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  • Garage problems

    Just wondered if anyone has suggestions...

    At my building, there is a multi-story tenant garage. We require tenants to give us their vehicle info when getting access cards, but of course they don't always update the info. Around the building there is a ton of construction - new residence/retail units on either side of the garage, as well as some other buildings.

    Management decided to let the construction workers park in the garage, on level 4 and above. Of course, they park where they want to, this has been an ongoing issue. Management issued one access card to the construction company and told them to have a flagman stand at the gate and let their people in. Of course, he lets anyone in.

    The garage is open on one side - there's a ledge, but local skateboarders have been known to walk through the construction site and jump over the side into the garage.

    The problem, then, is this - Management is getting complaints that people are following them into the garage. I've seen it on camera - several construction workers will be standing at the entry or exit gate and wait until someone opens it, then enter. The tenants are feeling threatened, understandably, and not sure it's really construction workers. We have eyes on the entrance gates only, none on the exit gate or garage interior. We are a 1-man(woman) post and I spend most of the day at the console.

    Manager is asking me for suggestions, and I've told her a couple of times that my best answers are more cameras and a garage patrol officer, at least at peak hours. This will only get worse, as the garage is going to be shared by the residential units. Now is the logical time to solve this, as the traffic will only increase, but what options are there besides cameras and an officer?
    That's a direct quote. Not word for word, but the gist of it.

  • #2
    i would say that cameras, while a ok idea, are only going to let you see more violations. Is that all you want or do you want to actually take care of the problem?

    The extra officer in the garage would be a good start. How about a violation tag of some sort? a reminder to the residents that they need to update their vehicle information, then a towing policy.

    strip the construction worker pass or let them know that if they violate the conditions of the pass their vehicles can be towed.

    a tow and storage bill generally makes people think twice before doing things wrong.
    Wisdom - Having a lot to say, but knowing when to keep it to yourself.


    • #3
      Those are all great ideas. I've recommended the fees and/or a boot. They don't want to tow, because "we don't want them [the tenants] any angrier at us." We have parking stickers, but the I can't be out there for long enough to sticker cars on all ten levels.

      I talked to my boss - his answer? They'll just have to deal with it. It'll get worse before it gets better.
      That's a direct quote. Not word for word, but the gist of it.


      • #4
        Unfortunately the answer is rather simple, the client just doesn't want to hear it... If you have a problem with not enough bodies for enforcement, then you need more bodies. Adding in ideas such as the "boot" or fines does nothing if you don't have the bodies to enforce it.

        In fact, you can have a policy that anyone found in violation will have their vehicle sold at auction (hypothetically speaking), but once everyone realizes that you are unable to enforce it because you don't have anyone to go out and identify the vehicles. Laws/Rules/Regulations are meaningless without enforcement.

        Of course, if you were able to get an extra officer for patrol, the next step is a way of citing people for violations and tracking repeat offenders. Once that is in place, you can start to seek restitution from the repeat offenders for the violations.
        Last edited by Jedi; 02-07-2008, 03:18 PM.
        Semper Paratus


        • #5
          The boot & selling cars at auction. Is that legal? Here in Quebec you can not "seize without a judgement". The person has to have lost in court before you can seize their property.
          I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
          Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.


          • #6
            Originally posted by HotelSecurity
            The boot & selling cars at auction. Is that legal?
            Selling cars at auction was intended to be an exaggeration used to demonstrate that even if the penalties were extreme, without enforcement they are meaningless.
            Semper Paratus


            • #7
              If they are permitting free parking then they should come up with their own solution (the construction firm). I would look at perhaps those cars being given construction passes - ie. colour stickers for their cars only. The trouble with this is without controlled access - 1 pass could equal 10 vehicles all coming in together. The other thing to remember is the BS most construction supervisors pull to get parking for free saying - such and such were authorised to park here.
              "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu


              • #8
                I will assume your building is within a city precinct, why not get your local parking inspectors involved and earn them some extra revenue?

                As long as they are made aware of which access cards are authorised and which aren't, they can then go hell for leather and clean up the leaches for you.

                And as an added bonus you get all your out dated access card holders updated.


                • #9
                  The easy solution would be to deactivate the construction workers pass. Screw the warnings, it is a privilege that was abused.
                  ATTN. SPECOPS AND GECKO45 my secret username is CIDDECEP and I am your S2. My authorization code is Six Wun Quebec Oscar Fife. Your presence here is tactically dangerous and compromises our overall mission parameter. Cease and desist all activity on this board. Our “enemies” are deft at computer hacking and may trace you back to our primary locale. You have forced me to compromise my situation to protect your vulnerable flank. This issue will be addressed later.


                  • #10
                    I would just go through with the Building Manager and say - here is a list of names and cards - these people own THESE vehicles with these cards. Construction staff are abusing the freebie parking so I would lock it all off for everyone. However, I would wait for the fireworks as those constuction site managers will be lending out THEIR CARDS to let people in and out. Believe me it is not uncommon to have 20:1 ratios to a car of freebie parking.
                    Last edited by NRM_Oz; 02-08-2008, 04:53 AM.
                    "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu


                    • #11
                      Without knowing the physical configuration of the garage and some other facts about capacity and usual occupancy, we're very limited in making suggestions. I will tell you, however, that it sounds like a serious liability issue is looming for your security-ignorant managers. This can come from a wide range of adverse events that might occur, given what we know (what anyone knows) about many construction workers with respect to drinking, drugs and criminal behavior. (Sorry if there are any construction folks among us, but I live in the real world and have managed construction site security.)

                      First, is management somehow connected with this construction activity, or just what was their motivation in allowing the construction-worker parking at all, given the available manpower to police the garage? It is very short-sighted of management to anger (or endanger) regular tenants or to make them uneasy by permitting construction workers to park there and compromising garage security for the tenants.

