By Cypress Cove Resident Marcia Goldberg
Stephen Boone, our security manager, begins his explanation of the department’s work by saying it’s there to “ensure the safety and well-being of our residents, visitors and employees.” And ensure they do, according to residents’ surveys, which rate Security highest of all our departments!
There are 114 eyes watching over us: Steve and his 13 Security ofﬁcers, plus 100 cameras posted inside and out. They are monitored in the control room on the ﬁrst ﬂoor, past the woodwork shop, and can watch the exterior entrances as well as follow people through The Harbour’s halls. The tapes of the 100 cameras capture the action 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The ears come in to play when you pull the cord to report a problem in your apartment, and when you push 411 outside at an entrance to ask for admission. When the concierge leaves, calls are answered by Security 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday, 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. Sunday.
We do have very early swimmers – sometimes 5:30 a.m. – and when one person is alone in the pool they are more closely observed. One time an ofﬁcer was alone in the control room and heard a person crying for help in the pool. He ran to the pool, jumped in, and pulled the person out. She survived. Add “lifeguard” to Security skill list.
The ofﬁcers of Security work in three 8-hour shifts – 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. – with two ofﬁcers on each shift. One ofﬁcer mans the control monitoring, with the other out on patrol night and day, with the main objective positioned at the front entrance to our campus. The morning shift covers the residents’ check-ins by button push. That generates a report as to who didn’t check in by 10 a.m. Steve himself does the check-in personally. On an average, he covers 10,000 steps a day, with check-ins and other security duties.
The 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift begins checking fire and exit doors and entryways, and the 35 units now under construction. All wing doors (those in A, C, E and F that have access to the parking lot) are checked to be sure they stay locked.
The 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift completes rounds of every hallway, checking storage and stairwells, and sometimes ﬁnding residents calling out for assistance.
Contractors, whose hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., are sent to a Security check-in. Ofﬁcers out on the cart have found residents in distress, reported car doors open, seen snakes and bobcats and – of course – alligators.
The snakes are taken with a stick 5 feet long and relocated to the preserve. The alligator is reported to the State – their location and approximate size – for retrieval.
All ofﬁcers are trained in CPR and ﬁrst aid, and they are scheduled for lift techniques and training through Home Health. They are put through a federal background check and are hired for having experience in security, as well as for their ﬁt for a senior community.
So much more is being done in the way of help from our Security force. They log in 2,000 packages per month for delivery to residents, and they voice thanks and blessings to the volunteers who help deliver them. After the last maintenance employee goes home at 11 p.m., Security is responsible for cleanups, power outages, and the like. Security has responded to assistance with getting a car started. They are called when two people are needed to lift a person, and if another emergency call arises when the two shift ofﬁcers are busy lifting, that call is forwarded via cell phone to them, so no emergency is missed.
When asked for something funny about the job, Steve came up blank. It’s all serious, and we’re seriously blessed to have all 114 eyes upon us!