Lot Cop is a mobile surveillance trailer made by Live View Technologies, a Utah-based security system provider. In early 2020, when the pandemic started, the need for security guards and security camera systems skyrocketed. In North America, Lot Cops and other rapid deployment security camera systems began popping up at Walmart, Costco, and other commercial properties.

This post will walk you through how a typical mobile surveillance trailer, like Lot Cop, operates. It will also outline some of the pros and cons of mobile security camera systems and alternatives to help you determine if it is the right solution for your security problem.

How does a Lot Cop Mobile Surveillance Trailer Work?

Since Lot Cop is a specific name brand, further information about how it works would be better explained by directly reaching out to Live View Technologies.

However, most mobile surveillance trailers work the same way as Lot Cop. They are security camera systems built into a trailer so they can easily be moved around to various locations for rapid deployment.

Security cameras are mounted to a retractable or extendable post or mast that is attached to the trailer. The cameras are hardwired to a recording device, either a network video recorder or digital video recorder (NVR or DVR) and all the video is recorded locally. A high-speed cellular modem allows the security cameras to be viewed remotely over the internet. If a siren or strobe is installed, users can trigger an alarm onsite when an intruder is detected. Alternatively, you can perform a voice down with a speaker and ask people to leave.

Mobile Surveillance Trailer with Solar Panels

Lot Cop and other mobile surveillance trailers can be plugged in or powered through solar panels. Depending on where you are in the world, some areas are better suited for solar power than others. The larger the mobile surveillance trailer, the more solar panels and batteries will fit, providing more reliable power. More batteries mean more uptime when there is no sun. Whenever possible, constant power is always preferred over solar power for security cameras.

Mobile Surveillance Trailers – Summary of Components:

  • High-Definition Security Cameras
  • Video Recorder
  • High-Speed Cellular Modem
  • Siren and Strobe Light
  • Solar Panels
  • Batteries

Alternatives to Lot Cop and Mobile Surveillance Trailers

The main advantage of a Lot Cop Mobile Surveillance Trailer is quickly deploying security cameras when you need them. Since they come solar-powered, you do not need to worry about power. They can be dropped off and up and running within hours.

However, with a mobile surveillance trailer, such as a Lot Cop, you are often paying high rental fees, with limited coverage to the surrounding area of the trailer. And with a solar-powered unit, you will experience downtime in parts of North America that do not have much sunshine, such as Toronto or New York, during the winter.

There are two alternatives to a Lot Cop or similar mobile surveillance trailer if you have power.

  • Permanent Security Camera Systems that are hardwired to your building, parking lot light posts, or any other structure with power and a surface you can mount them to. The benefit of a permanent security camera system is that you are not paying rental fees. You can choose from a wider range of security cameras. They are more reliable and will cover more area depending on where they are mounted. With a permanent security camera solution, you can add as many cameras as you need, expand it to various areas and locations of your business, and own the equipment.
  • Wall or Pole Mounted Rapid Deployment Security Camera Systems are all-in-one solutions. These units can be mounted to an outdoor NEMA box enclosure that can quickly be deployed to any commercial property or construction site. Like a Lot Cop mobile surveillance trailer, rapid deployment security camera systems have everything built into a 50 lb box with 4-6 cameras, a recorder, cellular internet, and sirens/strobes. They can be easily strapped to a post or temporary structure and be up and running quickly. They typically have temporary poles and streetlights available for mounting. Construction Site Security is an excellent example of where these rapid deployment systems are installed.
Security Cameras on a Pole

Are Mobile Surveillance Trailers Monitored Live?

With any security camera system, if there is a strong internet connection, the cameras can either be self-monitored or monitored by a security camera monitoring service provider.

The most important thing to look out for when installing a security camera system to watch a site remotely is whether the cameras record on regular motion detection or smart cameras that can detect people, vehicles, and other activities. With motion detection-based systems, the alerts being sent to you (if you are self-monitoring) or the monitoring station (if it is a security camera monitoring service) will result in too many false alarms. With video analytics, the cameras can ignore nuisance alarms such as trees blowing and animals running around, focusing only on the important activity such as a person stopping in an area for too long.

Here is a short video explaining the difference between motion-based systems and video analytics.

Self-Monitored Cameras: Pros & Cons

Watching the cameras yourself will save you money instead of paying a company to watch them. However, this can become a full-time job having to look through video alerts and figuring out if the alert is real or fake. If you have a property with extremely low activity, this can work. But properties with high activity will result in too many alarms for a person to handle. You will either miss an incident or turn off the alerts because it’s too distracting.

Camera Monitoring Service: Pros & Cons

Hiring a company to watch the cameras remotely will add more expenses to your business, but you would not have to worry about becoming a full-time security guard. Security Camera Monitoring Services are a fraction of the cost of a live security guard, and it is highly effective at deterring criminals from trespassing. Live agents will receive the alarms from the camera and determine the next action. They can either trigger a siren and strobe light, perform a voice down over a speaker, or call the police if needed.

Is a Mobile Surveillance Trailer the right protection for your property?

Lot Cop or any other mobile surveillance trailer is perfect for any property that requires security cameras installed quickly. Since it is on a trailer, the security camera system can be towed to any location and quickly set up. This solution is also perfect for locations that do not have power, as most of them come with built-in solar panels.

Mobile Surveillance Trailers Are Perfect For:

  • Empty land that needs to be watched remotely but lacks power
  • Vacant land that has temporary power but no structure or poles to mount cameras to
  • Construction sites that require security but do not have power
  • Abandoned buildings or structures that do not have power
  • Any situation that requires a fast turnaround to have cameras installed and monitored

However, renting a Lot Cop or mobile surveillance trailer can get expensive. Further, suppose the system is only powered by solar panels. In that case, you need to make sure that it will provide enough power to keep the system running during non-sunny days. Even a cloudy day will significantly impact the amount of power generated by solar panels. So, ensure you ask the provider to show you the number of guaranteed days the system can run. Also, due to power consumption restraints, the number of cameras you can install may be limited. The more cameras you add, the more power is required.

If you are looking for a mobile surveillance trailer or Lot Cop type solution, there are many providers across North America that can help you.

Call us today to speak with a security expert if you are looking for a permanent security camera solution for your business or construction site. We can help you with any rapid deployment of a security camera system.

Spotter Security will custom design a reliable security system to protect your business. We install security systems such as security cameras, access control, live camera monitoring systems, and alarm systems for businesses across Canada.

Written by : Carlo Di Leo

At the age of 24, with no experience in the security industry or any money in the bank, Carlo quit his job and started Spotter Security from his parent's basement. Founded in 2004, Spotter grew from a single man operation into a multi-million dollar security system integrator that caters to businessess and construction sites across Canada.

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