Mt. Juliet, Tenn. – As Mt. Juliet Police has done for a few years, the department is adding additional officers to patrol during the holiday shopping season as shoppers hit Mt. Juliet’s hottest retail areas. Starting on Thanksgiving afternoon, Black Friday, and throughout the shopping season, more police officers will be in and around Mt. Juliet’s Interstate 40 shopping hub in an effort to ensure a safe, enjoyable experience for residents and visitors.
“The extra officers have been very successful in the past, and we have not had any violent or serious crime during the beefed-up patrols,” stated Chief James Hambrick. “It is our goal to ensure that residents and visitors continue to have a safe, crime-free, enjoyable shopping experience in Mt. Juliet.”
As patrols ramp-up in Operation Safe Shopper, officers will be more visible. However, other officers will not be obvious as they patrol in unmarked vehicles, wearing common clothing to blend in. Officers will be focusing on suspicious and unsafe behavior in and around the malls, looking for those who could be trying to take advantage of the distraction that comes with holiday shopping. To increase response time, a fifth patrol zone was activated around the malls. Operation Safe Shopper will run from Thursday, November 27 to Wednesday, December 31, 2014.
Mt. Juliet Police will also be reminding area retailers of the Retail Text Alert program, which is a police-community partnership that provides real-time text alerts about criminal activity to retail staff once an incident occurs. This program has been successful in keeping retailers aware of crimes and suspects before they hit their stores. Retailers interested in receiving the text alerts can contact Cpl. James Christensen at (615) 754-3907 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Operation Safe Shopper began in 2010 as an enhanced-visibility initiative to help deter crime, increase response times, and alleviate traffic congestion during the busy holiday shopping season. Mt. Juliet Police has not experienced major theft or violent crime in its retail areas while Operation Safe Shopper was underway.
Police offer the following holiday shopping safety tips:
Shopper Safety Tips:
- Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Park in well-lighted spaces, lock car doors, and place packages out of sight in the trunk or under seats.
- Do not carry large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card if possible.
- Carry purses close to the body, not dangling by the straps.
- Put wallets in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
- Supervise children at all times. Teach children to go to a police officer or security guard if they get lost or separated.
- Take a holiday inventory. The holidays are a good time to take photos or videos of items in your home
Parking Lot Safety Tips:
- Always be aware of your surroundings.
- If shopping at night, park in well-lit areas.
- Never leave your vehicle unlocked.
- When walking to your vehicle, look prepared by having your keys in your hand, your purse and other packages close to you, and always be aware of what is around you.
- Never leave holiday packages or other valuable items visible inside your vehicle.
- If possible, shop with other and walk in groups. It is safer to have another person with you.
- If you see suspicious people or activity, go back into the store or to a populated area and contact the police immediately.