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Duluth man starts business to address community crime

Diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, Bryan Russell, founder of Duluth Security Needs, LLC, said his extreme attention to detail comes in handy while working with computers.

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Duluth Security Needs founder Bryan Russell demonstrates security camera equipment in his home office April 12.
Duluth News Tribune / Brielle Bredsten

DULUTH โ€” Bryan Russell has combined his computer skills with entrepreneurship to open Duluth Security Needs, aimed at supporting local neighborhoods and residences in protecting their properties.

"I love my community and am always looking for ways to improve our neighborhoods," Russell said.

Diagnosed with the high-functioning autism spectrum disorder known as Asperger's syndrome, Russell explained how an extreme attention to detail comes in handy while working with computers.

"It's more of an ability," he said. "I am using the cognitive benefits of autism and applying them to my work, which serves a serious need."

At 7 years old, Russell learned to do programming on his first computer, a TI99/4A. By age 15, he was repairing computers professionally. Frustrated with the quality of computers he was repairing, Russell began building his own. His interest in security systems started after installing video surveillance at his high school to stop troublemakers from acting up in the hallways, he said.

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Duluth Security Needs uses American-made equipment manufactured in Duluth.
Duluth News Tribune / Brielle Bredsten

His mission now is to help reduce and prevent crime locally, ranging from package thefts and car break-ins, to trespassing and robbery.

After attending North Dakota State University for a year, Russell moved from Fargo to Minneapolis as an affordable means to complete his general courses at North Hennepin Community College.

However, when social unrest erupted following the murder of George Floyd, the 3rd Precinct police headquarters located within blocks of his residence was set ablaze May 28, 2020. The experience, along with being physically assaulted in Loring Park, were ultimately why Russell decided to leave the Twin Cities.

Upon arriving in Duluth two years ago, Russell began offering computer consulting services, which led to his work in security systems. Funded with his grandmother's inheritance, Russell started his own business. Duluth Security Needs was incorporated Nov. 10, 2022.

Following a site survey, Duluth Security Needs provides a cost estimate before the order, setup and cleanup of security equipment on the customer's property. Russell estimates it takes approximately three days to complete a system.

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Bryan Russell's system can be set up to automatically alert property owners or law enforcement of suspicious activity.
Duluth News Tribune / Brielle Bredsten

"I provide extremely reliable, high-quality, smart video surveillance and security solutions that are affordable and scalable for any budget," Russell said. "Using Linux, open source software, and open technology standards as a foundation, there is no limit to how my systems can be designed and engineered to protect people, premises and property."

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If a property is experiencing a security problem, Duluth Security Needs may initially offer small wireless cameras for rent to assess the property and activities of concern to determine the best configuration of camera locations and type, as well as any additional features. Renting one or more temporary cameras for a small monthly fee may aid in determining the best setup for a permanent system, Russell explained.

The security systems are able to use facial recognition, and can detect firearms, fights, slips and falls, and even overdose events, he said.

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"It's valuable because it can prevent a crime before it happens rather than apprehending it or mitigating it after the fact," Russell said.

Duluth Security Needs has the ability to connect its systems to form a mesh network between neighbors to effectively secure an entire block, Russell explained. Cross surveillance between adjoining property owners provides multiple camera angles to an individual location.

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Cross surveillance between adjoining property owners provides multiple camera angles to an individual location.
Contributed / Duluth Security Needs

The system can also be set up to automatically alert property owners or law enforcement of suspicious activity. Real-time alerts and video surveillance can be triggered by motion in a certain area at a certain time in addition to the moving object having human features, for example.

He envisions these services could attract new businesses to developing areas by providing better security.

Duluth Security Needs uses all government-trusted or American-made products. Russell plans to manufacture his products in Duluth, including surveillance cameras and wireless antennas that are useful when running physical wires is not practical or possible, such as for a renter of a residential or commercial property. For each wired installation, Russell consults with Security Consultant Ellis Thompson, a retired engineer and U.S. Air Force veteran.

Duluth Security Needs is in the process of expanding its marketing efforts and Russell is considering a location with larger space for manufacturing. In the future, the company may offer video monitoring services for clients.

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Brielle Bredsten is the business reporter for the Duluth News Tribune.

She earned a bachelor's degree in Professional Writing & Technical Communication, with minors in Advertising and Creative Writing from Metropolitan State University, in addition to a two-year professional paid internship as reporter/editor of the student newspaper.

She is an award-winning professional writer, photographer and editor based in rural Minnesota. Over the past decade, Brielle Bredsten has contributed more than 1,000 articles, feature stories, non-profit press-releases, photographs and columns. Her work has been published in several community newspapers.

Send her story tips, feedback or just say hi at bbredsten@duluthnews.com.
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