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How Should Boards Handle the Reporting of a Crime?

A burglar slipped into a Hudson Heights co-op as a shareholder was leaving the building, then proceeded to steal a laundry cart and some packages. The theft was reported to police, but it took the co-op board almost two weeks

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Is it legal for a condo owner to install a security camera?

Q: Can an owner install a security camera to monitor his entrance area in a condo complex and can the board approve this as an agenda item    Read the Q&A……………

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HOA buys personal alarms for kids following attempted abduction (FL)

A community is coming together to protect their children, by providing personal alarms and self -defense courses.  Mike Metzger owns Championship Martial Arts, and he is now turning fear into action for little girls in the East Orange County neighborhood

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Lawsuit underway after man beaten in his own condo by naked man on drugs (FL)

…..He’s hired a lawyer to sue building managment for not doing enough to keep its residents safe.  “One failiure, after another failure, aafter another failure,” said Brevda of the fail-safes inside the building. “The residents pay a considerable amount of

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Lake Charleston (FL) homeowners ask HOA for security cameras in neighborhoods after attempted abductions

The father of a 10-year-old who was almost abducted is asking his community’s HOA board for security cameras around the development.  There are nights when David Harman keeps replaying February 13th in his mind. The day his son was almost

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Maryville man accused of flooding Knoxville building (TN)

A Maryville man was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing, public intoxication and vandalism in downtown Knoxville.  According to police, 44-year-old Chadwick Carruthers was arrested after he was found early Saturday morning hiding in a fire escape at 602 S.

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Some residents in N.O. East subdivison say police aren’t investigating rash of break-ins (LA)

Homeowners in the Lake Carmel subdivision say several break-ins have happened in their neighborhood and police are not investigating.  “We have nothing. We don’t have patrol cars,” says Ronald Walker, Vice President of the Eastern New Orleans Homeowners Association.  Ronald

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Saratoga: HOAs can operate neighborhood security cameras (CA)

Neighborhood surveillance cameras operated by bona fide homeowners associations for security purposes can operate in public rights-of-way with an encroachment permit, city attorney Richard Taylor told the city council at a recent meeting.  Cameras, like the two already installed as

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Burglars strike gated community in northwest Las Vegas (NV)

“We’re going to look at how to make the entrance and exit gates more vandal proof so you can’t get in,” said Bill Sandeen, the president of the HOA which oversees the subdivision.    Read the article……….

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Electronic Spying, Satellite Surveillance & Drones

Science fiction! Actually not. Over the last several years, technology available to the homeowners association has exponentially grown. Drones have become the proverbial “Soup de Jour.” An increasing numbers of homeowners associations use drones to inspect common areas, architectural improvements,

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Security guard shoots, kills man in Chesapeake’s River Walk neighborhood, police say (VA)

A 60-year-old man died after he was shot last night half a mile away from his home in the River Walk neighborhood, according to police.  Officers found Jiansheng Chen, 60, with gunshot wounds just after 11 p.m. Thursday, according to

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Jacksonville neighborhood’s anti-crime initiative shows thieves in the act (FL)

One local neighborhood’s efforts to stop crime captured a car break-in as it happened.  A teenager appears to wave to a surveillance camera before he rummages through a car parked in a driveway. Three other teens can be seen keeping

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After 40 years, Avondale security arrangement ends (OH)

For decades, Avondale residents knew someone was watching out for them.  Now, a longstanding policing practice has been called into question and the community is looking for alternatives.  Last month, the Stark County Sheriff’s office put an end to an

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Surveillance and the Law: Maintaining Safety While Respecting Privacy

Secure. The word has many meanings. According to Google definitions it can mean “to fix or attach something to something else. It can mean to protect against threats or make safe. Or it can mean to feel free from fear

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Neighborhood Watch: Maintain Your Community’s Safety, Safely

Everyone is right to be concerned with the safety of their communities, whether they live in an area highly susceptible to crime or a sleepy Mayberry-esque hamlet. Condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowners’ associations are no exception; in fact, the communal nature

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Surveillance Technology: How Much Does Your Building Really Need?

