Washington Township police offering 'Vacation Watch' program | How to sign up

About 40 residents signed up on the first day.

Briana Smith Image
Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Washington Twp. offering 'Vacation Watch' program | How to sign up
Washington Township police offering 'Vacation Watch' program | How to sign up

WASHINGTON TWP., New Jersey (WPVI) -- With car thefts, shoplifting and burglaries on the rise, Washington Township police created a "vacation watch" program.

"The program is aimed at providing increased security and peace of mind for our residents while they're away on vacation," said Chief Patrick Gurcsik.

Gurcsik hopes to prevent break-ins like the one on Plumtree Drive in May when a suspect shattered a back door to get inside the house.

"We want to make sure everyone is safe in our community," he added.

Gurcsik said the free service allows homeowners to request periodic checks of their property by officers.

About 40 residents signed up on the first day.

"Check the doors, make sure they're secured and locked, and also check windows, and also look for and report any suspicious activity," said Chief Gurcsik.

Residents who live on Aldridge Way did not hesitate to sign up after a neighbor's house was burglarized in March.

"It's a great program," said John Irvin. "I think when we go away it gives us a little bit of peace of mind that our house is going to be looked after."

One neighbor who lives on Plumtree Drive thinks it will help reduce the ongoing crime.

"We've lived here for 35 years, we never had issues like this. It's crazy," said Michelle Armenti. "I would love to be able to say, 'My house is safe.' I can go away and be calm and not worry about it because normally we worry about it."

Residents praised police for already increasing patrols in targeted neighborhoods and now adding this service.

"We love this town, and we love the police force here," said Nicole McCormack. "We're just happy to see them stepping up the way they are."

Chief Gurcsik also recommends homeowners keep their lights on at night, stop mail delivery and notify neighbors when they go away.

To sign up for the Vacation Watch program, register online or fill out a request form at the police station.