PROGRESS REPORT UPDATE
UPDATED JULY 2017
Back in March, South Shores residents were invited to a Towne Hall Meeting to view a presentation and discuss a private security patrol service for South Shores. Soon after, a number of South Shores volunteers offered to call upon their neighbors to explain details of the program. From this effort, we are learning how many residents are willing to pay for such a service. (See map below).
Note the even distribution of pledges throughout upper and lower South Shores.
Benefits of Being a Security Patrol Association Member
Only members can:
- Call patrol officers about suspicious activity with rapid response.
- Have patrols check their homes twice daily when on vacation.
- Expect very quick response to alarm activation.
- Have patrol officers meet them when arriving home late at night.
- Expect to be contacted if the patrol spots garages or gates left open.
- Display signs on their property indicating their special protected status.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM:
WHAT IS THE BASIC IDEA WE’RE PROMOTING?
We want to create a “crime deterrence organization”. Functionally, we want to supplement the police with extra eyes and ears in the form of private security officers that work for the neighborhood.
The security officers would spend their time demonstrating presence and making contact with suspicious individuals in the neighborhood, addressing or notifying members of security concerns like open garage doors and gates at night, watching the homes of vacationing residents, quickly responding (less than 5 minutes) to member alarm activations and calls for suspicious activity. This type of organization has been very successful in other neighborhoods including northern Santa Monica.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
A program like this will lead to a lower crime rate in the area, and this makes the neighborhood safer. The program is also a great selling point for realtors, creating higher home values. There are also many benefits for individual members including:
- Vacation watches,
- Response to members’ alarm activations
- Escorts into the house late at night
- Response to calls for suspicious persons/activity
- Random patrol of member residences, and more
These benefits are only available to members. As a result of these member benefits, in comparable organizations, members are burglarized at half the rate of nonmembers. So a patrol program like this is excellent for individual protection as well as for maintaining a lower neighborhood crime rate.
WHY CREATE AN ASSOCIATION – WHY NOT JUST BUY PATROL SERVICE INDIVIDUALLY?
We are stronger together. Individual security companies can sell patrol service to individual members, but the neighborhood wouldn’t have a central association regulating the service they are providing. Any security company in the area wouldn’t be accountable to the neighborhood at large, only the individual clients. A central association leads to greater accountability, higher level of service and LOWER PRICES for the individual households. Comparable associations are able to provide patrol services to members for half the price that those services cost directly from security companies. But without an association, not only does the company provide fewer services, but they cover a greater geographic area and therefore have longer response times. Under the proposed system, the security patrol works for the neighborhood residents, not for its own interests.
HOW WOULD THE ASSOCIATION BE STRUCTURED?
The association would be run by an elected board of directors made up of neighborhood residents. The board would oversee the activities of an operations manager who would handle all the day to day activities of the organization and oversee the patrol provider’s activities. Because the board effectively are the elected representatives of the members, it is ultimately the members who run it.
DOES SOUTH SHORES NEED THIS? WHAT KINDS OF CRIMES OCCUR HERE?
This is a map of the crimes that have occurred in South Shores over the past 6 months. As you can see, South Shores has experienced multiple burglaries, stolen vehicles, thefts from vehicles, robberies, and assaults. The black masks represent burglaries, the brown cars indicate vehicle break-ins, the purple cars indicate stolen cars, and the blue faces with hats indicate armed robberies. You can see this crime map for yourself at www.crimemapping.com.
Law enforcement has noted an increase in crime over the past couple of years, and they are projecting further increases for the foreseeable future. They attribute this to recent legislation to alleviate prison overcrowding that is light on penalties for crimes like burglary and theft, and other legislation that loosens bail restrictions. It would be wise to prepare now for a higher crime rate in the coming years.
COULD THIS WORK HERE?
This concept has been very successful in other neighborhoods. Based on reaction to the ideas so far, we believe a 24 hour, armed patrol car will be possible if we can successfully navigate the startup stage. Based on similar organizations, we think we will end up with 40-50 percent of area households participating. We are projecting a membership total of 500 individual households. However, this total is unlikely to be reached until a patrol car is on the road, making contact with area residents and demonstrating that this a real, functioning program, rather than something theoretical. Growth to full potential may take a year or two. Because of this, the early adopters are absolutely critical. The early adopters are the ones that will accept a 16 hour patrol program, in the hope that a 24 hour car will be afforded by the community once the membership total grows.
PRICE BREAKDOWN AND MEMBERSHIP TOTALS
As stated above, we’re basing estimates on a potential membership of 500 households in total; this percentage of participants would be commensurate with other similar organizations. We have calculated that a 24 hour car will be possible with 500 members at $45 a month. A 16 hour car will be possible at that rate with 334 members. We think it is going to be necessary to start with a 16 hour car because reaching full potential will be difficult until a patrol car is actually on the road. To get started, we’re going to need to get 334 people to agree to join at $45 a month for a 16 hour patrol car. We need people to make a pledge, saying that if 334 others make the same agreement, an association will be formed, and they will join at a rate of $45 a month (billed annually). Once 334 people have signed an agreement to join, the association will form and begin collecting the funds. If we fall short of this number, no association will be formed and no funds will be collected.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE CONTRACT FOR LESS THAN 24 HOURS AND SOMETHING HAPPENS WHILE THE CAR IS NOT ON DUTY?
All members would still be covered by the patrol company, and they would be serviced by the company’s other vehicles. During the off hours, the vehicles may be coming from far away, so the response time will be much longer, but they will eventually arrive and handle whatever calls for service are pending. The ideal situation is that the neighborhood patrol car is staffed 24 hours a day.
If you have questions about the concept, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLEASE PLEDGE TO JOIN!