Subject: core values

We reinforce our core values more by discussing real instances of recent events that are worth discussing for their failures even more than the successful ones.  Part of our core values are in accepting the mistakes of employees and management and using those examples to learn and to not make similar errors.
At our core, is the understanding that our customers not only are needed, but also to truly care about our relationship with customers and to want to help them.  We treat customers & employees the way that we want to be treated.  We reinforce our values by complementing our team when they go beyond normal, in assisting customers & each other.  We also understand the importance of making a profit, but there are times when we need to sacrifice profit to correct mistakes and keep happy customers.

Barry Levine Founder & CEO
Sperry West A 30 year old manufacturer of body temperature warning cameras & covert video cameras for government & industry, to assist with catching criminals.

Construction Sites

Construction sites frequently experience theft by knowledgeable criminals, who are after tools as well as major construction equipment. These sites also attract less sophisticated burglars who are just looking to find something they can quickly sell. They now realize that with many police departments experiencing “defunding”, the likelihood of being caught is very slim. Even if they are caught, they will probably never be prosecuted.

Professional guards are absolutely required to secure most construction sites, but is that enough? Often the best solution involves the use of video cameras along with at least one guard to view as much of the facility as can be reasonably covered by cameras. It is always best to deter, rather than to catch criminals. Deterrence will only occur when a guard is present to scare off the thief or vandal.

In large sites, it is best to employ at least two guards with a means of communicating, so that while one or more guards are patrolling, they can be in touch by radio or cell phones with another who is monitoring the video cameras. This system can work during the day and at night. Covert cameras can be used where employee theft is involved, so the thief believes he (or she) is in a less protected area, but will actually be recorded.

Barry Levine Founder & CEO
Sperry West A 30 year old manufacturer of covert video security cameras, body worn cameras, body temperature warning & facial recognition cameras.

Mr. Levine has served on the board of directors of the NYC Police Reserve Association, was president of two ASIS chapters and has held many volunteer positions supporting people in our military.

Can covert cameras improve security?

Covert (disguised) cameras are most often used as a means of recording criminal activity in business locations as well as in residences.  Most often, covert video cameras are installed after crimes are noticed, but what about using covert cameras as a part of a routine video camera installation?  Thieves, vandals & other criminals often look for cameras before selecting their target.  This is why it is important to anticipate probable target areas for crime and to have hidden cameras as part of a video security system.
One company in San Diego CA, installed several covert cameras to view areas of valuable merchandise.
When a manager noticed that several small items were missing, he told his boss.  The company’s security manager reviewed the recent recordings from that area and discovered the thief.  It was a security guard, hired to protect the building at night.  When confronted with the video evidence, she admitted to the crime and even mentioned that she wondered if that PIR (passive infrared detector) alarm device could be a camera.  But she decided to take the risk, because she needed the money!
Modern covert cameras can be very sophisticated, some will record right inside of the disguised camera.  They are often motion sensing and will only record when the camera “sees” activity.  Some cameras are made with invisible infrared so they can record in any, or no light.  While others are actual working parts of alarm systems, but also contain concealed cameras.  As many police departments no longer respond to most minor crimes, it is incumbent upon companies, institutions and even homeowners to provide as much security as can be reasonably anticipated.

Barry Levine is the Founder & CEO of Sperry West, a Manufacturer of covert video cameras & systems.  Sperry West makes the most different kinds of covert cameras than anyone in the industry.
Levine has led Sperry West since its inception 30 years ago.  He also founded and & was President of a video integration firm and has been president of two ASIS chapters.  He frequently writes about video security & is considered to be an expert in camera systems.

Magical thieves

A world famous cosmetic company’s headquarters, had a special locked security room where they kept high value incentive prizes for their top sales producers.  The room was always kept locked and the keys were held by trusted management people. But, quantities of gifts kept “disappearing”.   

Covert cameras were installed inside the “special” room.  Within a week, more items were missing and several employees were identified on the video.  None of the perpetrators were issued keys, so it was important to establish how they obtained entry.  A covert camera was then installed outside the room, to see exactly who opened the door. Late one night, the video showed another intrusion.  The thieves did not possess a key, they simply removed the pins on the door hinges as they were on the outside of the door! Sperry West Video Commander Kits make it easy to set up surveillance & succeed.  See them on our website. 

