What is the Role of Security in our Community? by Joan Dzuro

“What is the role of our security force here in Sun City Shadow Hills?” This is a question that I and
many of our Board members hear quite often.

The Association has hired a private security firm whom we pay to protect property and assets from hazards (such as those caused by the actions of people or by environmental dangers, accidents, etc.) by utilizing preventative measures. They do this by maintaining a high-visibility presence to deter illegal and inappropriate actions, observing (either directly, through patrols, or by watching alarm systems or video cameras) for signs of crime, fire, or disorder; then taking action to minimize damage(example: warning and escorting trespassers off property) and reporting any incidents to their client and emergency services as appropriate.

In a community of over 6,500 residents, we have incidents where people drink a little too much and either try to drive when they should not or become belligerent in their behavior. We have some people who are victims of domestic violence. We have some neighbors who harass others in our community. We have people whom
no one has seen for a while, so our security officers go to see how they are doing (called a welfare check). Several times they have found that a resident in the home has died. They then call the police and have them take over.

Living in an HOA community means we all signed a contract when we bought our homes to abide by the rules and regulations of our community (CC&Rs, by-laws, architectural rules and regulations, to name a few). Our security helps in overseeing these areas and notifies homeowners if they see a problem (trash cans left
out, speeding, running stop signs).

Another area where security helps is with our local emergency personnel. When they know that an emergency vehicle has entered the premises, security helps with traffic control or provides an escort to the home or whatever else they need to free them up to do their job. If someone sees a vendor or someone else sneak into the community, security finds that person and determines if they are supposed to be here. If not, they escort them off property.

If homeowners list our security people as first calls for their home alarms, when an alarm is triggered, security will go by and check the home to see if anything looks out of place. If not they will let the alarm company know. If it looks like something is amiss, they will call the police. Since the City charges for false alarms (about $100 per call starting with the first call), this is a great service that has saved some homeowners quite a few dollars in fines from the City.

Security also drives around the perimeter of our community and checks to see if anything looks out of place.
Another service they try to offer is to call residents if it appears they have left their garage doors open. When in your life has anyone, other than a friendly neighbor, called you to let you know you have left your home exposed to burglars? Security will call even late at night unless the homeowner has provided a time not
to call. If possible, if unable to contact the homeowner, security will manually close the door and record the event on their patrol camera.

Our Community Safety Director and our Safety Advisory Committee work very closely with the Indio Police Department to communicate our issues and get direction on how to handle potential challenges as they are discovered.

Can security keep all bad things from happening? No. They are here to give our community extra eyes and ears, 24/7, and to help report anything that looks out of place or could be a problem.

You can find a copy of the security contract on the scshca.com