As shoppers hit Mt. Juliet’s retail areas this week, additional police officers will also be hitting the streets and parking lots to ensure their presence is known as part of Operation Safe Shopper.
“Mt. Juliet remains one of the safest shopping destinations in Middle Tennessee,” said police Chief James Hambrick. “We want to ensure visitors have a safe, positive experience while visiting our city.”
Operation Safe Shopper begins Thanksgiving afternoon, and more officers will patrol the retail areas in Mt. Juliet. The enhanced-visibility initiative was created in 2010 to help deter crime, increase response times and alleviate traffic congestion during the busy holiday shopping season.
With Operation Safe Shopper, Mt. Juliet police increased its patrol zones from four to five. The additional zone includes the Interstate 40 retail developments. Members of the department will be patrolling in marked and undercover vehicles, on foot and on bicycles to raise law enforcement visibility and promptly respond to calls for service in the shopping centers, as well as surrounding areas.
Operation Safe Shopper will run from Thursday through Dec. 31. Since the first initiative in 2010, Mt. Juliet police have not experienced major theft nor violent crime in its retail areas while Operation Safe Shopper was underway.
Police offer the following holiday shopping safety tips:
• stay alert and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
• park in well-lit 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
• when walking to a vehicle, look prepared by having keys in hand, purse and other packages close to you, and always be aware of surroundings.
• if you see suspicious people or activity, go back into the store or to a populated area and contact the police immediately.