WCSO Offering Free Home and Business Security Checks

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In 2013, the Walton County Sheriff's office responded to 279 vehicle burglaries, 283 residential burglaries and 54 business burglaries.

In many cases, the owner didn't lock their doors, or they were absent for an extended period of time.

So the Walton County Sheriff's office is now offering free security checks on homes and businesses when the owner plans to be gone for at least two weeks.

The program includes tips for the owners.

"Has the mail stopped, has the newspaper stopped, are there pets at home, is there anyone that has access, are you going to have lights on,” said Catherine Rodriguez, Public Information Officer for the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff's deputies will also respond to activated security alarms.

"The deputy has information on a sheet, and they will do a perimeter check,” said Rodriguez. “If a business owner or resident owner has any questions they can certainly call that deputy back and get more information."

But even the security system companies say residents have to take some steps on their own, like locking their doors.

Especially those who are part-time residents.

"We do have a lot of second home owners here,” said Larry Harris, Owner of the Okaloosa-Walton Security and Surveillance Company. “They can call us and check on their alarm if they have a problem and we can get access to the house."

Harris says a lot of people now have security camera systems that they can view remotely on their mobile device.

To receive the free security checks, just contact the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.