Opinion

Graettinger: Get your home signed up for Vacation Watch in Sun City

Posted 6/3/21

Sun City continues to be a secure and enjoyable place to live, not only because of the committed and wholehearted dedication of the Sun City Posse, but also because there is a program available to residents called Vacation Watch.

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Opinion

Graettinger: Get your home signed up for Vacation Watch in Sun City

Posted

Sun City continues to be a secure and enjoyable place to live, not only because of the committed and wholehearted dedication of the Sun City Posse, but also because there is a program available to residents called Vacation Watch.

For the past six years, the program has been spearheaded by M.Sgt. Barbara Craft, who is a champion and enthusiastic advocate for the plan.

In 2020, the Posse handled 22,000 Vacation Watch checks. That is a pretty sizable number and it represents between 1,500 and 2,000 houses that are checked each month. Yes, we are here when you are away.

Face it, we are very lucky to live in a community where all it takes is about five minutes of our time to fill out the necessary information, but in the end provides us with hours of peace of mind while we are on vacation or returning to our summer homes.

The program is free to all our residents, whether they are gone for a week or for several months.

You can pick up a blue card from Posse headquarters, 10861 W. Sunland Drive; the Sun City Visitor Center, 16820 N. 99th Ave.; any of the recreation centers; or at the Recreation Centers of Sun City office, 10626 W. Thunderbird Blvd. The card asks for a homeowner or renter’s name and address, the period of time the residence will be empty and an emergency contact person. You then turn the card in to the Posse and enjoy peace of mind knowing that someone is watching out for you.

If you have already left, don’t fret, the Vacation Watch program is now online, so all you do is go to the Posse’s website at: suncityposse.org and print out the form and mail it to the Posse. All information is confidential.

Once the Posse has the pertinent information on file, one of our patrol personnel will visit your house and check to make sure all windows and doors are secure. They will remove any newspapers in the driveway and throw away all business cards stuck in the door.

“This is a great time because you are safe in knowing that tell-tale signs like discarded newspapers and landscaping advertisements have been removed and your home is secure,” Dave Miller, Sun City Posse commander, said.

After the initial visit, the house will be checked by one of our patrol officers on a regular basis. Our goal is to look at every house about every two weeks. We also watch for any possible water leaks or any other problems. In the event a problem arises, we notify the key holder, emergency contact listed on the card and/or the homeowner.

In addition, if the house has been broken into, we immediately notify the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and a deputy is dispatched to the house to investigate.

Although the service is free to all residents, donations help. We do not depend on taxpayer money, but operate because of the generosity of our residents. A lot of people donate when they turn in their cards. Believe me, any donation, no matter how small, is appreciated.

“Because we offer this added level of security, many of our residents also write thank you notes because they feel secure in knowing that the Posse is checking on their homes,” M.Sgt. Craft added.

So don’t dilly-dally. If you are going to be away, take that extra second in your day and pick up and fill out a card. Turn it into the Posse and head north or east and feel secure knowing that we are here during what again will be a long-hot summer guarding your home.

Editor’s Note: Mr. Graettinger is Sun City Posse public information officer.

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