Re: Security policies and security infrastructure for parking lots or entire sites
From: Lyle Scheer (
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2011 07:46:42 -0800 (PST)
They sell wifi based security cameras for <$200.  You can always remove
it after they capture a few and the noise quiets down.

Also, there was mentioned the blinking led on the dashboard security
system... if you can't affort a security system for the car, you can
sometimes find a cheap blinking led to mount on the dash.

- Lyle

On 1/14/11 6:24 AM, Lisa Strayer wrote:
> This is just a far out half baked idea...  When we travelled in south 
> America, we always hired local kids to watch out car when we went in to eat, 
> and then brought them food in addition to small "wages" of ten cents or so 
> for watching the car... Sometimes one kid watched a wheel, another the 
> rearview mirror when there were too many kids around...  This worked and was 
> the customary approach.  I know that it is not directly transferrable to your 
> situation, but so meting along the lines of getting the local kids outside of 
> your immunity involved in having a stake in none of your cars losing stuff 
> might help.  As I said, a bit of a far out idea...
> Sent from my iPad
> On Jan 13, 2011, at 10:37 AM, Kristin Dunkle <kdunkle [at]> wrote:
>> I'm writing seeking the voice of experience from other cohousing
>> communities that may have experienced targeted property crime.
>> I live at East Lake Commons near Atlanta, Georgia. We were established
>> in 1998, I've been here since 2004. We are a 67 unit ( which I think
>> still makes us the largest in the US) cohousing community, located in
>> what some consider a pretty rough part of town. Our entire campus is
>> fenced and has an entry gate*.
>> We've recently experienced a rash of nighttime cash break-ins in the
>> parking lot -- nearly 30 in the past month, usually with at least 5
>> cars per night hit on nights when it happens. We've taken a range of
>> unsustainable crisis management steps including doing community member
>> patrols and hiring overnight guards, and we've also been making
>> coordinated reports to local police and having a volunteer liaison
>> meet with detectives and make sure the case reports are linked, etc.
>> And the plain fact of the matter is that we live in an
>> "unincorporated" zone, not attached to any municipality, and our low
>> local and property taxes mean that we get what we pay for in terms of
>> policing. The police have been as helpful as they can, but they are
>> severely overstretched and clear that murders, assaults, etc take
>> priority. We have some reason to suspect that the perpetrators are
>> drug addicts and/or youth gangs.
>> We're moving from crisis management to trying to think systematically
>> about short, medium, and long-term security management plans and
>> having fruitful ideological and practical debates about strategies
>> covering a vast range of options including better lighting, higher
>> fences, security cameras, do-it-yourself detective work, better
>> community outreach, etc etc etc. Our last crime wave 5 years ago
>> involved an armed hold up and an attempted carjacking at the site
>> entrance (both youth perpetrated), and it was solved through highly
>> visible community patrolling. That hasn't worked this time, so we're
>> experiencing increasing frustration.
>> We are wondering if anyone out there can share your experience,
>> policies, and/or details about your site infrastructure in terms of
>> managing parking lot or whole site security in an economically diverse
>> urban setting like this. What have you tried? How has it worked or not
>> worked? What has the impact been on relationships within your
>> community and between your community and your neighborhood?
>> I am personally most interested in solutions that don't involve higher
>> walls, bigger barricades or security cameras, but I will faithfully
>> report back to our Security Task Group on whatever anyone has to share
>> about their experiences.
>> With gratitude,
>> Kristin Dunkle
>> East Lake Commons Cohousing, Atlanta, Georgia
>> * The gate has been a source of serious contention over the years as
>> it was added by the developer during construction without community
>> consensus, but we've never been able to consent on removing it. It's
>> one of our on-going hot-button issues.
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