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Energy Efficiency

Private Security Patrol Service for South Shores

Ad Hoc Committee’s Feasibility Study

Last summer, in response to requests from the South Shores community, the South Shores Homeowners Association (SSHOA) formed an ad hoc committee.  The committee’s purpose is to research the feasibility of a private security patrol service for South Shores. 

Because the costs of such a service would be borne exclusively by South Shores residents, the task at hand was to learn:

  1. The community’s level of interest in a security patrol service.
  2. The costs to the community of such a service.
  3. The number of homeowners willing to contribute financially to its support.

In short, the more homeowners willing to pay for the service, the lower the cost per household.

To assist the committee in the next phase of its research, a focus group was  formed as a preliminary “sounding board” for the concept.  The focus group met January 7, 2017.  This group consists of approximately 15 South Shores residents representing a range of our community’s neighborhoods with a roughly 50:50 mix of upper and lower South Shores homeowners.

Input from this group helped provide a more complete understanding of this undertaking and prompted questions not yet asked in this research.

The as hoc committee has met, interviewed and obtained bids from 3 security patrol companies: 

  • ADT Patrol - based in Torrance.
  • Black Knight Patrol  Private Security Services - based in San Pedro.
  • Southwest Patrol, Inc. - based in Diamond Bar.

Several months ago, the committee made contact with ADT Patrol following an exploratory meeting with the Operations Manager of one of their clients, the non-profit SMPA  (Santa Monica Protective Association).

After examining the SMPA – ADT model, the committee asked the two competing security patrol companies to submit bids including the same service features as ADP Patrol to ensure true comparisons among the bids.

THE SMPA – ADT  MODEL AND HOW IT IS ORGANIZED

Early in its research, the committee learned of a neighborhood funded patrol program called the Santa Monica Protective Association (SMPA).  This organization has been operating continuously in Santa Monica since 1981.  It is located in the 90402 zip code area.  Since last summer, we have had several meetings with the SMPA Operations Manager to learn as much as possible that might apply to South Shores.

SMPA’s  2 square mile tract in Santa Monica consists of approximately 2,000 homes.  There are approximately 1,100 SMPA members.  In other words, more than 50% of the area’s homeowners are SMPA members.  By contrast, South Shores consists of 1,309 homes.

The organization managing this area’s security patrol consists of:

  • A five member volunteer staff called the Santa Monica Protective Association (SMPA).   
  • An SMPA Operations Manager.
  • A volunteer organization of 20 Street Representatives. 

THE SMPA OPERATIONS MANAGER

The Operations Manager is a salaried employee of SMPA.  This manager serves as the communications link between over 1,000 homes and ADT Patrol, the provider of the service.

The Operations Manager collects dues twice a year and turns over the funds to an SMPA bookkeeper.  The Operations Manager signs up new members and follows up on delinquent dues as the occasion warrants.

To enroll, residents sign a 3 party contract with SMPA and ADT.  Members may sign up for either a 6 month period or 1 year.   Dues are paid in advance of the service.

The Operations Manager produces a quarterly newsletter for SMPA members.

The Operations Manager is part of all communication with ADT, handling all complaints and comments directed to the provider.

The Operations Manager coordinates all communication and activities through 20 volunteer Street Representatives who provide ongoing feedback to the Operations Manager.  Street Representatives, for example, alert the Operations Manager of new residents on their streets and facilitate enrollment of new members. 

THE ROLE OF ADT AND BENEFITS OF SMPA MEMBERSHIP

The area is served by 2 ADT radio-dispatched security patrol vehicles 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  ADT Patrol Officers are on constant patrol throughout the neighborhood.  The patrol vehicles are prominently marked “Santa Monica Protective Association”.   Patrol Officers are employees of ADT.  While Patrol Officers in the SMPA-ADT are armed, the question of whether South Shores Patrol Officers should be armed is currently under discussion.                                                

SMPA-ADT Member Benefits

Immediate Patrol Response

When a member sees suspicious activity in the neighborhood, the member calls the ADT dispatch office.  The dispatcher then calls the SMPA patrol officer who is never more than a few minutes away.  At a bare minimum, they demonstrate their presence when it may be needed most. 

The ADT Alarm Service and ADT Security Patrol Service are different entities within the same company and membership pricing in one does not affect pricing in the other.  However, subscribers to the ADT Alarm Service enjoy the added benefit of alarm notification to the ADT Patrol Service in addition to the LAPD with the probable advantage of a quicker response by the ADT Patrol Service.

Vacation Watches

When leaving town, members can advise ADT Patrol of the dates of their absence and Patrol Officers will conduct a perimeter check of the residence 3 times each day to the member’s specifications.  The officer will check for unsecured doors and windows, move mail, papers, flyers and packages to designated locations on the property.  They will also bring in trash cans after collection.  Some members will have the officer conduct extra drive-bys during their absence, even if it’s just for an evening out.

