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Vigilant’s “why” is something bigger

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By Neil Schlisserman, Vice President at Vigilant Solutions

Why I am proud that we say yes, when it would be easy to say no.

As I am sure many of you know, Simon Sinek has an 18-minute video on the “Why” where he explains how successful companies with the correct culture and passion beat out equally talented companies that lack these attributes. I have always known there was a strong culture at Vigilant, a place where I have passionately worked at for more than three years; however, three cases arose within the last few weeks that really solidified this.

Upon initial read, these success cases may seem fairly straightforward and similar to ones we have previously shared via our website and press releases. I urge you to read through each of them fully because I can assure you they are truly unique.

Case Study #1:

A two-year-old little girl was murdered a few months ago in a major city, and the only lead the agency had was the location and that a dark, four-door sedan was involved. One of our retired Police Officers, Lt./Commander Tom Joyce (ret. NYPD) used this information and our Make/Model Search capability to generate more than a half-dozen potential leads for this case, causing the agency to request that Vigilant come onsite for further assistance.

Case Study #2:

A law enforcement agency was particularly frustrated in an investigation where a rental car was used to install numerous credit card skimming devices along the Eastern corridor of the United States. Vigilant proactively ran the published tag against our commercial license plate database, and identified a number of locations where law enforcement was unaware the target vehicle stopped during the crime spree. The suspects have now been identified and arrested.

Case Study #3:

A BOLO (Be On Look Out) was issued for a person in a vehicle wanted for murder. One of Vigilant’s authorized users saw the alert, ran an inquiry in LEARN, and was able to locate the vehicle in a major city 800 miles away. The local law enforcement agency was then contacted and told where to locate the vehicle, and an arrest was made shortly thereafter.

So, here’s the question: What’s so different about these case studies, and why did they solidify my belief that Vigilant has their “Why” figured out?


None of these agencies are Vigilant customers. Further, each of these agencies had awarded LPR contracts to our competitors within the last six months. For the agency in Case Study #3, this was particularly hard to swallow due to Vigilant proactively helping the agency last year to locate a vehicle of interest 1000 miles away in another state, that was associated with a nationally publicized double homicide. Nonetheless, we proactively answered the call last week when they needed help on a new case.

In fact, during my stint at Vigilant Solutions, I am hard-pressed to think of a time when we refused to provide assistance to a public safety agency to help them solve a case or resolve a threat. It is not unusual for a member of our team to read something online or hear an announcement on the news, and proactively contact the affected agency – irrespective of whether they are a customer or not. As I have taught my children, “You can’t do wrong by doing right.” It is one of the things I personally love about Vigilant, and it is why we invited you to share your “whys” with us at the International Association of Chiefs’ of Police (IACP) Conference in San Diego last year. The quotes in the image above capture two reasons that we at Vigilant especially relate to:

“To do something bigger than yourself and to be there for those that need us.”

When the individuals and organizations responsible for protecting us need help, we feel a responsibility to help them. It is “WHY” we do what we do.

This is not to say there is not occasionally a debate about our obligations, especially because we are a for-profit company and there are costs we solely bear when we volunteer our time, assets and intellectual property. Picture the home builder that loses a bid to build a $1M home, but six months later when improvements and repairs are needed, the original builder is bypassed and the losing bidder is called to “save the day”. I can envision the losing builder responding, “Why should I?” I am tempted to say the same, except I know the culture embraced at Vigilant will not allow this because people need help. The agencies involved above, in aggregate, spent well more than $1M on their tools, yet their chosen suppliers are unable to help and we are the ones assisting. It is what we do proudly.

So with this context, here are my questions – and I am genuinely interested in sincere responses and thoughts:

  1. Do you feel Vigilant has an obligation to proactively assist public safety organizations with our unique content, insights and expert time to help solve cases when they have elected to use another provider?
  2. If you answered “yes” to the prior question, do you feel the selected provider has an obligation to tell the public safety organization to contact Vigilant for further assistance when they know they themselves have exhausted all their capabilities?
  3. If you answered “yes” to the second question, do you feel the selected provider should encourage and help the public safety organization push their data to the Vigilant network so they do not always have to ask for assistance, but instead can help themselves?

We have a team of passionate retired public safety officers, retired military personnel and dedicated employees. We will be there to help because it’s the right thing to do…that’s Why!

If you would like to privately comment, feel free to email me at or message me on LinkedIn.

About Vigilant Solutions
Vigilant Solutions originated from the race in the 1990′s to produce advanced imaging systems to support the microchip industry. Founder Shawn Smith recognized an opportunity to re-purpose this technological expertise to improve safety for officers and communities while providing needed law enforcement intelligence to combat broader issues such as narcotics trafficking and terrorism. Mr. Smith assembled an industry-leading team of almost one hundred (100) video analytic experts to develop and bring to market what would quickly become the most comprehensive and advanced suite of LPR and Intelligence products available.