How Gated Communities and HOA Laws Can Affect Law Enforcement

The allure of living in a gated community has spread exponentially and home buyers have migrated en masse to live in neighborhoods governed by an HOA. However, the privately owned roads of the gated community can be problematic for law enforcement.

Benefits and Limitations of Living in a Gated Community

A gated community isn’t for every homeowner, but for many, the benefits do outweigh the limitations. Many homeowners can agree that a higher level of security tops the benefits list. Typically, visitors can’t gain access to the residential streets. Often there’s an actual gate that has to be activated by a key card or digital code and there may also be a 24/7 staffed guard house at the entrance. The gate guards screen and allows or restricts entrance to visitors, delivery drivers, and other vehicles.

Security at the entrance is just one benefit; others include but are not limited to:

  • Enhanced security via cameras
  • Restricted access for non-residents
  • Vehicle speed restrictions, often slower than city streets, and offer higher pedestrian safety
  • Safer play for children due to non-resident restrictions and slower vehicle speeds
  • On-site amenities like a resident-only community pool, playground, activity center, and game/sports facilities
  • HOA handles lawn care, snow removal, and some exterior home maintenance
  • A sense of community that may not be easily found in other neighborhoods

While the benefits can appear strong, for some, the limitations may be a deal breaker. These can include:

  • Too much security makes it difficult for family and friends to enter the community
  • Wait times at the gate or delays entering the community when a vehicle is denied access
  • Ever-changing tech or outdated tech can cause security issues and be difficult for the homeowner to use
  • Restrictions regarding the exterior appearance of the home (including landscaping)

One of the biggest limitations to living in a gated community can be the expense. These communities are usually governed by an HOA (Homeowners Association) and homeowners pay some form of dues/fees.

How Does the Gated Community Affect Police Entry Into the Community?

Gated community roads are private and not owned by the city or county, although there may be some exceptions. Can homeowners in the community be ticketed for moving violations on these private roads? Technically, yes. However, the physical presence of a gate or security guard at the community’s entrance can pose a problem for law enforcement.

Law enforcement officers may be denied entry into a gated community if they don’t have a written agreement with the HOA or property owners that authorizes the officers to act. This is usually for incidents like running a stop sign, speeding, or other minor infractions. However, for major issues or life-threatening endangerments, law enforcement has to be allowed entry.

It’s important to note that laws regarding law enforcement and private roads vary by state.

Great Tools for Interacting with Crime in a Gated Community

At some point, law enforcement will need to have interactions within a gated community. The right tools can be assets for maintaining community relations and being able to lawfully take action. Kustom Signals has what you need.

  • Body cameras
  • In-car video
  • Speed RADAR

The Eyewitness Vantage Personal Body Camera features a 120-degree view to ensure a broad range of sight so all evidence is captured on video. Features also include low-light capability and an easy-to-use covert mode setting with a configurable mute button. This body cam can be integrated with the Kustom Signals Eyewitness HD In-Car video system.

Look to the Kustom Signals Eyewitness HD In-Car Video system for the clearest recordings that will be securely transferred into evidence storage. The system offers a five-inch touchscreen tablet that interfaces with your MDC when an alternative is needed to the tablet. Switching from one to the other is fast and easy.

Speed RADAR from Kustom Signals includes a full range of handheld products that can make enforcing speed limits easier and more effective. Our handheld LIDAR devices offer a low cost of entry point and the best value on the market. These devices also have innovative features such as ProLaser 4’s Following Too Close (FTC) mode, Certification Management (patented), or the comprehensive video options of the LaserCam 4.

Since many HOAs do not have security or enforcement, our pole mounted RADAR Speed Displays and SMART Messaging Trailers can be effective for increasing speed awareness and road safety.

Contact us today to discover more about how Kustom Signals can assist your agency.

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KUSTOM SIGNALS INC is a part of MPD, Inc., headquartered in Owensboro, Kentucky. MPD, Inc. consisting of six wholly-owned subsidiaries, which includes MPD Components, Inc., MPH Industries, Inc., Lion Laboratories Limited, CMI, Inc., MPD (Singapore) PTE LTD, and Kustom Signals, Inc. MPD, Inc. employs over 320 employees worldwide, all committed to producing the highest quality products for their customers. Visit: www.mpdinc.com

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