                      Second, I'm wondering why a fee isn't being charged to the construction companies for the parking. There's certainly no good business reason that I can think of to provide free parking. On the other hand, if a fee is being charged, why isn't this money going to staff up the security that all of this extra occupancy demands? Did management think they could pocket the money and the extra revenue would cost them nothing?

                      Third, has the building's liability insurance carrier been advised about this added liability? I'll bet management hasn't even thought about it, given what I've seen of their thinking so far. It is very likely that the carrier will consider this decision to be a major modification to the terms and conditions of the original policy and will require a rider or else the carrier WILL NOT PAY if an adverse event arising out of this decision should occur, whether it's a tenant being harmed, a construction worker who crashes into something or breaks into a tenant's car, or any of a buhzillion other things that might happen.

                      Here's what I would do: Towing, booting and all the rest take manpower, so I would minimize the need for it:

                      1. Management IMMEDIATELY goes to the construction companies and tells them IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that parking privileges for ALL their workers will be yanked without notice if the undesirable behavior (parking other than where agreed, loitering, etc.) continues. Give them exactly one day to notify their workers and clean up their act. Purchase a small supply of "special" parking tags or stickers (you can get generic ones without special printing - anything different from regular tenants), give them to the construction company management and insist that ALL vehicles of construction employees permitted into the garage MUST display them, effective TOMORROW.

                      Workers are to go DIRECTLY to the assigned parking area, are to go DIRECTLY to the construction site, and on leaving are to EXIT the garage immediately. There is to be NO LOITERING around entrances, sitting in their cars for lunch, etc.

                      2. Have an inexpensive sign made for the entrance: CONSTRUCTION COMPANY PARKING REGULATIONS WILL BE ENFORCED BY TOWING. This sign can be made the same day the construction companies are put ON NOTICE.

                      3. On the very day following that notice, and for one day only, bring on a couple of extra contract officers and just start towing the cars found to be parked in violation of the agreement - either not displaying the special sticker/tag, parked where not allowed, etc. Using a private tow service, the owners will find themselves paying the tow bill to redeem their vehicles, so the only cost will be the brief "burst" of extra manpower. If people are loitering, warn and trespass them, even if their car is in the garage.

                      I'm guessing that will take care of it and won't cost much. If not, CANCEL the construction company parking privileges. This is not a matter to be treated lightly.
                      Last edited by SecTrainer; 02-08-2008, 05:29 AM.
                      "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                      "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                      "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                      "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron


                      • #12
                        Here's the email I just sent the manager after reading your responses.

                        I’ve been talking the issues over with some other security professionals for suggestions. More will be forthcoming, but a quick and cost-effective start would be to issue parking passes to tenants and different colored passes to construction. No pass displayed, no parking in garage. We really should consider assessing fees, though. Is the parking being provided free to the construction crew, or are they paying a usage fee? If not, perhaps they should, and the $$ used to bring in at least part time a garage officer.
                        Even just the passes would help, though. It would be easier for me to monitor the cars and issue violations. Again, though, without some sort of penalty, both tenants and construction workers will catch on and continue ignoring the rules.

                        I hate to say it, but the other option is we do nothing and just accept that there will be more and more complaints from tenants who feel threatened or uncomfortable.
                        That's a direct quote. Not word for word, but the gist of it.


                        • #13
                          The parking garage has 10 levels - 8 above ground and two below. The lower two levels are primarily reserved parking, but of course we've had problems with construction parking there as well. As for the capacity of the garage, we're well below capacity at this time, and to be honest I don't know what it actually is. I should find out, thanks for the tip. It has a separate entrance and exit gate on the north, and the same on the south, as well as a pedestrian gate on either end. One end is currently blocked off for the construction.

                          The construction is a joint project between this management company and one or two others. It is very complicated - we have about 5 different construction companies out here on different parts of the project. Personally, I want to revoke the parking priveleges all together and have them shuttled in from an off site location, but that's not gonna happen. It's also complicated by the fact that the construction is literally inches from either side of the garage, so the crews sometimes need to be in the garage for parts of their work.

                          As for the insurance company having been informed, that's a great question and one I'll pose to management. I have no idea whether the construction is being charged to park in the garage or not, but I've asked management about it. We currently do NOT have parking passes. Only the access card. Nothing denoting whether the vehicle itself is authorized or not. That's part of why even stickering the vehicles is so difficult - management is handling the tenants with kid gloves in fear of losing them during the construction. So, they don't want tenants upset if I sticker their car because it hasn't been registered. The manager we have now is better than the previous, but I have been asking her for a tenant handbook for sometime and have not received it yet. I've also asked for time to discuss the security situation and any goals for the next year, which she agreed was a good idea but hasn't happened yet either. So, I kind of feel like I'm spinning my wheels and sometimes take my job less seriously than I should because I know they won't take it seriously.

                          OK, let the wet-noodle-lashing begin for that last sentence. I deserve it. I need to stop using that as an excuse and do my job, even if I know there will be minimal back up in some areas.

                          This d@m parking situation has become the bane of existence.

                          Any other questions I missed?
                          That's a direct quote. Not word for word, but the gist of it.


                          • #14
                            I would make them have stickers on their cars (not signs) and if not there when a patrol is conducted then they are towed and impounded - end of story. All you need is something to go walking or someone complain about being harassed and then there are bigger issues as these people are still guests. I would see if you could a get sign posted at the carpark entrance so that those caught in violation will be towed.
                            "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu


                            • #15
                              Parking Lot/Garage Security

                              Here's an article from Ralph Witherspoon, CPP, CSC on the topic of garage and parking lot. Lots of good information. LINK
                              Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
                              Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

                              Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference