The visibility of armed guards patrolling your apartment community can effectively discourage criminal behavior of all kinds, but the prospect may make some residents feel uncomfortable for a number of reasons, even if they do understand the benefits of such a service overall. Perhaps the presence of your hired guards makes some feel like there has been a rise in crime throughout the neighborhood lately, while others may simply feel like they've lost some control over how their apartment community functions. Here are a few things you can do to make your residents feel comfortable with the idea of armed guards patrolling your community:
Host a Community Meet and Greet
Planning a community meet and greet will give your residents a chance to meet the guards who will be servicing the community so their various questions and concerns can be addressed in person. Work with your new security company to create an itinerary for the meeting. It should outline the reasons for your security guards' newly established presence and provide some information about what the guards will do, where they can be found, and how they'll interact with the community.
Make sure your residents get a copy of the itinerary well before the meeting so they use the information to establish some basic understanding and form their specific questions. This will help ensure that the meeting stays organized and that the topics discussed have been well-thought out by everyone involved beforehand.
Post Public Reminder Signs
In the weeks leading up to the first day that your new security guards will show their presence on site, post a few signs throughout your apartment community to remind residents. With reminder signs in place, residents won't be surprised when they come home one day to armed and uniformed guards wandering around the premises. So that residents will know exactly what to expect and who to look for when they need help, feature a photo of each guard you've hired on the signs and include information such as the days and times throughout the week that residents can expect to see said guards on patrol.
Encourage Community Engagement
Another effective way to make your residents feel comfortable about having armed guards around for protection is to encourage community engagement. Create a community watch program that residents can sign up for, and have your security guards work with them to manage patrols, sightings, and other aspects of the program. This should help create a sense of camaraderie among your residents and security guards that makes everyone feel like their working together for a common goal. The security guards will start to seem less like strangers to the community and more like an integral part of your overall management team that can be relied upon for safety and security.
Provide Monthly Reports
To make your residents feel like they're fully involved in the security of your apartment community as a whole, create reports each month that detail every incident logged by the security guards during the previous month. Your residents will stay in the loop about what's going on, where any security risks have been discovered within the community, and how security problems were resolved by the security guards. They'll be able to see first-hand how well the security guards are performing and gain a sense of all the benefits that come from guard service.
In addition to utilizing the tips outlined here, it's a good idea to give your residents as much time as possible to used to the idea of hiring armed security guard services before any official shifts actually start. Don't be afraid to include them in the planning phase before even deciding which security company to work with.