Residents may have noticed a new addition to the El Cerrito police department's Web site.
The department added a new online feature for vacation home checks. Residents going away for vacation can fill out an online vacation house notification before they leave.
"The information submitted by the user is then given to the officers assigned to the beat where the resident lives," said Detective Sergeant Scott Cliatt.
"The notification serves two valuable purposes," he said. "First, the officer will periodically check the residence. Knowing a resident is on vacation or out of town helps officers to recognize suspicious activity such as a suspicious car in the driveway.
"Secondly if something does happen, we will have contact information for the resident so we can work to resolve any issues that might come up while the resident is out of town."
After the online form is submitted, the resident is can view a Web page that provides "some helpful tips for securing their residence prior to leaving as well as some traveling safety tips," Cliatt said.
The police department also provides home security tips on its "Burglary Prevention Tips" Web page.
The department also offers individual designed offer suggestions on improving safety and decreasing the chances of burglary. Residents who would like to make an appointment for an officer to conduct an assessment can submit the online Home Security Assessment request form.
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