In addition to G4S CPO personnel, two types of specialized officers work at Addison Reserve. The G4S Special Response Teams (SRT) patrol using off-road vehicles around the community's perimeter and golf courses. The SRTs also join alarm responders as an additional roving security force. G4S Advanced Life Support (ALS) officers are state and county EMS-licensed. They drive a special response vehicle outfitted with an automated external defibrillator (AED) and equipped with primary first aid equipment for life threatening health emergencies. While they do not transport patients to the hospital, they are often first on the scene to address serious medical issues.
“If a resident or a guest needs help during a life-threatening emergency, they dial 911. Our community (ALS) paramedics are dispatched along with the county paramedics,” said John D'Agata, G4S General Manager. “Typically, because our paramedics are on site, they will be the first responders on the scene of a health or medical emergency.”
“It gives residents a sense of feeling safe because paramedics are here on site every day and familiar to them,” said Mr. Davis. “Residents have used this service at least once a day during the year. People are quite surprised how often it is used.”
Responding to Community Needs
The Addison Reserve community needs its security company to provide a professional atmosphere of partnership in working with and reporting to various layers of administration and community boards. Addison Reserve Country Club's professional staff manages operations of the club with oversight divided between the Club Board of Governors and the Board of Directors of the Master Property Owners Association. Each of 19 villages has its own Property Owners Association to manage village affairs and to maintain common areas and roadways.
When Addison Reserve management became interested in specifics about patrol locations within their community, G4S provided a system based on the global positioning system (GPS) to track patrol locations.
“It's very easy to know if an officer in the gatehouse is doing his job because they are either there or they are not,” said Mr. D'Agata. “When there was a question about patrols and posts, we placed GPS in each vehicle to allow the community's director of security to review the night before or on a random basis whether or not officers are patrolling the way they should according to the contract. “
Impact of Security
The popularity of gated communities is on the rise. More than 7 million households – about 6 percent of the national total – are in developments behind walls and fences. About 4 million are in communities where access is controlled by gates, entry codes, key cards or security guards.
“Providing security for gated communities such as Addison Reserve requires understanding of the needs of individual communities and customizing security personnel, programs, technology and services to meet those needs,” says Mr. D'Agata. “Benefits to the community include the ability for residents to live in a safe and secure neighborhood without losing the atmosphere that brought them into the community in the first place,” he adds.
When effectively deployed, contract security services can have a significant impact on a community's quality of life. As a direct result of the G4S security and safety contract in Addison Reserve, the community has been relatively crime-free since 2002, as when compared to surrounding communities.