It's busy at Northpark Mall in Ridgeland. Amid the family pictures with Santa and complimentary gift wrapping by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, there's lots of shopping going on.
On Black Friday, Ridgeland Police opened a satellite precinct inside the mall. The officer on duty can respond quickly to a crime, and is availavle to escort shoppers to their cars.
So far, the efforts have worked. "Nothing is being taken out of cars. No reports of auto burglaries from Northpark Mall," says Ridgeland Police Lieutenant John Neal. "Riding through these areas on a daily basis we're seeing our numbers increase with shoppers, so we are asking people to put their guard up a little bit more."
On the other side of County Line Road, Jackson Police have been visible in the busy parking lots. Operation SafeShop began in early November, and will run through December. "It's comprised of 28 officers who patrol city-wide shopping stores. They have on their blue lights to deter any criminal element that might present itself," says Jackson Police spokesperson Colendula Green.
Shoppers appreciate it. "It's been pretty good so far this side of town," says Toys R Us shopper Carrie Tyler of Ridgeland.
Carrie takes proactive measures to stay safe. She keeps her back seat clear of her purchases, and "I try to leave everything at home," she says. "Everything in my pocket, nothing in my purse. I try to come prepared."
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