Vacation Checks

Two police volunteers standing in front of police vehicle in neighborhood

What are vacation checks?

Olympia residents that are leaving on vacation can request to have OPD volunteers conduct low-level security checks of their homes while they are away. Our presence and observation of the residence may deter criminal activity and lead to better overall safety in the community.

The Olympia Police Department's Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS) are citizen volunteers dedicated to public safety. All volunteers have been screened for criminal history and driving records. Volunteers must meet additional qualifications regarding ethical standards, character and judgement.

What happens during a vacation check?

All premise checks will include a visual inspection of the property. Police volunteers will be clothed in official uniforms and driving an Olympia Police Department vehicle.

The volunteers will walk around the property but will not enter locked gates or areas containing pets. If they encounter any situation they feel warrants attention, they will attempt to notify the designated emergency contact. They will also notify law enforcement if they encounter any signs of criminal activity.

How do I apply?

Residents must apply for a vacation check in person at the Olympia Police Department during regular business hours. You will need:

  1. Photo identification
  2. Proof of ownership or proof of right to occupy (ex. address printed on id, utility bill or lease)
  3. Fully completed Application for Service with signed release
  4. A local emergency contact who will be able to respond to the residence if needed
  5. Names of other people, if any, who are allowed on the property during your absence

Tips for before you leave

  • Avoid publicizing your plans before your trip.
  • Engrave valuables with your drivers license number and keep a list in a secure location.
  • Arrange for newspapers and mail to be placed on hold until you return.
  • Do not leave large amounts of cash or jewelry in your home. Rent a safety deposit box.
  • Check the locks on all windows and doors to make sure they are secure and functioning.
  • Unplug automatic garage doors and secure manual locks.
  • Connect radios, tvs and lights to timers designed to go off and on throughout the day.
  • Ask a neighbor to park a car in your driveway and to keep an eye on your home while you are away.

Questions?

Contact Rebekah Ziesemer at 360.753.8578 or rzieseme@ci.olympia.wa.us