041119 CHA house checks

A screenshot of the Charlestown Police Department's online house check request form.  

CHARLESTOWN — The Charlestown police have created a digital form that residents can use to notify the department of vacation absences. Police Chief Michael Paliotta said the website sign-up is intended to enhance public access to a home-checking program that the department has offered for many years.

"Modern alarm systems with cameras and motion sensors that are easily viewed on a hand-held device seem to have made this service less necessary, but some people still like the added assurance that the police are aware their house should be unoccupied," Paliotta said.

Officers will periodically check properties to make sure nothing appears out of place. The police conduct roadside evaluations and occasionally check the property if anything seems suspicious, Paliotta said. The program is supervised by Sgt. Chris Bruso, the third shift supervisor.

According to the police, the program is used fairly regularly with approximately a dozen checks on the list at any given point. Most of those using the service are year-round residents who are on vacation; seasonal residents often use contractors to conduct more thorough periodic checks.

To add a home to list, Paliotta said residents can stop by the department to fill out the request form or submit the online request on the department's website at charlestownpolice.org/services/housechecks.php.

jvallee@thewesterlysun.com

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