Gone are the days of windowless rooms filled with bulky recording equipment, multiple flickering screens, and file cabinets full of disks containing endless hours of footage. The state of the art in surveillance equipment today is all about pixels, thumb

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Privacy prompts Riva Trace decision (FL)

Riva Trace resident Barry Cox captured the picture that tells a thousand words.  On his cell phone, Cox has a photo of a moving truck traveling through the gate adjacent to his house, where Meeting Street and San Miguel Cove

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Traffic Calming in HOAs, Neighborhoods and Residential Areas

The Community Associations Institute estimates that over 25 million American homes are governed by Homeowner Associations (HOAs), which work to protect home values and contribute to the overall quality of life in their neighborhoods. Speeding in residential areas—the most common

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Palm Valley Phase I residents vote to ban some sex offenders (AZ)

Level II and III sex offenders are being banished from one Goodyear community after residents voted Dec. 2 to keep them out.  Residents voted 185 to 32 in favor of an amendment to Palm Valley Phase I’s declaration of covenants,

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Cyber Security Part Two: Board Member Tips for Keeping Your Community Association Safe

In part one of this two-part series, we discussed the importance of cyber security to your community association and the steps that residents can take to protect themselves and their association. In this article, we look at your board’s responsibility

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Cyber Security Part One: How Community Residents Can Protect Their Tech

Like it or not, we have become very dependent on our technology. Whether it’s a cell phone, tablet or computer, our devices enable us to stay connected, conduct business and access information anywhere, anytime. Yet as convenient as these devices

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The Pros and Cons of Living in Gated Communities

The 2001 American Housing Survey reported that 4+ million homes in America are in a gated community. Considering the growing popularity of gated communities and the passing of over 15 years, we can only assume that several more have been

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After Shooting, Police Urge University Commons To Hire Private Security (IL)

In response to outrage over a recent shooting, Chicago Police are urging University Commons neighbors to consider hiring private security to patrol the development’s 900 units.  Concerned about an October shooting that damaged a sprinkler and waste line inside of

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Improving Cyber Security for Your HOA

You may think that only big businesses with millions of dollars are at risk for a cyber hack, but that isn’t the case. Cyber criminals know that smaller companies, including HOAs, don’t have the money or sophistication to have impenetrable

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$10.1 Million Settlement in Negligent Security Case Involving Father Paralyzed in Shooting (FL)

The homeowners association, property manager, and other related entities at a Miami townhome community have agreed to pay more than $10 million dollars to 22-year-old Bryan Perez and his infant son to settle a negligent security lawsuit.  On August 18th

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Security in Kunia neighborhood stopped day before shooting (HI)

The Village Park area is normally patrolled by a security guard, but that stopped just a day before the shooting happened.  KHON2 first reported that the Village Park Homeowners Association stopped security and landscaping services on Friday due to lack

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Is hiring security guard best way to combat break-ins and burglaries?

Q: We are a medium-sized homeowners association that contains several condominium associations. All are governed by the homeowners board of directors. There have been several incidents in the past year in which strangers were seen wandering through our grounds. There

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Indemnity Provisions can leave Associations holding the bag for someone else’s wrongdoing!

A recent Broward County negligent security lawsuit filed on August 31st raises issues about who should pay the consequences when a security breach results in a resident’s death. In this case, a community with an entrance feature protected by a

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In one Bexar County neighborhood, debate over armed patrols intensifies (TX)

A handful of residents concerned about a rash of car burglaries at The Oaks at Cobblestone, a gated subdivision outside of Loop 1604 at Culebra Road, formed armed patrols last week intended to keep the neighborhood safe.  The approach was

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4 detained after reports of rifle-wielding gunmen atop South Beach condo (FL)

According to Miami Beach Police, a 911 caller reported he saw the armed subjects on top of the Del Rio Condominiums at 11th Street and Collins Avenue, at around 2 p.m. The caller said he saw the two men holding

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LIGHTS … CAMERA … LEGAL ACTION! Do Associations Increase Their Liability by Providing Security Measures?

