Fort Rucker MPs perform courtesy checks
Army Spc. Bryan Hufford, community police officer, performs a courtesy check of a home in the Allen Heights community Aug. 16. Military and community police officers perform checks of post residents' homes upon request.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Residents planning a temporary absence from post should consider requesting courtesy housing checks from the Directorate of Public Safety.

Military and community police officers perform regular checks of residential homes, upon request from residents, said Maj. Jay Massey, deputy provost marshal. Request forms can be obtained at the Directorate of Public Safety office in Bldg. 5001.

While residents tend to vacate their homes more frequently during the summer and winter months, Massey noted checks can be performed at any time.

"It's a good idea for residents living on post to schedule a courtesy check if they're going to be gone for any number of days," Massey said. "Even if it's a short trip, you never know when someone might try to break in your home."

Emily Natalio, Picerne Military Housing communications specialist, said the courtesy checks are a great benefit of living on post.

"It's great because the police will walk around your home and make sure everything is OK," she said. "They're very thorough."

Both Natalio and Massey said residents should take other precautions when planning a trip. Neither community police nor the MPs can watch each home 24 hours a day.

"It's a good idea to make your home look occupied, especially when you're not home," Massey said. "If it looks like someone is home, that can deter a potential break-in."

Massey suggested residents look into security measures like timing and motion lights, asking neighbors to check mail and pick up newspapers, and positioning vehicles to make it look like someone is home.

"If a thief sees a pile of newspapers or a dark house, they might think no one is home," Massey said. "If a Family has two cars and they only take one on vacation, the other could be parked outside of a garage or in a driveway to make it look like someone is home."

Talking to neighbors about checking houses is also a good idea, Massey said. While police can perform checks periodically, neighbors are there all the time and can look out for your property.

The MPs and community police can only perform checks of homes on post, Massey said. Off-post residents can request checks from their local police departments.

Page last updated Fri August 20th, 2010 at 11:56