Volunteers with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department are spreading a little holiday cheer by offering to check in on the homes of residents who are going out of town.
According to the sheriff’s department, more than 400 members of the Sheriff’s Senior Volunteer Patrol (SVP) have vowed to keep a watchful eye on people’s homes during the holiday travel season. The SVP is comprised of trained volunteers 50 and older.
The volunteers will check homes to see if doors, windows and garages are locked. They will also hide newspapers and packages by placing them in backyards and side patios so it doesn’t appear as if one's home is empty.
If the SVP sees anything suspicious, volunteers will call the sheriff’s department for assistance to determine if there’s been a break-in.
Once residents return from vacation, they’ll received a “welcome home” letter that lists the dates the home was checked and observations made by the SVP during that visit.
Officials say this service is free and available to any resident that lives in the jurisdiction of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. In order to get a home check-in, residents must fill out a form online and submit it to their nearest sheriff’s station or substation. That form can be found here.
These security vacation checks are offered year-round by the sheriff’s department, not only during the holiday season.
In addition to this program, this month the SVP is delivering holiday baskets and hot meals to seniors as part of the You Are Not Alone initiative aimed at checking in on elderly or disabled locals who live alone.