The Trayvon Martin case has shown a very bright light on how Associations handle security.
Having a gate and a guard is a wonderful amenity, however as we have recently seen, things can go wrong in a hurry when you use home owners as “volunteer” guards. If a guard is employed at your Homeowner Association for security and safety purposes, a very specific job description needs to be developed and adhered to. You do not want to end up in court litigation. The bad press alone will kill home values and online reputation.
Trayvon Martin’s parents have settled a wrongful-death claim for an amount thought to be more than $1 million against the homeowners association of the Sanford subdivision where their teenage son was killed. Trayvon was shot to death by Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman at the Retreat at Twin Lakes townhomes in Sanford on Feb. 26, 2012. Zimmerman served as head of the Neighborhood Watch and called police that evening, describing Trayvon as suspicious. He has said the teen attacked him and he fired in self-defense.
Hiring a guard company is much better than hiring the guards directly, as another level of liability insurance is brought to the table with a guard company.
- If you are considering a gate, spend the extra money for a system that can spit out logs of who actually came through the gate.
- A camera with a recording function should also be considered.
- Both will provide needed information in case of a crime.
- If the Association has a Crime Watch Committee, the Committee Charter must detail exactly the committee’s responsibilities and activity.
- The committee should never have the authority to confront suspicious characters.
- They should be directed to call 911 only.
- An attempt of an Association to get into the “security business” should be coupled with a review of the Association’s Insurance package so that the Association is properly covered for such as endeavor.