Watching Out for One Another Security in the Suburbs

For New York residents, every neighborhood and every borough and every county could well be another state entirely. Whether it’s a few blocks or a few miles, every area has its own personality, its own perks and its own downside. When it comes to question of security, it’s no different. The Manhattanite living in the 20-story co-op complex is going to have a different set of needs than someone living in a detached townhouse on Staten Island or a gated community in Queens. For managing agents as well as residents, these differences all come into play when trying to determine the best, most effective way to keep house and home safe and sound.

Location, Location, Location

As with all things real estate, location can play a big role in security, regardless of whether the community in question is a co-op or condo. For more suburban properties, “You want to look at what crime trends or patterns are in the area,” says Richard Kessinger of KC Security Solutions LLC in Saratoga Springs. “It’s the same thing we would do in an urban setting, though sometimes urban settings are easier” in terms of tracking these things.

The greatest asset in preventing crime often comes down to spotting trouble before it starts, says Matt Peskin, executive director of the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), based in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. The compact nature of urban neighborhoods can help a lot in this regard. “In the city, it’s easier for residents to notice changing populations or changes in daytime versus nighttime activity,” says Peskin. “What’s normal in a neighborhood versus something that might be out of place is easier to spot [when things aren't so spread-out.]”

For residents living in townhouses or smaller complex units that are spread out over greater areas, it can be difficult to establish an understanding of the neighborhood routine and therefore know when something might be wrong.

On the other hand, it’s often the suburban residents who are more concerned with nipping nefarious activity in the bud. According to Peskin, “In the city, people tend to be more knee-jerk in their responses. There will be an incident of vandalism, and then everyone wants to react. But then when the story dies down, people lose interest.”


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  • There's no reason a thorough background check (criminal or otherwise) cannot be carried out on all staff and contractors entering a residential complex. Checks are cheap, easy and instant. Most employers are doing background checks on their employees, why not the contractors as well?