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ON YOUR SIDE: Why calling police should be a critical part of your vacation planning

ON YOUR SIDE: Why calling police should be a critical part of your vacation planning
AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) - The weather is warming up, a sure sign it's time for families to hit the road for summer vacations.   Auburn police say burglaries don't always increase during the summertime, but it's still a good idea to make sure you're doing everything you can to keep a criminal from making an unwelcome visit.

Police are urging homeowners and business owners to give them an hour of your time, for a free, on-site safety inspection.

"On our residential survey, it covers exterior like lighting, garage doors, outdoor windows, and doors. It even covers pool safety and numerous other things. It also covers the interior of your home and business. It's a comprehensive look at what you are doing to protect your home and an evaluation of what you can do better," explained Assistant Police Chief Will Mathews.

Police say alarm systems with cameras are always good to have. A well-lit exterior with motion sensors can scare off would-be thieves. Deadbolt, secure doors can keep intruders out and still make sure to lock your doors and windows. However, Mathews says perhaps the best way to protect your home, is to get to know your neighbors.

"there is nothing better for home security than a nosey neighbor. They know what you drive when you typically come and go, and the will notice suspicious activity when you are away," he said.

Auburn Police encourage neighbors to join forces and set up a neighborhood watch. They'll even show you how to do it.

"We facilitate the meeting, so we can tell the group primarily how the neighborhood watch group works, how to pick a neighborhood captain. We will put up the signs in the neighborhood and set up the structure of what's expected with a neighborhood watch. Its a conduit for us,  where they can let us know problems in their neighborhood, and we can give them info we need to get out to the neighborhood,' Mathews said.
Back to that summertime vacation; while you're making plans make sure calling the police is at the top of your checklist. Let the police know when you'll be out of town and they will send an officer by daily and at night to walk around your home and do security checks. If they see something suspicious, they will alert you while you're on vacation.

"One of the worst things to happen if you go on vacation and come home is to see your house has been broken into and your stuff is gone," explained Mathews.

Police say an ounce of prevention and just a little bit of time coupled with their free services to the community can go a long way to keeping crime away from your front door.  

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