By MADDY VITALE
Sea Isle City Police Chief Tom McQuillen is urging the public to take advantage of two free programs for residents and property owners.
The first, and perhaps most important program, is called “Citizen Call Check.” It allows police to make sure that senior citizens, people with disabilities or people with special needs who live alone are doing well throughout the day.
“That is really a program we want to kick-start. It provides a great peace of mind for loved ones with elderly parents,” McQuillen said in an interview Monday.
Each morning, the person who lives alone is supposed to call the police dispatcher to check in. If police don’t hear from them by noon, a patrol car is sent to the person’s home. Police will then knock on the door.
If there is no answer, police will call the people listed as primary contacts for the person living alone.
To sign up, go to Sea Isle’s website at http://www.sea-isle-city.nj.us/ and click on the “forms” tab at the top right hand corner. Then scroll down to the police department section and click on the “C.C.C. Questionnaire Form.” Forms are turned in at police headquarters at City Hall.
The second program is specifically for homeowners who are going to be away for 21 days or less.
Forms to enroll in the property check program can be found at http://www.sea-isle-city.nj.us/. Click on the “forms” tab, go to the police department section and then click on “Sea Isle City vacant house application.”
McQuillen said the department came up with that timeframe because people are not usually on vacation for longer than three weeks.
When it comes to property checks, he noted that the program doesn’t ensure that something won’t happen. But if it does, police will be right there to give the homeowners a heads-up.
“We can’t assure nothing will happen, but if something does happen, we will get in touch with someone and let you know what is going on,” he added.
While both programs have been in place for a some time, McQuillen said the police department would like to see more people sign up.
“We definitely have interest in the programs. We want people to sign up,” he said.
Second homeowners and renters may also sign up to be notified. For someone who plans to be away for an extended period, they must notify police at least two weeks in advance.
Once a person signs up, police will be able to alert the people who signed up if their pipes freeze or if they inadvertently leave their sliding glass door open.
Both programs are designed to assure residents and property owners that police are keeping watch.