Escorts

Follow-home robberies are a common tactic of criminals.  Members can call ADT Patrol when they are coming home late at night and a Patrol Officer will meet them there upon their arrival.

Random Patrol

When Patrol Officers spot suspicious activity on a member’s property, they investigate.  If they spot a member’s garage open to the alley, they will alert the member.

Alarm Response

Although an alarm system is absolutely not required for membership in SMPA, if a member has a house alarm monitored by ADT or any other company, the Patrol Officers will respond if you give your alarm company the ADT dispatch number. The officers are well trained and can replace the response of the police, if the member chooses.  This can save the member hundreds of dollars in fees for false alarms. 

The officers are trained to check the perimeter for signs of forced entry, verify authorization of anyone they find on the property, alert the members by phone in case of emergency and call the police when criminal activity is found. 

The response time is usually much quicker than the police because the ADT Patrol Officers would cover only South Shores, a much smaller area than that covered by the LAPD.

COST OF MEMBERSHIP

As of December, 2016, bids have been obtained from all 3 providers.  Salary negotiations with a prospective Operations Manager are still under way. 

At this stage, it is impossible to know the actual cost of membership per household. That figure can be determined only when it is known how many households are actually willing to participate as paying subscribers.

The more households participating, the lower the cost per household.

However, it is possible to roughly project the cost per household assuming various levels of participation.  These levels and costs were discussed at the focus group meeting on January 7.  This pricing information will be discussed further in a community-wide Town Hall type meeting scheduled for March, 2017.  The meeting date will be announced shortly.  

COMMUNITY INPUT

In coming weeks, we will reach out to the community through the South Shores Homeowners Association website and invite residents’ questions and comments regarding a patrol service. 

We will also present some information from this study at the SSHOA January 17th annual meeting at the South Shores Magnet School at 2060 W. 35th St. in South Shores.   The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m.

In coming months, we will poll as many homes as possible to quantify South Shores’ degree of willingness to share in the expense of this effort.

Once that number is finally established, we will know with certainty whether the concept of a security patrol service for the community of South Shores is viable and sustainable.

 

 

 

   

  • The SSHOA Security/Safety Sub-Committee has identified three security company vendors willing to present the specific costs and duties offered to residents who may elect to subscribe to 24 hour security patrol service.  Upon determining costs and service program offers from these vendors, a comprehensive survey document will be prepared and circulated during the coming weeks within the South Shores Community.  The Sub-Committee upon completion of the community security survey will prepare recommendations for presentation to the SSHOA Board of Directors for further direction.
  • The local program known as Cyber Watch made up of some 411 property owners continues to work with various stakeholders including the LAPD to identify and note specific property crimes that occur in the area.  The program has resulted in minimizing property crimes in the area, working with diligent member observers and the LAPD.  Additional membership within the South Shores region can be obtained via the link provided on the SSHOA website.
  • Discussion took place on future development of the Port and downtown area in San Pedro.  Ground breaking took place on 11/29/2016 for redesigning and repositioning the entrance roadway to the Ports O’ Call area.  A review of the Old Court House is underway as well as two other downtown sites set for redevelopment of mixed use commerce and housing.  The purposed San Pedro Public Market and Alta Sea are key projects for expanding economic growth in the region.  An announcement is expected during the first quarter of 2017 on redeveloping the Rancho San Pedro public housing along North Harbor Blvd. near the Battleship Iowa.
  • The City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department has dedicated a new children’s playground area at Bogdanovich Recreation Center (Funded by both the City - $300,000 and the County - $300,000) to serve recreational needs of the area.
  • The Annual Membership Meeting will take place on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at the South Shores Magnet Elementary School.  Elections for board members and a vote to revise the SSHOA By-Laws will take place at this meeting.   The Viewpoint will be mailed out to the area on January 9, 2017 noting activities for the past year as well as the agenda for the annual meeting.
  • The 2016 MailChimp E-Mail program shows that some 31% of the recipients are clicking on the messages to learn more about key subjects such as Minutes, San Pedro Public Market Launch, and Annual Meeting programs contained in the e-mail messages from the SSHOA.
  • Residents are encouraged to assist in the process of welcoming new neighbors to the South Shores area perhaps by a “Welcome Wagon” program.  Ideas are welcomed.


 

Wall of Volunteers

 


WALL OF VOLUNTEERS 

 

Marlene Baumann

D J Chang

Terry Katnic

Michelle Mar

Jim & Terry Poste

Jo-Ann Scandaliato

Michelle Sheridan

Lilia Stephenson

John (Tym) and June Tymczyszyn

Jim Wellington

 
Your name could be here **
 

ALL SSHOA Board Members

** Click here to email SSHOA President, Richard Scandaliato, to volunteer your services 

Join (or Re-Join) South Shores HomeOwners Association

Annual SSHOA Dues

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