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Public Safety

Peachtree Corners Launches Second Phase of Connect Peachtree Corners

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Fusus Technology

In January 2023, the City of Peachtree Corners announced its partnership with Fusus through their Connect Peachtree Corners residential Camera Registry program.

In March, the City announced that it is expanding the partnership through the offerings of the FususCORE Camera Integration Program.

“As a city government, we take the issue of public safety very seriously. There are not many things more important,” said City Manager Brian Johnson. “This partnership and programs will allow us to support law enforcement with a new technology tool and will lead to increased public safety throughout the City.”

Fusus provides enhanced public safety services to local businesses and residents. A nationally recognized public safety technology provider, Fusus has operated out of its headquarters in Peachtree Corners since 2019.

Why and where to register

For businesses, Fusus enables greater workplace safety for staff and customers. The platform improves law enforcement’s ability to investigate a crime when it does happen, as well as rapidly respond in case of emergencies.

Security cameras are a crime deterrent. Sharing camera feeds with law enforcement creates a force multiplier. Knowing where a business’ cameras are located via FususREGISTRY, or having the ability to access their cameras on alert via FususCORE, reduces investigative time and increases public safety.

In an active shooter situation, seconds count. Fusus virtual and physical panic buttons allow a business’ staff to quickly trigger an alert to law enforcement. Camera integration enables responding officers and 911 centers to look inside buildings and gain a rapid awareness of the situation.

Fusus Technology

Fusus is inexpensive and easy to set up. Their FususCORE device simply plugs into a business’ network; within seconds it discovers and connects to all the cameras. The software easily networks multiple buildings.

Businesses that integrate with a FususCORE set their own preferences and remain in control of their camera systems. Businesses can choose to share camera feeds on a real time or case-by-case basis.

The system keeps cameras private yet allows businesses to share them directly with law enforcement, at their discretion, when an emergency arises. At no time will any third-party, outside of Fusus and local law enforcement, have access to any camera feeds integrated into the system. For more information, visit connectpeachtreecorners.org/camera-integration.

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Community

Peachtree Corners City Marshal’s Office Launches New Program to Curtail Vandalism at Town Center

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The City of Peachtree Corners’ Marshal’s Office, in conjunction with the Gwinnett County Police Department, is currently developing a program to address the increase in vandalism-related incidents at the Town Center and The Forum.

Over the past 45 days, several vandalism-related events have occurred in the stairwells of the Town Center parking deck.  As a result of the vandalism, the Marshal’s Office has developed and implemented both a short-term and long-term solution.

As an immediate action, the Marshal’s Office placed temporary motion-activated cameras in strategic locations within the Town Center parking deck stairwells.  

The placement of these cameras has led to the identification and capture of several of the individuals responsible for multiple incidents of tagging and graffiti that were occurring. 

As a long-term solution, the city has installed video cameras that are equipped with geofencing, motion alerting, object detection and speaker features to aid in the identification of suspects as well as curtail any future vandalism of the deck and stairwells.

More recently, the Marshal’s Office has seen additional tagging and graffiti spread to other areas of the Town Center property.  The city has deployed temporary solutions to other areas that have led to the successful identification of several suspects responsible for these illegal activities.

The City of Peachtree Corners and the Marshal’s Office want the public to understand that safety is of the highest priority and the destruction and defacing of city property will not be tolerated.  

The city will continue to use the latest technologies and preventative strategies to ensure that visitors to the Town Center feel safe and have the best experience possible.

If any member of the public observes any illegal activity at the Town Center, The Forum, or any other locations within Peachtree Corners, the city urges them to contact 911 and report the incident.

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Public Safety

North American Properties Invests in Security Tech at The Forum 

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North American Properties has invested in software from Flock Safety and Fusus, to enhance its security at The Forum Peachtree Corners.

According to the National Retail Federation’s 2023 National Retail Security Survey, external theft, including organized retail crime (ORC), accounted for an average of 36% of retail sales losses in 2022. Now more than ever, brands and landlords alike are seeking tools to mitigate this issue.

Organizations such as the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) are advocating for both through Congressional support for the INFORM Consumers Act and S. 140/H.R. 895, the bipartisan “Combating Organized Retail Crime Act of 2023.”

In response to this rising threat, North American Properties (NAP) has invested in bridging software from two Atlanta-based companies, Flock Safety and Fusus, to enhance its security measures at The Forum Peachtree Corners.

“With our ongoing commitment to revolutionizing the retail real estate industry through technology and innovation, we are proud to partner with local municipalities and law enforcement agencies on curating secure communities for our guests, tenants and employees,” said Jay Richard-Yu, NAP director of innovation and digital assets.