New from Sperry West————Spyder Doorbell.  Two models available, 760 resolution and 1080 resolution, both with 5 year warranty.  These units transmit to smart phones, using free Apps and Include inside “bell” (chime).  No wiring needed, rechargeable batteries included. Sets up with QR code & voice prompts.


Barry Levine is CEO of San Diego-based Sperry West, maker of
Spyder® video cameras and Video Commander® surveillance
kits. Levine has been leading video security companies for 40
years. He can be contacted at (858) 551-2000 or

Orwell’s 1984 & Today (Are We There Yet?)

By Barry Levine, Founder & CEO of Sperry West®.

An extremely imaginative George Orwell, published his famous book, 1984, in England in 1949 and it remains a classic to this day.

The societal theme of the book was probably patterned from Stalin
era Russia and brought to the extreme. The only video cameras at the time of Orwell’s writing, were giant studio types. It’s unlikely that Orwell would have envisioned today’s use of cameras, between home, business, government and institutions, as well as personal cameras (cell phones), carried by most of us.
What has this proliferation of video cameras accomplished? Video cameras have become extremely important in solving serious crimes, as the perpetrators often do not realize that they are being recorded on many cameras. Crimes are often committed by addicted drug users, who will simply do what they need to do to pay for the next “fix”.


They rarely care if cameras are present. Others will pick the spots in which no cameras are seen. Covert cameras are successful in catching many crimes, as the cameras are usually unseen. Doorbell cameras record someone walking up to a door, even before that person may, or may not, push the door bell button. These cameras can send an immediate picture to a programmed cell phone. The new Sperry West Spyder doorbells can do all of that, even in high resolution.


We are ready to assist you with planning for covert video to catch persistent crimes. Just ask us.


Thank you for reading.


Barry Levine Founder & CEO Sperry West®


More perpetrators have been caught & recorded with Sperry West® covert cameras in the U.S. & Canada than any other brand.


Sperry West® is a SDVOSB and holder GSA multi-award contract.


Feel free to reach Barry at 858-505-1030 or just drop a line.


Please see our Video Commander® covert surveillance kits and our cameras on or call us at 858 505 1030


Thank you for taking the time to get to know us better, we appreciate it.


Learn more About Covert Cameras


Typically, a problem occurs, such as theft, illegal entry, harassment, or vandalism and when it happens again, one or more covert cameras are employed to record a perpetrator. Often it works, but it may take time as well as even the relocation of covert cameras.

Most employee thieves know exactly where overt, normal cameras are and will avoid those areas when planning crimes. But what if hidden cameras are permanently installed, along with normal video cameras? Why wait until crimes occur, when many vulnerable areas are already known.

If covert cameras are installed, mixed with regular cameras in non-private areas, when a theft or other crime occurs, most likely the criminal has already been recorded and solid evidence has been obtained. This method can save thousands of dollars, as well as
bringing quick results.

Adding a few covert cameras, along with video systems, will increase the overall value of your video investment using this novel and smart approach. Recording may be best with a separate NVR, DVR or even SD-DVR.

Barry Levine is CEO of San Diego-based Sperry West, maker of
Spyder® video cameras and Video Commander® surveillance
kits. Levine has been leading video security companies for 40
years. He can be contacted at (858) 551-2000 or

“Normal video camera”

Sperry West covert camera”

Harassment & Covert Video

You learn of an employee or a vendor, claiming harassment by another
employee, in your organization. What can you do? So far, it is just
one persons word and perhaps a witness, if you are lucky. Harassment
of course, is often unwanted sexual advances or attempts at
intimidation. It can take many forms, including “requests” for
payments or favors, acting unprofessionally, or saying cruel things to a
fellow employee.

Most often, the perpetrator repeats and increases the activity.
Rarely does such a person stop with a simple “no”. Generally the
harasser is careful to avoid witnesses and even security cameras.
Implementing one or more covert cameras and recording the activity, may
be enough to enable you to charge the perpetrator. Sometimes, audio,
along with the video, is needed for evidence. Today, due to the proliferation
of audio within many IP cameras, the rules on the use of audio
have relaxed, but you should clear it with your attorney.

