Manhattan Beach’s private security patrol may dissolve as soon as January 1 after 39 years serving the community if they’re unable to garner more community support, says a letter circulated by the patrol’s president to residents today.
Beachside Patrol is only receiving annual membership payments of $400 a year from about 25 percent of households, states the letter, and the support is insufficient to pay the group’s bills.
“As of January 1st, Beachside Neighborhood Patrol will probably cease to operate in Manhattan Beach. Without sufficient community support and involvement, membership levels will be too low to operate such patrols efficiently,” wrote the non-profit volunteer patrol’s president, Albert Hasson.
Hasson’s letter stops short of blaming outright a rift in community politics that divided the quiet beachside neighborhood more than a year and a half ago.
In March 2008, disgruntled pro-development members of the Manhattan Beach Community Group – which founded Beachside Patrol in 1970 – left the group in an election dispute and formed the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association.
Beachside Patrol found itself in the middle of the split, and continued to receive support from MBNA. However, MBCG, the older group, rescinded financial support after Beachside officials balked at requests to show financial records, according to reports at the time.
“Community politics seem to have taken priority over the safety and security of our homes and families,” writes Hasson.
The letter says Beachside Patrol has attempted to boost community support over the past year, including running door-to-door marketing, pamphleteering, and letter writing campaigns. They’ve also attempted to continue courting the two civic groups for financial and marketing support.
But the efforts fell flat and Hassan says the community has until December 21 to pledge “an overwhelming declaration of support from a majority of area residents”, or the group will cease operations in the new year.
“Such pledges may be made via mail, e-mail, or phone using our contact information below. Along with your pledge, please include your name, phone number, address, email and any voluntary supplementary contribution above the $400 annual dues you would be comfortable contributing,” the letter states.
The fate of Beachside Patrol will be discussed tonight at MBNA’s monthly meeting, at P.S. 195 (131 Irwin Street) at 8 p.m.
This is a breaking report. We will continue to update on this issue throughout the day and week.
Full letter from Beachside Patrol:
Beachside Neighborhood Patrol, Inc.
A non-profit protective association of Manhattan Beach residents established in 1970
Notice: Suspension of private security patrol in Manhattan Beach imminent!
Dear Beachside Members and Neighbors:
For the past decade, it has been my honor to serve our community by volunteering to administer the Beachside Neighborhood Patrol. I am proud to have been successful during my years of service by tripling the amount of security coverage for our neighborhood and improving the quality of service as well. The support of our members and the community has made the private security patrols of our streets possible. That service has deterred innumerable crimes, and has been instrumental in apprehending countless criminals in our boundaries.
Perhaps most importantly, it has provided peace of mind to our community; knowing that an immediate response by trained security personnel is just a phone call away.
Regrettably, as of January 1st, Beachside Neighborhood Patrol will probably cease to operate in Manhattan Beach. Without sufficient community support and involvement, membership levels will be too low to operate such patrols efficiently. While the entire neighborhood benefited from the security patrols, less than 25% of households in the area have been willing to contribute the annual dues of $400, or $1.10 a day to support this service. It is also important to note that Beachside is a non-profit organization run exclusively by Manhattan Beach residents on a volunteer basis.
Community politics seem to have taken priority over the safety and security of our homes and families. To avoid entanglement in such politics, we had arranged a membership meeting earlier this year at which our members elected an independent Board of Directors and adopted By-Laws.
Knowing that the community is at risk of losing this most important service, Beachside and its representatives have tried very hard to resolve any concerns anyone may have had and has agreed to requests by all those who have attempted to mediate a resolution. Additionally, the following steps have been taken over the past year to avoid this unfortunate situation:
• Beachside created and distributed informational pamphlets to all residents detailing the membership benefits.
• Drafted and distributed letters to members asking for referrals and volunteers to solicit new members.
• Drafted and distributed several letters to non-members asking for their participation.
• Attempted to foster financial and marketing support from local civic groups.
• Initiated a door-to-door and telephone campaign to add members.
Sadly, all of these efforts have not yielded the result necessary to ensure the viability of Beachside for 2010.
In the event we receive an overwhelming declaration of support from a majority of area residents by December 21st pledging to become members of Beachside in 2010, resumption of service will be considered. Such pledges may be made via mail, e-mail, or phone using our contact information below. Along with your pledge, please include your name, phone number, address, email and any voluntary supplementary contribution above the $400 annual dues you would be comfortable contributing.
Ultimately, as a community, we stand to lose too much by allowing this most important service to end with 2009. The safety and security of our homes and families should be placed above all. Such important matters should be the first priority of any neighborhood and the entire community should be embracing Beachside for providing such a service.
As it stands, as of January 1, 2010, our private security service for the Manhattan Beach community will be suspended indefinitely.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year!
Beachside Neighborhood Patrol, Inc., 4091 Ocean Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11235-3714
E-mail: email@example.com Message phone: (718) 577-1252