“Technology has the power to automate workflows, and binding these assets will provide management with an advanced, interconnected approach toward combating ORC at The Forum,” he added. 

Flock Safety’s license plate recognition software

Co-founded by Georgia Tech alumni Garrett Langley and Matt Feury in 2017, Flock Safety is an all-in-one technology solution designed to eliminate crime and keep communities safe.

Flock License Plate Recognition (LPR) cameras provide objective evidence to help solve crimes, 70% of which are committed with a vehicle, and prevent potential issues, including shoplifting, parking lot break-ins and vehicle theft.

The cameras capture license plates and vehicle characteristics, not people or faces, and send real-time alerts to security personnel and/or law enforcement when a vehicle associated with a known offender or endangered person passes the camera.

Flock Safety is trusted by more than 4,000 communities across the country and has raised over $330 million in venture capital from leading firms such as Andreessen Horowitz, Axon Bedrock Capital, and Matrix Partners, among others.

Furthermore, the company has recently achieved a ranking on the 2023 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and has been acknowledged as one of the top 4% of companies on the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies list.

The Forum has been equipped with Flock LPR cameras for two years, and NAP bolstered the property’s security infrastructure this fall through a public-private partnership with the City of Peachtree Corners, adding 27 external cameras across the site.

Streamlining critical communications with Fusus

To further streamline surveillance and communication processes between the onsite security team and local law enforcement, Fusus has also been integrated into the multi-layered camera system through its proprietary CORE appliance.

Fusus was Launched in Peachtree Corners during the summer of 2019 by U.S. Navy veteran Chris Lindenau, CEO, and U.S. Army veteran Anthony Baldoni, COO.

Fusus is a cloud-based, Real-Time Crime Center and Security Operations platform that extracts and unifies live video, data and sensor feeds from public and private sources, enhancing the situational awareness and investigative capabilities of law enforcement agencies.

Merging resources into a single, efficient and unified stream of information, Fusus allows for policy-based, intelligence-led policing and faster emergency response times.

Fusus currently powers over 250 crisis command centers globally. Earlier this year, the company was ranked 70th on Inc. Magazine’s list of 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies and named a Best Place to Work by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

It has also received several Stevie American Business Awards and ASTORS, the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security awards program.

Crime prevention in Peachtree Corners 

Recognized as this year’s 19th Best Place to Live for Families by Fortune Magazine, the City of Peachtree Corners recently implemented a Marshal Program to serve as a non-emergency force multiplier and liaison between the community and the Gwinnett County Police Department.

It has also deployed Connect Peachtree Corners, a new public safety program enabling local residents and businesses to register cameras within the community-wide network to aid local law enforcement in gathering timely evidence during active investigations. 

“The City has enhanced its camera program by deploying Automated License Plate Readers and cameras in strategic locations,” said Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason.

“The City’s Connect Peachtree Corners program for residents and businesses to register their cameras has been very well-received. The inclusion of The Forum within the Fusus platform will expand our ability to provide a high level of public safety,” he explained.

NAP acquired The Forum through a joint venture partnership with Nuveen Real Estate in March 2022 and has since increased its security coverage by 35% as part of an ongoing redevelopment effort. Learn more about the retrofit project here.

To view NAP’s mixed-use portfolio, visit leasing.naproperties.com, and follow the company on LinkedIn and X to keep up with happenings.   

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Business

5 Best Business Strategies for 2024 

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Peachtree Corners Business Association Speaker Series Panel Discuss Issues from AI to Leadership and Staffing

After 30 minutes of networking, light refreshments and ‘death by chocolate’ brownies courtesy of Marlow’s Tavern, the Peachtree Corners Business Association (PCBA) After Hours Speaker Series Panel commenced.

This panel of local business owners and consultants gathered at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast on Thursday, Oct. 26, to discuss strategies and opportunities for business success in 2024 and beyond.

Moderator Amanda Pearch Marmolejo, owner and President of Forsyth Business Radio X, kicked things off by introducing the panel participants, which included:

From left, Michael Pugh, Rico Figliolini, Lisa Anders, Amanda Pearch Marmolejo, Bill McDermott and Gentry Ganote (photos by Tracey Rice)

1. The importance of cybersecurity for businesses
Cybersecurity remains a top concern for small and medium-sized businesses. In fact, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s (ITRC) recently published Business Impact Report, 73% of 551 surveyed small business owners encountered a cyberattack this year.

