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Is a Courtesy Officer as effective as a Security Guard at my apartment community?

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More and more apartment properties are touting “courtesy officers” as an amenity on their property.  It sounds impressive to have a police officer living in your neighborhood.  The presence of that patrol car will scare away criminals, right?


What is a Courtesy Officer?

A courtesy officer is a local law enforcement officer that gets to live in your community for a reduced rental rate.  In exchange they are expected to respond to problems while they are at home.  If your neighbor’s tv is too loud or if there are kids misbehaving at the pool, you can call them.  They also probably walk the property once each night and lock up the pool or game room at closing time.


A Courtesy Officer is NOT as effective as a Security Guard

First, Courtesy Officers are only on duty while they are at home.  They have a full-time job working in the community as a law enforcement officer, so they are not at home during those hours.  If they get called to work overtime for their department, they are not home then either.  If they volunteer for overtime hours at community events, they are not home.  Also, these officers have a life, they enjoy going to dinner and a movie with friends, etc and they are not on the apartment community property then either.  Courtesy Officers also need to sleep, so while they may be at home, they are not observing what is happening in the apartment community during that time. If that Courtesy Officer is sleeping when you call about the loud fight next door, you’re going to be waiting for them to get up, get dressed and come over to your building.


A Police Car Will Scare Away Bad Guys

Criminals are smart.  They see that police car, but they know that that Courtesy Officer is probably distracted or even in the bed asleep.  That police car parked in a space in the parking lot has minimal deterrent value.


A Security Guard Is Focused on Your Safety

A Security Officer on duty in your apartment community is focused on safety.  They are not fixing dinner, watching tv or sleeping.  That Security Officer is patrolling the community, looking for signs of problems, people that don’t belong or hazards in the community.  While on duty that Security Officer won’t get called away if something major happens in town that requires more off-duty police to report.  That private Security Officer will be dedicated to your apartment community’s safety.


Interested in private security for your apartment community in Atlanta?  Call BOS Security for more information on how we have helped other communities like yours.









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