***PLEASE FORWARD TO YOUR NEIGHBORS WHO MAY NOT BE ON THE LIST***
***We can also slightly extend the coverage area if need be so please email me if you want to be included**
What occurred last week at the Casual Carpool has ignited our neighborhood to act.
Yet crime is getting worse, not better. While the city and the police are doing what they can, we feel it’s time for us as a community to begin exploring a wide range of ideas and taking some action on our own.
One idea that many have expressed interest in is hiring private security to patrol our neighborhood. Our neighbors in Lower Rockridge North/West have begun what looks to be a successful crowdsourcing campaign to fund private security. We think it’s an idea worth testing on this side of College and we’re hoping that you agree and will help make this happen!
Two other neighboorhoods have already raised enough money to patrol their neighboorhoods.
A Campaign to Fund Private Patrols for Our Neighborhood
This campaign is to fund a private security patrol for our neighborhood for a four-month trial period, from November 1, 2013 to February 28, 2014. The area that would be patrolled is bordered by the 24 freeway to the north up Miles avenue past Chabot Elementary and up and around Roanoke/Hillcrest Avenues. College Avenue from the Bart up to Woosley and all the houses that are between Chabot Road and Miles). Patrolling would be handled by VMA Security Group, the same security firm the Lower Rockridge North/West neighborhood is using, and the one used by the Rockridge merchants association.
VMA would patrol 12 hours a day (times to be determined) and 5 days a week (M-F), during the trial period. Patrolling would be performed by one uniformed unarmed guard in a highly visible “cop car.” To support these patrols, we need to sign up 100 households to contract with VMA Security Group at $20/month (plus a 2.5% commission to crowdtilt). The “Fundraising Tilt Amount” for this campaign of $8,200.00 is the amount that will guarantee patrol service through February 2014.
To continue service beyond the end of February, 250 households will need to enter into contract with VMA Security Group at $20 per month, renewable and paid at six-month intervals after the trial period ends. Our “Fundraising Target Amount” of $20,500 ($82.00 per household x 250 households) is the amount that would correspond to 250 households participating. It would put us in an excellent position to fund continued patrol service beyond February 2014.
Why should I participate? Why not let my neighbors support the effort? It is true that the whole neighborhood and our visitors will benefit from these patrols. There will be dedicated eyes and ears on our streets to (1) deter crime, (2) respond to concerns, (3) and collect information if incidents do occur that may be not be collected due to short police staffing. However, households that participate and enter into contract will receive additional benefits:
Households in contract will be provided a direct phone number to the patrol member to use to report suspicious activity and request a safety escort if needed.The security firm can be instructed to respond to alarms of any house under contract. Imagine the short response time, as the patrol car will literally be only a few blocks away!Households in contract can request extra monitoring of your house while on vacation.
But most importantly, if we can’t get a minimum number of households to sign up for a contract, we can’t move forward at all. We think this is a quite reasonable price to explore an idea to improve public safety in our neighborhood over the next few months. Contributing to the Crowdtilt does not obligate you to enter into a contract with VMA beyond February 2014. As that date nears, we would decide as a community whether continuing service makes sense.
Why VMA Security Group? VMA Security Group is the security firm that the Rockridge merchants association contracts with for holiday patrolling on College Avenue. They are an Oakland-based company, staffed by Oaklanders, and have begun offering this service in part due to their concerns about safety. VMA has already been patrolling in the Sequoya Hills neighborhood, and is the group our Lower Rockridge neighbors are going with, which may provide some opportunities for more coverage. Their current client list also includes the merchants associations for Elmwood and Temescal, as well as the Oakland Museum of California, the Fox Theater, Children’s Fairyland, and Oakland Ice Center, and many other Oakland businesses.
Can I End My Contract Early? Contracts can be canceled anytime during the trial period and the remainder will be pro-rated. After February 2014, they must be renewed for 6-month period of time. This helps the security company plan for and provide stable employment for the patrollers that will be helping us be more safe!
Can I pledge more than $82.00? Yes, you are certainly welcome to bring us closer to a security patrol if it is within your means.
What if I live outside the specified area? Households who reside outside of the area are welcome to contribute; however, they will NOT be eligible to enter into contract with VMA Security Group as part of this patrol effort. Households outside of the specified area who are interested in patrol services should organize and set up their own crowd-funding campaign. Feel free to contact us for details.
I have more questions. Who should I ask? This effort is being organized by the following residents.
Please reach out if you have any questions or would like to help!
Steve Kirsh: [email protected][email protected][email protected]
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