Manhattan Beach private security patrol to remain open

The call went out and the Manhattan Beach community answered in the affirmative.

The Beachside Neighborhood Patrol’s (BNP) critical cash shortage has been patched and the organization will continue to operate in 2010.

The announcement came from BNP board member Ted Kleynerman at the recent Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association (MBNA) meeting.

“The good news is although we haven’t reached our (fundraising) target, Beachside will continue to operate through 2010,” said Kleynerman.

Kleynerman’s prognosis came almost a month to the day that he announced at the same organization’s meeting that the patrol might close due to a lack of funds.

At that meeting, Kleynerman said BNP services would be discontinued Jan. 1, unless more local residents coughed up the annual $400 fee as 75 percent of Manhattan Beach residents were resting on the commitment of about 25 percent of the residents.

Established in 1970, BNP contracts the security work out to the uniformed Bay Ridge Security, which currently sends one car out seven days a week for about 18 hours.

Kleynerman refused to disclose the cost of the contract or how much money BNP takes in from the fees.

“We won’t publish it, but all members receive the financials,” Kleynerman said. “My intention is not to air dirty laundry. This is just a very important service and they (residents) should support it if they want it.”

In the interim month, Kleynerman did a mailing and said the patrol picked up a good amount of new members.

The BNP will do another mailing in the next couple of weeks,” he said.

The private security service has politicized the well-to-do neighborhood as the MBNA supports the service while its rival civic group, the Manhattan Beach Community Group (MBCG) does not.

The MBCG stopped making their $3,000 annual donation last year. Several of the organization’s members also cut off their support.

But MBNA President Alan Ditchek said the patrol is important to the neighborhood and said his organization will continue to support their efforts.

That opinion was echoed by Community Board 15 Chair Theresa Scavo.

“I sincerely believe that the money invested, even if it’s $400, if you help save someone from a robbery or one car break-in in that area than it is money well spent,” said Scavo.