GARLAND (CBSDFW.COM) – Thanks to a police program people living in one North Texas city can take their summer vacations without worrying about their empty homes.
Volunteers with Garland Police Department will wear uniforms and patrol in marked squad cars as they check the homes and neighborhood of people who are out of town.
Alberto Irizarry, an officer with the Garland Police Department, said the program is basically a win-win for your entire neighborhood. “Not only does the homeowner get us to go to their house and check it, you’re gonna get that marked unit in your neighborhood. So, it’s a deterrent for bad folks period,” he said.
Garland police has been providing the service to citizens for more than 20 years. They say their goal is to make sure people away from home don’t return and find that a “burglar has broken in and taken their possessions.”
Crime across the nation traditionally goes up during the summer months, so Officer Irizarry encouraged homeowner to take advantage of the program. “When we’re checking on their homes bad guys aren’t gonna stick around. So, it’s a real good deterrent.”
Officer Irizarry said their department is fortunate to have an abundant number of volunteers, so no matter how many people, in different neighborhoods, may be out of town at the same time they will have enough volunteers to check every house, every day of the vacation.
Should a volunteer encounter something suspicious immediately alert the police department and a licensed peace officer will respond.
You can sign up for the Vacation Watch Program on the City of Garland website or download their app. The program is open to any homeowner living within the city limits of Garland.