Concerned about a growing number of petty crimes, more Sacramento neighborhoods are hiring private security forces. Security Sales reports that the city’s Land Park neighborhood was one of the most recent areas to adopt this idea. This followed a series of car break ins and stolen exterior decorations.
The Sacramento Bee reports that some neighborhood residents pooled funds to hire Paladin Private Security. The guards patrol the neighborhood four times per day for about 15 minutes. When the guards catch someone committing a crime or receive a call from a resident, they make a citizen’s arrest until the local police arrive.
Matt Carroll, the founder of Paladin, said that the guards generally deal with minor incidents, nuisance calls, and petty misdemeanors.
“Mostly what we’re dealing with is quality of life stuff,” he said in a statement to The Sacramento Bee. “Someone parked in my parking space. Panhandler in front of my business…Most of these are things that you just need a good hall monitor to squash.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average salary for a security guard is almost $30,000 per year. In Land Park, local resident Emily Hannon was the driving force behind hiring a private guard, according to The Sacramento Bee. She started the Neighborhood Security Association of Land Park and eventually rallied more than half of the neighborhood’s households to pitch in $250 per month for the service.
The Sacramento Bee reports that many concerned residents blame California’s Proposition 47 for the boost in small crimes. This measure passed in 2014 and knocked six felonies down to misdemeanors, which have a maximum punishment of a year in county jail. In 2015, property crimes went up about 9% and then went back down in 2016. In a statement to The Sacramento Bee, Sgt. Shaun Hampton said that this change in crime classification requires officers to issue citations for these misdemeanors when they once would have made arrests.
“It’s kind of a revolving door,” he said. “We deal with the same folks day in and day out stealing other things. We give them a ticket and they’re on their way…It’s virtually the same as a traffic citation.”