Last updated: February 20. 2014 11:42PM - 1488 Views
By Jon O’Connell joconnell@civitasmedia.com

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WILKES-BARRE — A key component of the Sherman Hills Apartments security plan is guards — armed and unarmed — watching the complex and screening outsiders.

The security plan includes:

• Better lighting and possibly more surveillance cameras, but also a guard shack manned around the clock and a mobile armed guard.

• An 8-foot fence is to go up around Sherman Hills and the high rise adjacent to the complex. A gate along North Sherman Street is to be used only by emergency vehicles.

• The only access for regular traffic will be a manned guard shack at the Coal Street entrance.

Legion Security Services Inc. of Wilkes-Barre has not yet penned a contract to provide manpower, but the service has been working with the complex’s management company, Park Management, of Brooklyn, N.Y., to identify specific needs, Legion Vice President Dale Rinker said.

Rinker, a former Wilkes-Barre detective lieutenant, said the armed guard will be certified through the state’s Lethal Weapons Training Law and will be tasked with patrolling the grounds. These guards also will receive training similar to law enforcement but less intense, Rinker said.

The armed-guard shift would last 12 hours. The shift’s time of day is not set and is to be determined pending a contract.

Meanwhile, an unarmed guard is to man the guard shack and record visitors entering the facility. Per the plan, residents would have to meet visitors at the gate. Pedestrians also are to be checked at the gate.

Guests must present identification papers before getting in. All residents would be issued parking permits.

During a meeting on Wednesday with city zoning officials, Sam Goldberg, a Sherman Hills regional manager, said he has contractors lined up to install the fence, gates and guard shack.

A contract is to follow construction, Rinker said.

“We weren’t just going to send someone up there and hope for the best,” Rinker said. “We’re trying to make a reasonable expectation of safety for our employees, so we can give Sherman Hills a reasonable expectation of safety for their residents.”

Legion, founded in 2007, provides similar service to gated communities as well as security for businesses, schools and industrial sites throughout Pennsylvania.

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