Back by popular demand: UOPD’s Vacation Watch

UOPD patrol car

With nearly 300 University of Oregon students signing up for Vacation Watch in December, the inaugural program was a huge hit. So for spring break 2019, UO police are again offering regular patrol checks of off-campus residences.

Students should opt in for free online before leaving for the March 23-31 break.

Once again, UO Police Department will check registered vacant residences as often as possible. While this service can't guarantee that a property won't be the target of crime, police presence will create a deterrent and provide residents quick notification of suspicious activity.

"We’re really happy with the response," Chief Matt Carmichael said. "That's almost 300 student homes being looked after and almost 300 students who could have a more relaxing break because they knew that police would be in their neighborhood and checking their home every day."

Also, as during winter break, members of the Eugene Police Crime Prevention Team and the volunteer Senior Patrol Team will patrol neighborhoods surrounding campus during weekdays, including the Commons and Kinsrow areas. Both teams use marked vehicles to increase visibility and deter crime; they'll also park marked vehicles in neighborhoods as an ongoing deterrent.

People leaving residences for spring break should follow the basic guidelines to secure doors and windows, close window coverings, suspend mail and other deliveries, and if possible set lights on timers.

As always, past crimes or suspicious activity should be reported to police as soon as possible. Call 911 for emergencies or crimes in progress. For issues off campus, call the Eugene Police Department nonemergency line at 541-682-5111. For issues on campus, call UOPD at 541-346-2919.

Finally: It may be getting lighter as spring approaches, but campus community members should still use the many safety resources to get home safely, like the UO’s ride programs, local buses, lighted paths through campus or ride-hailing businesses. Use the free, official UOregon Mobile App, available on the iTunes store and Google Play, to see all the options. The built-in map features are also the best way for students to quickly find their spring term classes.