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City police departments offer holiday 'check-ins'

LAWRENCEVILLE -- For many families, Christmas is a time of happy travel to spend the holidays with loved ones.

Unfortunately, burglars know that makes many homes empty, easy targets. Residents served by most Gwinnett County police departments, however, have an extra tool to protect them. Many city police departments offer "vacation checks" during the holidays -- and throughout the year -- to help counteract potential crimes.

Agencies in Duluth, Lawrenceville, Lilburn, Norcross, Snellville and Suwanee all offer the special checks, in which officers periodically stop by residences during their patrols to make sure nothing is out of the ordinary.

"(The service) provides our residents with an additional peace of mind in knowing their property is being looked after while they are away," Norcross police spokesman Capt. Brian Harr said.

Each city has slightly different processes for residents to register for check-ins.

The Duluth (www.duluthpd.com), Lawrenceville (www.lawrencevillepd.com) and Suwanee (www.suwanee.com) police departments all offer registration forms online. Lilburn police also offer registration online at www.cityoflilburn.com, but residents are asked to call 770-921-2211 to set their checks up if they are requesting less than seven days before their departure.

Interested residents in the city limits of Norcross are asked to call 770-448-2111.

Requests with the Snellville Police Department must be made in person at 2315 Wisteria Drive.

These services are offered only to citizens within the limits of their particular city.

"This is by no means a guarantee against a break-in or property damage that may occur," Lilburn Police Chief Bruce Hedley said. "It is merely another set of eyes to guard against the criminal element."