Michael Peros shows how convenience store surveillance works.
PINELLAS PARK – No one could ever imagine that Michael Peros works in the cloak and dagger world of electronic surveillance.
Privacy Electronics at 5075 Park Blvd. does just that from Pinellas Park to China, South Korea and in other parts of the world.
Peros was trained in surveillance by a 41-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency.
“It’s an extremely rewarding field,” Peros said. “The industry has developed into a multibillion-dollar business, especially since 9/11.”
Born in Denver, he and his Florida-born wife, Carol, moved here in 1982. He bought the established business in 1986. It has grown to servicing government, industry and the public.
“Camera surveillance is a sign of the times,” he said. “The decaying morale values of modern society has created the need for it.”
One Tarpon Springs convenience store, for example, uses cameras to record cashiers while providing on-screen sales receipts. The system helps prosecute robbers, shoplifters and dishonest employees.
“Some surveillance equipment is decades ahead of its time,” Peros said.
One system eventually will monitor 400 million sites throughout the country and world. It will watch trucks carrying plutonium and other material of interest to terrorists. The driver’s heart rate is monitored because an increased pulse could mean a hijacking in progress.
“The system will flatten truck tires and shut down the engine,” Peros said.
Terrorism is nothing new, though since 9/11 it has come into the forefront. The earliest acts of terrorism were recorded in about 1180. Modern terrorists are versions of those peddled violence over the centuries.
“Some people hate America and Israel or any developing country that is better than theirs,” Peros said.
Israelis boast the most advanced anti-terrorism technology, but even they can’t keep up with terrorism.
Peros predicts that cameras will replace burglar alarms. Video of criminals will be provided directly to police cruisers since they have evolved into computers on wheels.
“About 98 percent of burglar alarm calls are false,” Peros said.
File compression eliminated data storage problems. Years of surveillance can be stored on a single hard drive.
A security system is installed where one would not think it’s needed; in the Jerusalem garden where Jesus Christ was supposed to have been resurrected.
So who would commit criminal acts in such a holy place?
“Pickpockets,” Peros said. “They work the crowds and relieve tourists of their wallets.”
Peros believes in the Bible’s Book of Revelation that says the Messiah will return.
“All eyes will be there,” Peros said, “except they will be camera eyes and not necessarily human ones.”
His new prayer Web site will soon connect the world, allowing people to be ready when the end comes.
Besides dealing with national and international accounts, the business caters to walk-in customers in its retail division.
There is surveillance out there to surprise even James Bond. It’s like Big Brother and his entire family is watching us.
“We are on the threshold of greater breakthroughs,” Peros said.