Security Matters

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Private Policing: A Growing Trend in Atlanta and Surrounding Areas

With a growing crime rate and an understaffed police force, more and more Atlanta neighborhoods are taking security matters into their own hands. Private policing is a growing trend, not only here in Atlanta, but in other cities across the country, as citizens are deciding their safety is worth the few extra dollars spent.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution first reported on the trend in 2010, at which time residents of East Atlanta, Grant Park and Ormewood Park were all just beginning the process of hiring private police to patrol their neighborhoods. At that time, it was estimated that more than 20 Buckhead neighborhoods also employed them, and that the number of neighborhoods across the Atlanta metropolitan area with private security officers was estimated to be around 50.

Hiring private police involves a group of concerned citizens banding together to form oversight committees that are responsible for educating residents, collecting dues and hiring the right company. Neighborhood groups who have already done this claim it’s actually very affordable, as the average family will pay around one dollar per day for security coverage.

So far, private policing efforts have yielded tremendous rewards, as areas where guards have been implemented have seen a dramatic increase in crime. Recent studies from the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University have shown that private security guards are indeed effective at reducing crime in areas where they regularly patrol.

Far from feeling threatened, Atlanta police officers actually welcome private security guards as an extra set of eyes and ears to help them fight crime. That’s especially true in areas such as Inman Park, where residents enjoy the added benefit of a marked patrol car cruising neighborhood streets up to 12 hours each day. Officers feel that the presence of private police greatly deters criminal behavior, leaving them freed up to focus more heavily on high risk areas.

Other cities such as Oakland, California and Detroit, Michigan have taken advantage of private policing as well, and have reported positive results much like those seen here in Atlanta. To find out more about how private policing could help your neighborhood, contact us.

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