FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Before leaving on a spring or summer vacation, it’s important to plan ahead, according to Directorate of Public Safety officials.

One of the items on that planning checklist should be setting up a housing check with the Fort Rucker police department, said Peggy Contreras, Fort Rucker Community Police supervisor.

“If people live on the installation, they should pick up a quarters checklist at the (military police) station or through the housing office,” she said. “They can pick it up in those places and return it to the MP station.”

Contreras added that it’s important to avoid making oneself a target during the summer vacation season.

“People should do things like putting a hold on their mail or coordinating with a neighbor to pick it up,” she said. “People should also get timer or motion sensor lights for their house and, if they have an extra vehicle, park it in the driveway to make it look like someone’s home.”

Maj. Jay Massey, DPS deputy provost marshal, said that filling out a housing check form is easy and something all of those living on post should consider if planning a long or short trip.

“We’ll send a patrol out to walk around the house and make sure nothing appears out of the ordinary,” he said. “We’re not going to try and lift windows or check door knobs, but we’ll look for things that might be out of place.”

Another area of concern is pet care for those going on vacation, Contreras said.

“If you have pets, it’s really hot outside, so they need to be taken care of,” she said. “It’s a good idea to ask if a neighbor can take care of them while you’re away.”

Contreras said those living off-post can’t get a housing check form from the MP station, but should check with their local police departments and let them know they are going out of town.

There are also people who are possibly planning to stay on the installation through the summer, and those people should also take care to observe post rules, she added.

“It’s the summer time, and that means children will be more present in the housing areas. Drivers should be even more cautious when driving through those areas,” she said. “Because we have teenage children, their friends might be visiting from off post. It’s fine for them to have visitors, but it’s also good for people who might observe strange things to report it to the police. Those who have visitors from off post need to also remember that they are responsible for their guests.”

For more information on housing checks, call 255-2222.

Page last updated Thu June 2nd, 2011 at 13:31