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case-study / December 5, 2022

Hidden Valley Lake Association Case Study


Hidden Valley Lakes Association (HVLA) serves approximately 7,000 residents in Northern California. The community functions much like a self-contained city, and residents depend on the association to provide services such as maintenance, amenities and security.

The Challenge

From a security perspective, HVLA has adopted a tech-forward approach. The primary concern is to protect the due process rights of its residents while providing exceptional service and safety. Charles Russ, Director of Public Safety, and Sergeant John Drago were challenged with being able to provide complete transparency into incidents to demonstrate to residents that they were being served with the utmost professionalism and that their due process rights were always respected.

Before implementing Axon, HVLA encountered several incidents where an encounter between security and a resident led to claims that were difficult to dispel or verify. Some of these situations led to costly litigation that came down to a he said, she said scenario which rarely lead to a positive outcome

"All residents are informed that responding officers will be equipped with cameras, and as a result we've seen a reduction in fraudulent claims since residents now understand the potential consequences."

- Charles Russ, Director of Public Safety

The Solution

Axon body cameras are enabling HVLA to effectively de-escalate any tense situations, provide complete transparency into any questionable encounters, and easily dispel any false claims to decrease liability.

The Axon Network makes the entire process simple, from capturing video to automatic uploading and storage of data. The security staff at HVLA can focus on providing top notch service and let Axon technology take care of capturing any incidents that may need to be recalled later.


Hidden Valley Lake encompasses a large rural footprint with supporting coverage from the County Sheriff's Officer. Due to the large area and centering lake, response times often vary. It is critical that Sergeant Drago and other patrol officers are able to effectively de-escalate any tense situations without the need for quick support from law enforcement. The Axon Body 3 cameras that all patrol officers are equipped with are activated as soon as an encounter with a resident begins and the knowledge that they are on camera keeps situations from escalating.

"Because they know that they are being recorded, they are usually on their best behavior and tense situations are rare"

- Sgt. John Drago


For HVLA Security Services, protecting due process rights is of the utmost importance and video footage makes it possible to provide iron-clad proof that residents are always treated fairly and respectfully.

In the case of any criminal events, the security team’s ability to easily share video data provides complete certainty into what happened. HVLA regularly coordinates with public agencies ranging from the sheriff, to the highway patrol and department of fish and game. Sharing video footage helps resolve cases quickly and accurately.

Decreased Liability

Video footage is a powerful tool to dispel false claims and can also be used to verify officer professionalism in cases of complaints. Axon is helping HVLA to eliminate fraudulent complaints, which saves the association and its residents money. The Security Services team has seen a major decline in complaints since introducing body-worn cameras.
The Axon software platform has been a great tool to review interactions with residents and improve how patrol officers respond to future situations.

”As far as I’m concerned, it’s an invaluable tool, there are no more he says, she says situations“

- Sgt. John Drago

Axon is enabling Hidden Valley Lake Association to provide exceptional service to residents and protect the community while providing complete transparency into officer interactions as they protect one of the largest HOAs in California.

Interested in learning more about how Axon can improve your security efforts? Contact the Axon team today at

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