The Fort Lee Provost Marshal’s Office offers a service that helps protect post quarters and their contents while the residents are away.

The Home Watch Program is available when residents will be gone three or more days for vacation, an extended temporary duty assignment or deployment. It protects only those who take a few minutes to sign up before leaving town.

The purpose is to deter property crimes by having police officers monitor the exterior of properties on a regular basis. To have one’s quarters checked, a resident must obtain and complete an information worksheet found at www.lee.army.mil/pmo/flp.homewatch.aspx.

The program allows residents to go on leave or vacation and enjoy themselves without worrying about the safety of their quarters.

The PMO uses a control sheet for each residence on its watch list. Every time an officer checks the residence, the date and time are recorded.

Officers check windows and doors. Sometimes they do surveillance of places where people are gone. Police know from experience that their “just being seen is a deterrent in itself.”

In addition to officers conducting exterior checks, there are other measures to take to safeguard property:

• Stop mail and newspaper delivery or have a neighbor pick the deliveries up regularly.

• Leave shades or blinds in their normal positions.

• Use automatic light timers so they will turn on and off at random times in different rooms.

• Leave a key with a trusted neighbor in case of an emergency.

• Lock all windows and doors including the garage door.

• Remove valuables from any vehicle left behind and be sure it is locked.

• Arrange to have the lawn mowed (or snow shoveled in the winter).

• Store valuables in places other than the master bedroom, the first place a burglar checks.

For more information, call Sgt. Rico Williams, Provost Marshal Operations, at (804) 734-6478 or 641-5898.