- Category Archives: "Security"
One of the best—and most effective—ways to fight crime in your neighborhood is to build a strong relationship with your local police. Here are seven tips for doing that.
1) Identify your community liaison. “Every department has somebody who’s a community liaison,” says David R. Anderson, an Alexandria, Va., crime prevention consultant and co-author of Managing to Prevent Crime: A Guide for Property Managers. “It’s good to know who that person is and to build a relationship. Invite that person to your association meetings and to make a presentation. If your local police department is small, get to know the chief by asking for a meeting. Usually, there’s some problem going on, and that can be the reason for the meeting, or it can simply be a get-to-know-you meeting. Then, when a problem develops, you’ve got someone to work with. You don’t want your only contact with police to be when there’s a problem.”
The eyes and ears of community volunteers are needed to help keep neighborhoods safe. But what’s the boards role?
After finding his home ransacked in 2004, Art Hanson tallied the losses. Thieves had broken into a basement window and stolen laptops, cameras, even a piggy bank from the family’s home.
“As upsetting as that was, what really got under my skin was the fact that it was a persistent problem in my neighborhood,” he says.
Despite entrance gates, security patrols and neighborhood watch groups, community associations are not immune to crime. As the slow economy leads to layoffs and tightened personal budgets, desperate people may break the law. Perhaps now may be the best time for an association to review its safety and the steps it can take to help prevent crime.
“I think we’ll see an increase in crime with the number of homes that are vacant due to foreclosure,” says Melinda Johnson, CMCA a senior property manager. ” With banks posting notices of ownership…, criminals may begin to look for the right opportunity.”
Managing safety in a homeowner association is a thankless job. If you do it well, few residents even notice. If you make a mistake, you could be vilified and even sued for endangering others. Here are six dos and don’ts that will help you ensure the safety of your residents and keep yourself off their security radar screen.
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