Knightscope’s 4-Step Recommendation for Securing Public Parks

June 9, 2023

Parks are open public spaces that vary in scope and size ranging from large national parks to mini neighborhood parks. For purposes of this discussion, we’ll focus on local community parks. They provide a place for families and friends to connect and unwind, as well as offer good opportunities for exercise and reconnecting with your surroundings. And everyone knows that spending time in nature has proven to be incredibly good for your mental health – breathing fresh air, enjoying greenery and soaking in some vitamin D, courtesy of the sun, can all boost your mood for the better.

Parks and areas of recreation are great assets for people of all ages. But they can quickly become a liability if the proper safety protocols are not in place. Whether your city, county or state includes an intricate network of parks, buildings and trails or just one public park, you need to ensure the public can safely participate in park activities.

If not adequately managed, some of these public backyards may become dangerous places – taken over by undesirable activity, becoming living spaces for the homeless, market centers for drug dealers, the site of delinquent behavior of all kinds, and even worse, like the May 2023 shooting that took place in a San Diego area community park.

Public parks quickly become a liability when criminal activity takes over and makes them unsafe to visit. As a result, parks lose their value and benefit to the community. Keeping park and recreation facilities safe is a key to community wellness and has a direct relationship to their usage rate. The City of Huntington Park, CA, discovered that the use of certain technologies (yes, Knightscope!) made a significant, positive impact on the crime rates and the public’s perception of safety in Salt Lake Park, a local recreation area. The results were so good, in fact, that the City unanimously voted to extend their contract through 2023.

According to the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice, a “safe” park is defined as “a dynamic place where the design, maintenance, and policing of the park work together so that the general public perceives the park as a safe place, wants to go to the park regularly, and spends their optional time in the park engaged in valued activities.”

While not all crime can be prevented, there are ways to reduce the risk of corruption to make these public facilities safer for all to enjoy. Let Knightscope help to establish a feeling of comfort and security in your community park - like we did with Huntington Park - by following these four recommended steps.

STEP 1 Greet Park Visitors

By providing a posted K5 or stationary K1 at or near the park entrance to greet the park patrons and play a particular informational greeting when a person is detected. By placing a K5 or K1 at the entrance it can also read license plates and or signals to detect and alert if a banned or person of interest has been identified.

STEP 2 Secure Parking Areas

Provide a consistent physical security presence for your tenants and visitors by utilizing K5 ASRs to patrol all of your parking areas.  Roving K5s can help reduce speeding, providing a safer environment for all pedestrians and vehicles. And with their bright strobe lights and patrol sounds on, you can deter vagrant encroachment, trespassing and/or criminal behaviors.  In doing so, you will also be aiding in the prevention of vehicle break-ins, vehicle thefts, catalytic converter thefts, and vandalism.  Additionally, visitors may press the distress button on any robot to activate the Intercom to summon emergency assistance or notify park staff.  Adding Knightscope’s K1 Blue Light Towers in remote areas of the parking lots or park areas, with full wireless functionality and no digging or trenching requirement, provides highly visible and familiar points to access reliable communications that provide needed comfort when cell phone service is scarce, or the phone’s battery has died.

STEP 3 Patrol Walkways and Restricted Service Yards

A K5 Patrolling walkways, playgrounds, and restricted service yards to ensure public safety and park security. Ensuring announcements are being made regarding park hours or rules, and any other useful information. Verify there are no safety issue or concerns throughout the park, including trespassers after park closures, that are detectable by the K5.

STEP 4 Manage the Workload

Enhance the park’s security posture by implementing cutting edge technology while at the same time maintaining the Park Ranger motto “Protecting the Parks from the People and Protecting the People from the Parks.” You can also utilize Knightscope as a stand-alone security service or augment your current security force. If choosing Knightscope, enhance the user experience by digging deeper in your machine’s capabilities through the KSOC, or better yet, upgrade to Knightscope+ and allow us to take some of the workload off and we can do the remote monitoring on your behalf and escalate issues according to the agreed upon post orders.

Parks bring a lot of value to communities, giving families and individuals the opportunity to gather together, invest in their health and explore the great outdoors. However, without the proper care and planning, parks can lead to personal injury and become a magnet for crime.

Finding the appropriate technologies to create a more secure environment is key in better managing local parks.  Take a few moments to visit with one of our experts and discover how we can help you elevate your community’s enjoyment of these public amenities.  Click here to learn more.

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