Courtesy patrols are becoming increasingly common “amenities” at certain apartment properties. To many renters, the extra safety measure represents a little more peace of mind. But to some, having a “security guard” on-site brings up a lot of questions. If the need of a courtesy officer in your apartment complex brings up more insecurity than calmness, put your mind at ease as we explain what courtesy patrols are, why they exist, and how they can help you!
What’s a courtesy officer?
Often times, “courtesy officer” is a marketing euphemism of “security guard.” In other words, like a security guard, your apartment courtesy patrol officer is hired for the main purpose of providing security and helping maintain the quality of living in the community.
Apartment complexes have different ways of employing individuals to perform this job. Sometimes, property management companies hire courtesy officers directly, paying them an hourly wage and giving them steep discounts on rent to facilitate their on-call availability. Other times, apartment properties contract courtesy patrols from private security companies.
In some cases, property management companies may offer free or discounted rent (with or without hourly wage) to patrol officers from your county. In exchange, police officers live at the apartment complex, providing on-call security as they become a part of the everyday community!
Why are courtesy patrols necessary?
Even though crime has no address, courtesy patrols are typically more common in luxury apartments in large metropolitan areas and college towns, likely due to these areas having higher population concentrations and crime rates. In such areas, police departments may be understaffed or overworked, resulting in slower response times to emergency calls and/or assigning low priority to less severe incidents.
Accordingly, apartment complexes hire courtesy patrols to have dedicated help in dealing with security and quality of living issues quickly. Even though many of these guards don’t have the authority to arrest anyone (unless they are also local law enforcement officers), they can detain criminals until the police arrive, reports The Press Democrat. More than helping apartment properties deal with crime, the presence of a courtesy patrol is often enough to help prevent crime!
What can my apartment’s courtesy patrol help resolve?
Though the word “patrol” may lead you to think that courtesy patrols can only help with crime, their job duties encompass much more. They can also help preserve the liveability of your apartment complex by enforcing the community’s rules. Here are just a few things that your apartment’s courtesy patrol can do:
- Address reports of excessive noise and loud parties
- Enforce community facility rules (e.g., no glass in the pool area)
- Remove loiterers or trespassers
- Enforce parking rules by giving tickets, calling towing companies, etc.
- Lock community facilities like the pool or fitness center after hours
- Conduct regular foot patrols
- Monitor package theft
- Respond to package theft, burglaries, and car break-ins by reporting incidents to pertinent authorities
- Keep a tab on an apartment property’s closed-circuit monitoring system and gated access
Where can I find apartments with courtesy patrols?
No matter where you live or what you do you deserve to feel safe in your apartment! If you don’t want to invest in an alarm system and would find comfort in having in-person security on-call, talk to your landlord or property manager about hiring a courtesy patrol. And if that doesn’t do the trick, find a new apartment with a courtesy patrol, gated access, and more security measures!