Berea Police offer home safety assessments: Community Voices

BEREA, Ohio — Going on vacation? The police can check your home while you are away to make sure everything is okay.

Berea Police also offers a more in-depth assessment of the interior and exterior security of the home.

“All owners are eligible,” said Lt. Aaron Krouse, who leads the community engagement unit. “There is a checklist that we go through. It takes about an hour.”

He said officers were looking at the landscaping, lighting, garage, windows, locks and any alarm systems in place.

“It’s an internal and external audit,” he said.

Owners receive a hard copy of the review.

“Berea is a very safe community, but there’s always something more we can do,” Krouse added. The safety rating “gives owners peace of mind”.

Krouse, Sergeant. Ean Esposito and Officer Nick Huskins attended a two-day course on conducting home security audits. All three are now certified as crime prevention officers.

Krouse said the trio can answer owners’ questions and offer suggestions.

He said a major issue for many homes is lighting. Outdoor lights, whether landscape lighting or a porch light, deter criminals. Leaving a lamp or overhead light on inside the house is also helpful. This goes for whether you are home or not.

“Don’t be predictable,” Krouse said. “Don’t turn on the same light at the same time every day. Vary your routine.

“The bad guys think someone’s home and they’re less likely to try to get in,” Krouse said.

Another major issue is with unlocked cars. Lock the car and remove all valuables, whether the car is parked in the driveway or in the garage, Krouse advised.

More and more homeowners have installed doorbell cameras and they can be a great help to the police in the event of a problem, he said. Owners can register these cameras with the police department.

Access to camera files must be authorized by owners and only on an individual incident basis.

And, of course, holiday vouchers are always available.

If homeowners want to sign up for a vacation check, tape a security camera, or request a home security assessment, contact the Police Community Engagement Unit. Contact Huskins at 440-234-6065 or [email protected] or Krouse at 440-274-5009 or [email protected]

None of these services are charged.

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