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posted: 7/29/2013 12:01 AM

Questions security plan for Catherine Alice Gardens

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I have been interested to read your coverage of the proposed Catherine Alice Gardens project on Eric Drive in Palatine.

I have served as a consultant to operators and developers of supportive living homes and other group homes like this one for 20 years. So far however, I have not heard anything specific about the security plans related to the operation of this residential development.

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Although residents are of course always free to come and go, homes of this nature must have a plan to deal with the issue of "wandering." Wandering residents were such a problem at the Somerset and Grasmere homes that the state recently closed them.

That is why homes of this kind are typically operated with certain standard controls. These include door-guards, which are alarms triggered when residents leave, allowing the staff at the home to track when residents are home or out.

Many homes also have double cameras at the entrances, and some form of swipe cards or RFID. The residential development that is being proposed will also need to establish clear policies, with clear consequences, for residents who fail to go to work or to take medication.

It would be helpful if Catherine Alice Gardens could provide its operational plans before the village board considers bringing this home to Eric Drive.

Michael R. Schwartz

Skokie

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