House safety check program keeps properties safe before and after storms

Posted at 5:25 PM, Sep 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-22 17:25:54-04

Holmes Beach residents who evacuated had peace of mind during Hurricane Irma.

The Holmes Beach Police Department started a house safety check. Officers would check on the homes looking for signs of burglary.  

“We had one burglary during the entire storm process,” said Chief William Tokajer.

Tokajer said the city started the program a few years ago and they’ve already seen reduction in crime.

“Last year we had twenty burglars, this year we had two,” said Tokajer.

Residents can sign up for the program at the police department for $10. Resident Louis Martin said it was nice to have the program as an option.

“It’s probably a good thing, it gives peace of mind,” said Martin.

Chief Tokajer said the city only had one break-in during Hurricane Irma.

Other law enforcement agencies around the Bay have similar practices to make sure your home is safe when you're out of town.

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The Tampa Police Department and Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office both have online forms you can fill out before you leave. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office offers a similar service but you have to call to request it. And the Largo Police Department has a mobile app where you can request police patrol to check on your home.