We get this question a lot from both homeowners and HOAs. Many police departments in the San Francisco Bay Area have trimmed staff since 2008, including the Oakland Police Department, which laid off 80 officers in 2010. With budget and staffing shortfalls, the Oakland PD also announced that they would not be responding to 44 crimes including grand theft, burglary, car wrecks, and vandalism.
In turn, Bay Area communities have increasingly turned to private security to protect themselves against crime. Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering private security for your business or community.
Funding for Private Patrols
One of the most important hurdles that communities face is getting residents to agree on funding for patrols. Traditional HOAs may not have enough funds to cover additional private security, so it’s important to figure out where the funding will come from. Some residents in Oakland have gotten creative and started crowd-funding campaigns, which may work for some communities. For businesses, this may not be an option, so they must make a calculated decision to see if the cost of private security is worth the potential loss of property.
While we are all familiar with traditional private security personnel like mall cops and bank security guards, many communities are still wary of inviting additional armed private security members into their neighborhood. Before you make a case for funding a patrol, it’s important to address any concerns that residents of your neighborhood may have. If the thought of armed security is a concern, there are options to hire patrols who are not armed—they are merely extra “eyes and ears” for the neighborhood. For businesses, you may want to consult with your neighbors to make sure they are comfortable having an additional presence near their shops.
Finding the Right Company
Private security is in high demand in the Bay Area, and understandably many companies have been created to fill this need. When choosing a private security company, make sure you consult with residents of other neighborhoods (or near-by businesses) who have been satisfied with their patrols. Also, the internet is a great resource for looking up private security companies in your area. If you are a community or business that is interested in learning more about our own private security services, contact us today!