Mt. Juliet, Tenn. – With the holiday shopping season upon us, Mt. Juliet Police will ramp-up patrols in Mt. Juliet’s retail areas as shoppers hit the stores. More police officers will be concentrated in and around Mt. Juliet’s Interstate 40 shopping hub beginning Thanksgiving afternoon, Black Friday, and throughout the shopping season. The initiative, Operation Safe Shopper, will run from Thursday, November 26 to Thursday, December 31, 2015.
“With the increased visible presence, our main goal is to deter criminal activity. However, I want to give shoppers a comfortable and enjoyable experience at Mt. Juliet’s retail hubs. Our stepped-up enforcement will ensure their visit is more enjoyable,” stated Police Chief James Hambrick. “Criminals should also be aware that arrests will be the preferred response by our officers.”
A fifth patrol zone was activated this week around the malls to increase response time and provide more visible presence. Officers in unmarked vehicles, wearing common clothing to blend-in, will also be conducting undercover enforcement operations throughout the initiative. Officers will be watching for suspicious or unsafe behavior, focusing on those who could be trying to take advantage of the distraction that comes with holiday shopping.
Operation Safe Shopper began in 2010, and Mt. Juliet Police has not experienced major theft or violent crime in the shopping hubs while the initiative was underway.
Police offer the following holiday shopping safety tips:
Shopper Safety Tips:
- Report any suspicious or out-of-place behavior to police, immediately.
- 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.
Retail Text Alert Program:
Available to retail staff, the Retail Text Alert program provides real-time text alerts about criminal activity, mainly shoplifting, 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.