This article is for Commercial Tenants and Property Managers everywhere. It is not to sing the praises of our Police Forces in the Coachella Valley (which are many). It is not to lament their continually shrinking budgets (which are already too little). This article is to outline the benefits for landlords and business owners when they reach out to local law enforcement and how it has benefitted us over the past few years.
Here are just a few of the general benefits reaching out to local law enforcement can afford you:
- Tenants perceive a safer environment
- Tenants see you giving back to community
- Property owners and managers become more involved in the community
- Increased presence of police officers off-duty as they purchase goods or services
Over the last two years Seecon Properties has been proud to donate vacant suites to the Coachella Valley’s police K-9 units for their training exercises. Many Wednesday evenings will see upwards of twelve police units from all over the valley with man and dog sharpening their skills to form a unit integral to the prevention of crime. On Thursday we will be approached by some of our tenants (usually new ones now) asking what was going on last night. We tell them about the training that is done on the property and in every instance the tenant is enthusiastic about the idea. That presence every so often gives the tenant the knowledge of the law enforcement presence that is in the community. From the prospective of a property manager and a landlord that kind of community outreach can foster an incredible amount of tenant and community goodwill.
The K-9 units benefit from having a realistic environment to do their training. In our discussions with Officer Hammer from the Indio Police Department we learned why such areas for training are so important. To keep their skills at their peak they train 5-7 hours every week and must pass annual post certification tests. The unfamiliar smells (especially of people) in a commercial building serve to give the dog a more realistic environment to train in. Additionally, the wide range of different build outs you see in industrial and commercial settings exercise the skills of both the two and four legged officers.
Interestingly, we first began working with the police K9 when a property manager, on his first lockout, found 14 exotic high-end cars. Now we knew this tenant went out of the country frequently but we had not heard from this tenant in about a year and these cars had about 2 years of dust on them. Being new, our property manager was thinking these might be stolen or were used to carry drugs back and forth across the border. So we contacted the Indio Police Dept. and soon a couple of officers came by and took the VIN numbers. After determing these vehicles had not been registered in California in at least 7 years, we asked about the possibility of a K9 unit coming by and were told they didn’t have one yet and one would have to be brought from either the Sheriff’s Dept. or from Riverside.
My how things have changed! The Indio Police Department now has two K9 officers and we’re proud to assist them in their ongoing training exercises.