University of Oregon students can again opt in to UOPD’s Vacation Watch program this winter break to have officers do regular patrol checks on their off-campus homes.
UOPD provided the free service for the first time during the 2018-19 academic year, checking in on almost 400 student homes over winter break and spring break combined. Only one home that had been registered was the target of a burglary during those four weeks.
While the free service can't guarantee that a property won't be the target of crime, a regular police presence creates a deterrent and provides residents quick notification if any suspicious activity occurs.
“Last year’s response from students was great, so we’re bringing Vacation Watch back,” said UOPD Chief Matt Carmichael. “We want students to take advantage of this, so they can have a nice relaxing break knowing UOPD will keep watch on their neighborhood.”
Additionally 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 Avenue 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 winter break should follow these basic guidelines: Secure doors and windows, close window coverings, suspend mail and other deliveries and, if possible, and 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.