Getting by the Gate Ambassadors
Village security and proper community access via its many gates are everyone’s responsibility. To gain entry to the Village, all motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists must show a valid resident ID, possess a visitor’s pass or have working RFID decals. Gate ambassadors must ensure everyone who wishes to gain access to the community can do so properly. Security personnel must enforce access policies and address suspicious entry activity. Residents whose vehicles have malfunctioning RFID decals must replace them and, in the meantime, use the visitor lane. Visitors must use the visitor lanes.
Laguna Woods Village has 16 gates. Gates 1, 2, 5, 7, 10, 11 and 14 are open 24/7; gates 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 12 close in the evening. Gate 4 is an exit-only gate for vehicles but can be entered via the gatehouse-adjacent pedestrian gate, gates 13 and 15 are locked emergency gates and gate 16 has no gatehouse but is secured at 11 p.m. Gatehouses at the remaining 12 gates are manned by gate ambassadors.
All gates also feature alarms that activate when a pedestrian or bicyclist trips wall- or fence-mounted motion sensors. Entrances and exits at gates 1 and 7 have wall-mounted intercoms and camera devices; signage instructs pedestrians and bicyclists to present their resident IDs to the camera. Gate ambassadors authenticate IDs from inside the gatehouse and, if necessary, use the intercom to communicate with the person wanting to enter.
If Someone Slips By …
Gate ambassadors sometimes are distracted while helping visitors or residents with malfunctioning RFIDs and, as a result, pedestrians and bicyclists may sometimes enter without proper clearance. In these cases, gate ambassadors notify Security, and a patrol officer contacts these individuals to properly identify them.
Attention to Gate Staffing
Adequately staffing the gates is ongoing. The Village employs approximately 134 gate ambassadors who are part-time and mostly Village residents—whose status and ability to work can change frequently and without notice. Gate ambassador supervisors are actively retraining existing personnel and establishing quarterly meetings to facilitate communications and clarify expectations. Security will continue to recruit the best possible personnel, provide extensive training in our policies and standard operating procedures, and always look for opportunities to improve our service levels.
Our Community Is Safe
In reviewing the Village’s minimal crime statistics, as reported by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and considering the number of vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians who enter the Village daily, the gate ambassador program, security patrol officers, residents staying vigilant and reporting suspicious activity, and Orange County Sheriff’s Department patrols keep the community relatively safe.
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