A significant number of HOAs in the San Antonio area have recently contracted BPS Security. That said, we wanted to explore this topic and help our readers understand why this is happening, the benefits, and ultimately why HOAs need private security!
Though this is definitely happening around the country, we are going to focus specifically on San Antonio (our home-base) for this article!
According to Neighborhood Scout, an online company that provides comprehensive data of hyper-local real estate information, “San Antonio has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes – from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One’s chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 21.”
Why Do HOAs Need Private Security?
Question 1: Will a Security Guard be effective even in non-gated communities
Answer: It is absolutely possible! However, their level of impact will be directly related to the quality of the security company! Additionally, not having a gate may require a need for multiple, on-site security guards at any given moment.
That said, depending on the location of the neighborhood, a great security firm might encourage the neighborhood to install a gate. The initial installation can be expensive however, it will be beneficial overtime and in the long run, help save money. So we do suggest investing in a fencing solution!
Question 2: Can we Use a Surveillance System In Lieu of an On-Site Guard?
Answer: Possibly! It is 100% dependent on the location of the neighborhood and crime rates in that area. For example, here is a screenshot of San Antonio color-coded by crime rates. The darker the blue, the higher the crime rate.
The thing is, it is important to choose the right level of security appropriate for the area, and not doing so can result in a major lawsuit! Oftentimes, companies/organizations hiring a security firm are more concerned with price than with service. As a result, they will choose the cheapest option and rely on the bare minimum, wrongfully assuming that the care minimum will help decrease liability should anything happen… and it will not!
Why? Well, if the issue goes to court, a judge can determine that the company/organization is liable due to negligence! Cornell Law School has a great definition of negligence, “A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.
If the company/organization (in this case an HOA) inquires about security and learns that their area is dangerous (or it is obviously dangerous), then choosing the bare minimum level of security is foolish.
So can a surveillance system be used in lieu of an on-site security guard? Again, it is possible, but it is dependent on the location!
*** HOAs are recognizing that they may be held reliable even if they do not inquire about security. This is another major reason why it is important for neighborhoods to hire private security!
Question 3: Is it Worth the Cost?
Answer: If the company/organization that is hiring the security firm does their research and hires a reputable security firm, then it can definitely be worth it!