Update: Private Security Patrol Research Findings

RECAPpatrol car 18 months ago, a number of South Shores residents made a request to the South Shores Community Association (previously known as the South Shores Homeowners Association) to determine whether a private security patrol program for South Shores could be a feasible and sustainable concept.

As a non-profit organization, SSCA has neither promoted nor endorsed a private security patrol program. Instead, the objective and impartial research of SSCA’s ad hoc committee sought to gather the facts to answer such fundamental questions as:

  1. To what extent are South Shores residents in favor of such a program?
  2. What is involved in installing such a program?
  3. What are the costs and how many residents are willing to pay for this service?

SSCA studied a similar private security patrol service operating in a 2,000 home area in Santa Monica since 1984. This model is still in operation under the direction of the Santa Monica Protective Association. SMPA’s President and Operations Manager Derek Johnson has been an invaluable resource in providing information for this research.

SSCA also met, traveled with and obtained bids from 3 private security patrol companies, Black Knight Patrol from San Pedro, ADT Patrol Service in Torrance, and Southwest Patrol based in Diamond Bar.

Last spring, SSCA conducted a community focus group meeting, followed by a well-attended Towne Hall meeting in March and the formation of a volunteer group in May.

SSCA’s ad hoc committee has completed its fact-finding mission and presents the following conclusions to its members. A private security patrol service can be a viable and sustainable concept under certain conditions:

  1. A new volunteer organization, operating separately from SSCA, would need to be established for this program to be pursued further. This step is necessary in order for SSCA, a non-profit organization, to maintain its neutrality and focus on its central mission of improving South Shores’ quality of life in a broader sense. This mission includes expansion of SSCA’s activities in the social-informational sphere, CyberWatch, and community advocacy.
  2. SSCA would not be involved in any future oversight or functional role as it relates to the new organization. SSCA has completed its fact finding mission and must now return to its central mission described above.
  3. The new security patrol organization of South Shores volunteers, under the direction of Derek Johnson as Operations Manager, would need to establish itself as a legal 501(c)4 non-profit entity and form a Board of Directors to administer all aspects of the private security patrol program for South Shores. These include a Board of Directors oversight, including a Treasurer responsible for administration of funds through dues collected and expenses incurred.

patrol vehicle at night

To test the potential willingness of South Shores residents to fund the security patrol program through payment of annual dues, Mr. Derek Johnson has formed a group of South Shores volunteers to advance this effort.

At this stage, Derek and his team have been conducting a door-to-door campaign obtaining pledges from residents willing to finance this program. To date, the team is a few dozen pledges short of the participation threshold needed to start the patrol program.

Mr. Johnson informs us that the volunteer team is working on a mailer to reach out to the remaining 900 South Shores households and obtain a more complete picture of South Shores willingness to participate. The cost of this mailing would be funded by those residents who have voiced strong support for the program and are willing to underwrite this part of the effort.

All further questions about the security patrol program and its future may be directed to Mr. Derek Johnson at southshorespatrol@gmail.com.