Gated communities can pose problems for deputies

Article and Video Courtesy of 

BayNews 9



(Bay News 9)


The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says deputies are having a difficult time gaining access to homes and apartments in gated communities when dealing with emergency calls, so this week deputies will ask county commissioners to help them come up with a special entrance plan.

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Published August 6, 2007  

Deputies can't always get 

inside gated communities easily.


Currently, the sheriff's office keeps a written log of gate access codes, allowing deputies to get through security gates in response to 911 calls and other emergency work, but not all gated communities are letting the sheriff's office know when gate codes change.

Therefore, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office public information officer J.D. Callaway says they're pushing to make it a requirement for all gated communities to install a $1,500 piece of equipment that can receive a radio frequency. When deputies or emergency responders arrive at the gate, they would use their radios to open the gate automatically.

"We would hope that apartment complexes or subdivisions would look at the price of that system as just a safety issue," said Callaway. "Safety for the people that live behind the gates, but [also] safety for the deputies."

Fred Alleva has lived in the gated Oxford Place in Tampa Palms for the past year. He likes the idea of making things easier on emergency responders.

"I wouldn't have a problem with having a device that would certainly decrease the amount of [response] time," said Alleva.

County commissioners will likely determine the full scope of the gate access problem before drafting the law the sheriff's office wants, therefore it could take months for them to come up with a recommendation that's fair to property owners.