For some communities one of the top responsibilities of community associations, if not the #1 priority, is maintaining a safe, secure environment.
Taking the right steps to prevent theft, vandalism, and violent crimes is essential for community leaders, and one of these potential measures is hiring a security guard for the gate.
Before deciding whether or not to hire a security guard, take a look at some important factors. Give all of these issues honest consideration and you'll be able to make the right decision for your community.
- What are the requirements in your governing documents? Some community associations require community leaders to provide specific security measures, and a guard at the gate may actually be a written requirement. If an incident were to occur and it came out that there is a clause that requires a security guard, but community leaders don't provide one, it could be justification for legal action against the association. Even if there is no security requirements, the safety and security of community members is one of the board's responsibilities, and a guard at the gate may be a necessary step that requires an amendment to declaration to add this new common element. A new guard gate is unquestionably a material alteration to common element if one does not already exist.
- Look at the history of crime in the area. If there has been a consistent history of theft or violence, this could be a sign that your association needs to take new steps for the security of your homeowners and their property. Even if your community has a long history of peace and quiet, a single incident should prompt the association leaders to review their security measures and make any needed changes. This may be a good time to review the need for a security guard.
Advantages of a Security Guard at the Gate
Security guards give you a physical human presence at the main entrance to your community, which is a great way to monitor who enters and who leaves the area. Automated gates are known to reduce crime, but a security guard at the gate is especially useful at preventing unauthorized entry. While an automated gate may be easy for criminals to bypass, a security guard adds a higher level of protection.
What Security Guards at the Gate Can't Do
A security guard at the gate is great protection for the entry way to your community, but they don't patrol different areas, provide on-the-spot security assistance, or monitor every street in the community. They are there to guard the gate, nothing more, nothing less.
Other Security Options to Consider
Remember, there are many other security measures that you can consider in addition to a hired security guard. Security cameras are a popular choice across the country, and key-passes for gates can provide the security you need without the ongoing cost of paying for full-time security services. If you need to take security measures even further, you can hire patrolling security, which gives a strong sense of security and reminds would-be thieves that someone is watching.
One of the best security measures, however, is simple education of community members. Remind residents to lock their doors and homes, trim shrubs in front of their windows, and encourage them to install an electronic home-alarm system.
Keep all of these factors in mind and you'll be able to make the right choice on hiring a security guard at your gate and whether it is necessary to amend the governing documents to include this new common element offering.
Make the Right Security Decision for Your Community. Whether you are considering a security guard for your gate or a comprehensive video system for your entire community, you can get expert legal support and litigation services for your community association by working with PeytonBolin.
We can work with you to train your board, provide concrete advice on security measures, and deliver reliable counseling for your entire community.