Police department offering free vacation house checks

Central Point, Ore. — A local police department is making it easy for you to vacation this summer without worry. Central Point Police Department is one of only a few agencies in Jackson County that offer free house checks while you’re away. NBC5 News went along with the team to see how it works.

“We’ll check perimeter glass on the front,” Mike Parsons explains, “check for newspapers on the porch, hand tags from door to door salesman.”

Mike Parsons is one of a few dozen volunteers with CPPD. Vacation house checks are a part of his duties, year round.

“I love being a part of the community,” Parsons says.

On any given day Mike and his partner, Denise Walker check between 4 and 29 homes.

“It’s a good way to have your property secured and checked while you’re gone,” CPPD volunteer Denise Walker says, “I personally have used it and it’s been beneficial to me on two different occasions.

Volunteer coordinator Nikki Petersen says signing up is simple.

“Come in and you can fill out an application or you can do it online,” Petersen says.

You’ll be asked to provide the details of when you’ll be gone, an emergency contact, and any special instructions. The form asks whether you have broken windows, and if your mail has been stopped. Once you’re away, trained volunteers stop by at random.

“We have some that come in the mornings, some that come on weekends,” Petersen says, “some that come at dusk, bright and early.”

The volunteers check windows, doors, gates, and more.

“If we see anything out of the ordinary we contact an officer who can be on the scene within five minutes,” Parsons says.

And while peace of mind doesn’t usually come cheap, thankfully, this service is free.

“I highly recommend it,” Walker says.

Volunteers go through an 8 to 10 week academy to learn the ropes. If you’d like to sign-up for a house check, click HERE. The service only applies for single family homes or duplexes within Central Point city limits.

The city of Ashland offers a similar program through it’s volunteer program. Click HERE to learn more.

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