If the reported incidents occur within a private office, you must have
the permission of the normal and approved occupant of that office,
including for the use of audio. It is most important to test the
viewing area of the camera or cameras and test to make sure the audio
is clear at the distance involved, in normal speaking volume. This
may require an amplified microphone. Recording can take place in
adjacent areas or directly within the cameras.


Barry Levine is CEO of San Diego-based Sperry West, maker of
Spyder® video cameras and Video Commander® surveillance
kits. Levine has been leading video security companies for 40
years. He can be contacted at (858) 551-2000 or

Is it best to deter crime or to catch a criminal?

Alarms, CCTV & Access Control, are three of the most popular systems used to deter crime and even occasionally to assist in capturing crime.  Along with several other devices, they can be very helpful, particularly as aids to situational awareness. If you are utilizing these technologies, why should you also consider being prepared to employ covert video cameras and systems?

Inevitably, crimes will occur, despite all efforts at deterrence.  The most costly and often damaging of crimes may be committed by employees of the facility.  Reason (excuses) are varied, but often the perpetrators have rationalizations that they believe gives them real reason to commit theft, vandalisim, harassment or other crime.  The use of covert video can very often lead to recording the actual crime and even conviction in court, when necessary. 

Being prepared and ready to set up a covert surveillance quickly when needed is an important key in clearing cases promptly.  Complete surveillance kits like Sperry Wests “Video Commander Kit” is one of the most trusted, reasonable and successful “tools” to have ready to set up, catch the criminal, take down and be ready for the next set up as needed.  These kits provide huge benefits, often paying for themselves with the first use. The ROI is exceptional. It also beneficial that your security department is able to show real positive results.


Barry Levine is CEO of San Diego-based Sperry West, maker of
Spyder® video cameras and Video Commander® surveillance
kits. Levine has been leading video security companies for 40
years. He can be contacted at (858) 551-2000 or

Don’t use covert cameras unless——

We all know that covert cameras and systems can help catch criminals, but with what results? If you plan to use covert technology, are you prepared for the consequences of your success? That’s right, “success” not failure.

What if you record a crime taking place and recognize the perpetrator? What next? What policy does your organization have for dealing with such evidence?

A large multi branch bank’s Security Director once told me of his frustration that anytime his team caught a Vice President committing a crime, the bank would refuse to prosecute. Sometimes, they would do nothing at all.

Lets say that you hope to get restitution from employee thieves, which is common for some businesses and institutions. They accept the return of stolen merchandise and the resignation, or firing, of the employee who signs a confession and agrees to the arrangement. So far so good. But if your facility has a record of not prosecuting criminal employees or others, why would they agree to confess and return merchandise and lose their job?

It is obviously worth having a policy in place and following it, or setting up covert surveillance may not be worth the time and expense. Covert video is often the most cost effective and quickest way to aid in catching persistent criminal activity and a way to prove more value for your department. When accomplished with a specific purpose and follow up goal, it becomes a great winner.

Barry Levine is CEO of San Diego-based Sperry West, maker of
Spyder® video cameras and Video Commander® surveillance
kits. Levine has been leading video security companies for 40
years. He can be contacted at (858) 551-2000 or

Linkedin: Six dollar cameras, really!

We have just been offered 2MP security cameras for $6.16 from a manufacturer in a country that you can guess.  Oh’ and 5MP for $9,18. This is real and I have recently seen a few others with similar prices. I guess that if Americans must pay a higher rate of duty on imports, they will simply lower the cost.  I don’t know how they can even buy the case and box for six dollars. Obviously there is no bottom. 

Are we going to take advantage of their offer?  Not a chance. We are concerned with the results that our customers need.  We pay many times that amount just to have our special circuit boards made to our requirements, so that we can always make superior covert cameras and covert surveillance kits.

When you need to set up a covert video surveillance, it’s great to have everything you need, ready to go in one case.  Video Commander Kits make it simple & quick. Please see the most professional surveillance kits, visit and check all of the great Video Commander Kits and the very handy Spyder Pin Hole kit.

Wishing you great success in 2019,


Barry Levine is CEO of San Diego-based Sperry West, maker of
Spyder® video cameras and Video Commander® surveillance
kits. Levine has been leading video security companies for 40
years. He can be contacted at (858) 551-2000 or