As the leader of technology solutions provider Rijoli, Gentry Ganote knows first-hand where businesses are the most vulnerable.

“What we’re seeing is phishing attacks are really the number one nefarious act that’s going on that we deal with on a daily basis. We provide security services for our customers, and we have spam filters and email filters and all kinds of artificial intelligence,” said Ganote.

“But emails still get through, texts get through and people become susceptible to clicking on a link, putting their password in, changing bank records, giving money to the wrong people, and we see it every day,” he added.

“If any of you guys hire interns, you should educate them quickly about scams that are out there. They don’t know they’re new to the workforce,” Ganote explained emphatically.

2. Business succession and exit strategies
As some business owners head toward retirement or strive to preserve their legacy for future generations, transitioning both management and ownership is paramount.

As “The Profitability Coach,” Bill McDermott has consulted many business owners on best executing their succession strategies.

“The particular work for a business owner is number one, identifying that there’s value that can be transferred either to that seller, to the management team or to the outside buyer,” said McDermott.

“Secondly, there’s a growth plan that’s required. Typically, there’s a letter of intent or confidentiality agreement. There are asset purchase agreements, there are representations and warranties, and having an attorney is absolutely critical,” he further explained.

“Selling a business in some ways is also selling real estate, except the numbers are bigger. So, it takes a business broker … it’s a complex transaction, and there are a lot of moving parts, and there are a lot of important people that are part of that,” he added.

3. Leadership, training and staffing

Industries like hospitality are innovating through adversity, developing new training programs to address service staffing shortages exacerbated by the pandemic and aiming to empower front-line employees through direct and tailored instruction.

Lisa Anders, the Executive Director for Explore Gwinnett, Gwinnett County’s official tourism organization, shared her challenges and solutions in this area.

“We’ve been to a hotel recently.  There used to be 30 employees; now there’s 15 employees. And it is just a challenge.  Pre-COVID, we had a full-time education director who worked on training and hospitality training. We had a very robust program … and just now we are reinventing it, and we’re going to roll it out in 24,’ but it’s completely different,” said Anders.

 “We have a lot of research and a lot of conversations with our hotels and our other hospitality departments on the very frontline; the very front desk is the problem. People are under-trained and under motivated. It is just a problem,” she added.

Yet, Explore Gwinnett is taking positive steps forward with its training efforts.

“We’re instituting a new training program. We’re going to be going into every single hotel district … going directly into those hotel districts and doing training one-on-one with our hotel partners and with frontline employees. Our hotels are super excited because it’s not just customer service, it is learning how to de-escalate situations,” Anders explained.

4. Content creation and podcasting
Podcasts have emerged as a powerful tool for storytelling and marketing. Drawing inspiration from a family history in journalism, McDermott leveraged the power of narrative to create a successful podcast that not only celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit but also serves as a cornerstone in his marketing strategy.

“Marketing is the number one weakness in any broken firm,” McDermott said.

“I started a show, we just celebrated our 50th episode, and I was able to tell stories of business owners and professionals that advise them. Three years forward now, my podcast has become actually the linchpin in my marketing strategy. It is the number one thing that I do,” he went on.

“Podcasting is actually a great way to get to know and trust people and a lot of my guests have now become clients,” McDermott added.

Rico Figliolini, the founder of creative services company Mighty Rockets, echoed this sentiment.

“It’s a great way to soft open a prospect. … If you want to get a lead prospect in your industry, you should become that authority of that industry,” said Figliolini.

5. Artificial intelligence and technology

Increasing efficiency while maintaining the human element using AI applications is at the forefront of business strategy heading into 2024.

The legal realm is catching up with AI’s transformative impact. Tools that once seemed futuristic are becoming standard, reshaping how legal professionals approach their work while maintaining the essential human touch through client interactions.

Michael Pugh, an attorney at the law firm of Thompson O’Brien, is witnessing this transition first-hand.

“The legal industry is just starting to incorporate AI … There’s one program called LexisNexis where I can write a legal breach and upload it to Lexis, and it’ll check my cases. It’ll suggest other cases to incorporate; it’ll analyze my arguments and tell me what percentage I’m likely to succeed,” Pugh explained.

“That’s a bit scary, but sometimes it’s pretty cool. So, we’re definitely going to be using more AI, but at the same time, people want to see who they’re working with face-to-face. So, we do meet regularly with our clients,” he added.

The next PCBA Business After Hours Speaker Series will be held on Nov. 16, 2023, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Kathryn Stewart, owner of Performance Trucking, will discuss how she carved out her path as a female executive in a male-dominated industry.

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