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Want eyes on your home while you’re away? The Huntsville Police Department can help take some stress out of summer traveling by offering vacation checks to citizens at no cost, year-round. The routine visits include a foot patrol check of the residence to make sure all windows and doors visible from the street are locked and undamaged.
HPD Senior Officer Ryann Kaaa-Bauer said the service provides that the property is checked regularly when citizens are away for extended periods of time.
“All attempts are made by the department for these checks to be conducted daily for up to 30 days, depending on staff call volume,” Officer Kaaa-Bauer explained.
“If a citizen will be gone for a longer period, the best choice for watching a home is a neighbor or friend. If any type of suspicious activity is observed, authorities should be called immediately. The number to dispatch an officer to a location is 936-435-8000. Citizens should call 911 for emergencies only.”
Officer Kaaa-Bauer said that the department also supports Neighborhood Watch efforts throughout the community, which is an additional asset during vacation seasons.
“Going on vacation takes time to plan and schedule, and is usually a time for excitement or relaxation. Securing your home while you’re away will help lower stress,” Officer Kaaa-Bauer noted. “The best defenses are neighbors who will notice objects and people out of place. Communicating with those who live nearby is highly recommended by officers.”
Officer Kaaa-Bauer said the hope is to give peace of mind while enjoying time away from home.
She also shared some helpful tips, like having holds put on newspapers and mail; removing valuable articles so they aren’t visible through windows or door panes; and using timers for lights.
City of Huntsville Director of Public Safety, Chief Kevin Lunsford, acknowledged that this is a service HPD is proud to provide for citizens. He said that the Department receives lots of appreciative feedback from those who have received vacation checks.
Residents who would like to request the service should stop by the Huntsville Police Department at 1220 11th Street to complete a vacation check form. For more information, contact Officer Kaaa-Bauer at 936-291-5480 or rkaaa@HuntsvilleTX.gov.