West Milton police offer unique safety program for families on vacation


The police department offers a unique program to West Milton residents while they’re on vacation.

If someone is going out of town, the department not only offers the option of having officers drive by the house to check on it while the person is away, like most police departments offer, but West Milton is able to go a step beyond that.

Residents going on vacation can have the West Milton police store their valuables such as guns or jewelry in lockers at the department.

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An officer will write out an inventory of everything stored in the lockers to make sure the person gets all their belongings back once they return from vacation.

The records are only written on paper, never entered electronically, and not kept by the police department. Instead they’re kept until the person returns and the only copy is given back to the owner along with their property.

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West Milton Chief of Police Harry Busse explained the program started because someone was going out of town and asked if it was possible for the department to store his guns. This was right after the department got new lockers and had the old ones that didn’t have a purpose. They decided to offer the locker space to store valuables of anyone going out of town.

Several people have taken advantage of this program since it was established. Busse said that over his career he’s seen countless instances of a house being broken into, and one of the things stolen were guns.

“I understand that not too long ago one of the neighboring towns here had a house broken into and weapons taken,” Busse said.

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He said he views the gun and valuable storage as a form of crime prevention and keeping the guns in the possession of the rightful owners.

Busse also acknowledged that it’s not likely that larger cities would be able to offer this kind of program.

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