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More Sacramento Neighborhoods Paying for Private Security Patrols

SACRAMENTO -- There was a time when Paladin Private Security patrols worked  mostly business locations, school districts and gated communities. But they are now in neighborhoods where city police patrols have become scarce.

"It's what we used to have, it's what we used to be able to expect, I just think those days are gone," said Land Park resident Katy Grimes.

Grimes helped create the Neighborhood Security Association of Land Park -- a group of about 70 homeowners who pooled their money to have Paladin patrol four times a day. And the security patrols will respond to calls that police don't prioritize such as certain property crimes.

Residents understand staffing cutbacks during the great recession.

"You don't know what else is going on in the city and where they're needed," said Land Park resident Kate Ingoglia.

"Any more it seems to be cops only seem to respond  to very, very serious crimes," Grimes said.

Over recent years about four neighborhoods in Sacramento has hired Paladin Private Security, which was started by former sworn law enforcement officers.

A series of prison reforms in California means fewer criminals were going to jail for fewer types of crimes.

Paladin says call volume from residents and businesses has gone up 20 to 30 percent a year over the last five years. But company founder Matt Carroll says many residential calls are for noise complaints, suspicious activity and parking issues. They also do vacation checks and lockouts from houses or cars.

"People just want someone to talk to, and frankly they don't mind if it's a public uniform or a private uniform, they want to feel their concerns are being listened to," said Carroll, who is the VP of operations for Paladin Private Security.

Neighbors like the idea that Paladin coordinates with police on issues and service calls. Carroll says they also take a load off police responsibilities.

"We only need to involve law enforcement in one-tenth of one percent of the 70,000 plus calls a year that we manage," Carroll said.

"It is just nice to have another force that you can call," Ingoglia said.

That quicker response to problems is worth it for homeowners in the group who pay about $20 a month each for the service.