Ways to Keep Your Community Safe from Bad Guys (Or Bored Teens)

The other night, I was sitting in my apartment watching some TV with my husband. Then these two guy drove up in a van, parked in front of my building, and sat there. And blasted music. For two hours.

I was totally creeped out.

And not only was it creepy that these two guys were just sitting there in their van, but the music was really, really annoying.

Now, maybe I’ve just been watching too much Breaking Bad. Maybe I would have been more at ease if they were playing Bon Jovi or Green Day, or other music I like, such as the Mr. Softee song or something (that would only bother me if I didn’t have any cash handy for a chocolate cone with rainbow sprinkles). Maybe I’m just getting old.

Anyway, after peaking through our closed blinds like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window (it’s my simile, so I get to be Grace Kelly) every time the music stopped to see if they left (nope, just stopped to switch songs or change the station), my husband called the police. And he was essentially told that an officer would check it out “if they weren’t too busy with a real crime” (that’s a paraphrase, of course, but you get the gist).

Eventually, of course, the music stopped, and the guys left their car. I’m sure it was nothing—probably just some teens waiting for a friend or something. But you never know, right?

So anyway, what do you do if one of your residents feels in danger or that something is a threat?

Here are some tips to keep your residents safe.

Hire some security guards to patrol the community. This is probably an expensive option, and might only be worth it if there are multiple buildings in the community. But if you do, the bad guys (or bored teens) will see that someone is always checking the area, and will be less likely to linger. This is especially important if it is a student housing community.

Have a code of conduct for your residents, and enforce it. Limit the amount of people who can live in an apartment, or get everyone who lives there on the lease so you won’t get a lot of strange people (strange like skeevy, not strange like likes to play LARP games or something) staying over for long periods of time. Make sure there is something in there about keeping noise down, or not smoking, or whatever else you want to avoid. And if you get word that some residents are breaking these rules, take action.

Start a neighborhood watch. It’s a way for the community to watch out for each other.

Have a moat. Or something. I’m not married to the idea, because then you have to pay for draw-bridge installation, which could get pricy.

Offer incentives to potential residents who are in law enforcement. Give discounted rent to police officers or other people who work in law enforcement. Having them living in the building will make everyone feel safer. And if they park their cruisers outside it could help deter bad guys. Plus, who doesn’t like seeing a man (or woman) in uniform? Everyone wins.

What are some other ways to keep a community safe?

-Jessica Fiur, News Editor

Photo credit: Yuri Arcurs