Many owners in common interest communities might assume that when their association takes steps to increase security – such as installing street lights, security gates, surveillance cameras, etc. – they are providing additional protection to the owners who live in

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Sun City Grand board stops surveillance camera study (AZ)

Sun City Grand will not pursue surveillance cameras at its four exits following a decision by the community association board at its Aug. 11 meeting.  This was the second hearing on the proposal put together by community association staff and

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Gated Communities Sued For Negligent Security

Deaths resulting from unauthorized persons gaining access in gated communities have recently reached the headlines in Florida. Not surprisingly, the incidents resulted lawsuits against residential communities that marketed themselves as protecting residents through enforced gate and screening procedures. The lawsuits

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Home Safe Home: How to Handle the Aftermath of a Crime in Your Co-op or Condo

Man is but a flawed creature, cursed by his very nature to succumb to his own worst impulses. And one of those impulses might lead to criminal activity. Unfortunately, crime is an inevitability, even in a fairly secure condominium or

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Robot Security Guards in Condo Associations

Safety and security is a serious topic. First and foremost, you need a good security plan. Typically there are numerous improvements you can make to your property before you elect to hire traditional security guards. While not appropriate for many

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Burglar flooded three floors of Duluth condo building (MN)

Police said they found severe damage to a sink in the condo, which apparently caused the flooding. Officers also found open food and alcohol containers, indicating that Warren may have been living in the residence for some time. The unit’s

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Community members wary of gate ordinance despite reassurance (OH)

Homeowners Associations (HOA) representing gated communities in Avon Lake remain uneasy about penalties a new ordinance has laid out for improperly functioning gates.  The penalties associated with the ordinance include 30 days of possible jail time and fines, which city

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Wrongful Death Suit Against Association Illustrates Perils of Negligent Security, Screening

The filing of a double wrongful death lawsuit against the property owners’ association for the exclusive Yacht and Country Club of Stuart gated community is drawing the attention of many community association attorneys, property managers and directors. The case appears

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Board Members Beware: Condo Associations Are Attractive Targets for Cyber-thieves

Cyber-thefts are becoming more frequent, more sophisticated and more costly. This isn’t news to anyone who surfs the Internet, reads newspapers (I’m told I’m not the only one who still does that) and watches television news. But if you think

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How Property Managers can Fight Terrorism

“It won’t happen here.” That’s surely something uttered by property managers every time another incidence of terrorism occurs. However, the target of terrorists is maddeningly difficult to predict; we’ve seen attacks in shopping centers, movie theaters, schools, offices and even

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Pasco (FL) doubles up on deputy dispatches; cost to neighborhoods rises

After shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco is mandating his deputies work in pairs when they answer calls for service.  There won’t be two officers per car, but the change, at least temporarily,

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Condo Owners Want Security: Are Associations Required to Provide It?

When a gunman opened fire on patrons at an Orlando nightclub a few weeks ago, killing and injuring more than 100, commentators grappled initially with the horror of the act. But they also speculated about the obligation of the nightclub

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How To: Start a Neighborhood Watch Program in Your Community

Starting a neighborhood watch program is a great way to better know those around you and contribute something that everyone will benefit from: a safer neighborhood. Though some areas may already have a watch program in place, those looking to

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Community Safety and Security: What Your HOA Needs to Know

Everyone wants to feel safe and secure when they’re in their home or community, but it “takes a village,” so to speak, to ensure homeowners have peace of mind when it comes to the security of themselves and their families.

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‘My privacy has been shattered’: Break-ins blindside seniors in Laguna Woods (CA)

Barbara Lee moved from her home in Huntington Beach to Laguna Woods 10 years ago because she heard it was one of the safest communities in south Orange County.  So she was shocked to discover that eight homes tented for

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Conducting a Police Safety Walkthrough in a Condo Association

Part of ensuring a safe community includes having a good understanding your Association’s physical layout. A walkthrough is key to devising an effective security plan. There are a few ways you can perform a walkthrough – on your own, through

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Condo-friendly security tips

Security is an issue no matter where you live or in what, and condominiums are no exception. From Weiser Lock Corp., the lock manufacturer, come some ways to be safe in your condo building.  It should go without saying, but be

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Oak Forest (TX) residents pleased with private security

The Oak Forest Homeowners Association first signed a $125,000 yearly contract with SEAL in 2013, which residents have renewed each year through voluntary contributions made in addition to their annual homeowners association dues.  Collections for the 2017 SEAL contract ended

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Laguna Woods: High-tech security for low-crime community

Year after year, crime statistics consistently rank Laguna Woods among the five safest cities in California.  And Laguna Woods Village, a gated community that’s home to about 18,000 people aged 55 and over, is even safer.  Suspected transgressions in the

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Security Cameras and HOA Policy – Prepare before assuming the role as big brother

Security cameras in your HOA can be a handy security tool, but if they’re not managed properly, they can end up being more of a headache (and a liability). Before your HOA installs them, make sure your board drafts a

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