Q My association has noticed an uptick in criminal activity lately and we are looking for some guidance as to what is the best course of action to curb illegal activity and, in particular, gang activity that seems to be occurring on the premises. Are there any ground rules to deal with specific situations we may encounter? What can we do to nip this in the bud, so to speak?
—Concerned in Chicagoland
A One area of concern to many association boards is the increase in gangs and gang activity in various neighborhoods and villages,” according to the attorneys of the law firm of Dickler, Kahn, Slowikowski & Zavell, Ltd., with offices in Arlington Heights.
“Although gangs and gang activity have not become a problem in many associations, those of us who read the newspapers are becoming increasingly concerned about the prospect of having gang activity within an association's borders. Associations should take charge of their property and work to avoid permitting gangs to take root in their communities.
“We have created a set of "Gang Rules" which were written to prevent or control gang activity. They attempt to give to the association board the power to levy a fine or remove offenders from the property. Our Gang Rules prohibit, among other things, the following: gang activity; the display or use of gang signs and signals; criminal conduct; drugs; weapons; vandalism and fighting; loitering and reckless or disorderly conduct; curfew violations; alcohol in the common areas; graffiti; and loud noise, music and shouting. These Gang Rules can be made available to condominium or homeowner associations. Even if your association is not yet experiencing a problem with gangs or gang activities, we would encourage the association board to carefully consider whether preventive measures might be advisable. Contact us at 847-593-5595 for further information and to obtain a copy of the rules.”