New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



Guardian of the Gates

When he was interviewing for the position of resident manager of the 65-unit co-op at 784 Park Avenue, Peter Rufli was surprised to see that the building operated on the “honor system”: keys for all the apartments were in sealed envelopes tagged to the wall where anyone could walk off with them. “I’m always concerned about security,” says Rufli. “We are a Park Avenue building. I always felt these were areas that could be targeted.”

Rufli got the job and immediately instituted a computerized key-tracking system. “It’s extremely secure for logging keys in and out of the building,” he notes. “That way we can confirm who took the key out, when it was taken out, and when it was put back. It puts [the residents’] minds at ease.”

Rufli, who supervises a staff of 19, also teaches other property managers procedures for dealing with catastrophic events through the Community Emergency Response Team organization. Teaching, he says, “gave me an idea of where our weak spots were.”

The Irish native is not simply concerned about the security of the residents; he’s also ready to assist them as a licensed Emergency Medical Service technician. “There are a lot of elderly people in the building,” he says, “and we’ve had situations where people have been injured. [That’s] why I wanted to do the course.”

There’s a more personal reason as well. “When I was 11 years old, my father was killed in an accident in Ireland due to faulty equipment on a job,” Rufli says. “It gave me an interest in search and rescue, so I decided to do an EMS license with New York Hospital.”

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