven years to develop and uses advanced video analytics to detect flames as low as 25cm with a 95 per cent accuracy rate.

Mrs Teo said the system was an example of how the security industry should tap technology to increase productivity and tackle the manpower crunch.

"The appropriate use of technology to carry out routine, labour-intensive tasks, allows the security officer to focus on tasks that are more complex or require human judgment, such as incident response.

"Technology also allows a security officer to secure a larger area with greater effectiveness."

As the demand for security solutions and services continues to grow because of new infrastructure, it will be a challenge for the industry, added Mrs Teo.

  • Aetos' New HQ

  • The seven-storey Aetos Complex is the security firm's first ever purpose-built premises and is home to 4,300 employees. Spanning 3,372 sq m, the site at Corporation Drive also houses new facilities and integrated technologies.

    Aetos Command Centre
    Provides continuous management and monitoring of field personnel, vehicle fleets and island-wide deployment sites. It brings together Aetos' capabilities to remotely monitor large-scale events and operations.

    Cash-processing Centre
    Triple-interlocking access doors, transparent workstations and 24/7 security monitoring, keep cash and valuables collected from Aetos' financial security services safe. The new facility, where assets are sorted, counted and stored, will enhance Aetos' end-to-end chain of secured logistics and cash management services.

    Indoor Firing Range
    The lighting and target controls in the 25m-long range can simulate different environments and situations, such as day and night. The purpose-built range also allows Aetos to conduct life-firing and weapons handling training for its Auxiliary Police Officers.

    Intelligent Fire Detection System
    The system installed in security cameras in the complex is able to remotely detect and confirm the presence of fire. This frees up the need for a guard to physically head down to the site to verify the incident and emergency services can be called immediately to the scene.

Aetos executive director and chief executive James Tan said the enhanced facilities at the new complex will help to tackle this manpower crunch. Currently, Aetos faces a 10 per cent manpower shortage.

"We hope to leverage these technologies to help reduce the deployment of manpower while providing our services," he said.

To help the security industry, the Ministry of Home Affairs has been working with partners to develop the Security Industry Transformation Map (ITM) that will be launched in February this year.

Mrs Teo said the security ITM "will look into technology adoption, smart sourcing, and enhancing skills".

"We will also realign the regulatory environment to support the transformation".

However, to reap the returns of technology, such as efficient and effective manpower deployment and security outcomes, buyers of security services must also make upfront investments.

"We also need forward-looking service buyers who are willing to redesign work processes to take full advantage of the technologies," she said.

The seven-storey Aetos complex is fitted with innovative technologies that will enhance the training and operational capabilities of the firm's 4,300 employees.

This is the first time the company will fully own its operating premises, which took about 11/2 years to complete.

Mr Tan said there was a "deep sense of pride and joy" among employees when the firm moved into the premises on Dec 1 last year.

"Those who have spent many years with Aetos shared with me how they felt about Aetos now having a home to call their very own."

Some of the souped-up facilities at the complex include a modern command centre, a cash-processing centre and an indoor shooting range.

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