HPD urges holiday shoppers to be aware

HPD urges holiday shoppers to be aware
Photo credit: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - With one of the busiest shopping days of the year happening this week, Hattiesburg Police are urging the public to be aware and safe while shopping.

Holiday shoppers will be out in droves looking to take advantage of the best deals and loading up for Christmas, so in turn, HPD will have more officers on the streets.

"Every officer works starting the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday as they call it for the shopping, we're going to have the command post out, we'll have officers that will be working extra duty, both Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and then after that we'll have extra officers spread out throughout the city," Hattiesburg Police Lt. Jon Traxler said.

Officers will also be under-cover and are considering using bike patrols.

"Those will be mostly in the shopping areas to help the public be aware," said Traxler. "If they see the public not being aware they're going to alert them, by saying, hey… don't leave your packages out like this, put them in your trunk, be mindful of where you are at and all."

Traxler added that criminals will be out as well, so do your part to protect yourself.

"You are going to have the criminals that are going to be out too, they're going to be looking for that easy target to get to, they gone go by checking door handles things like that, if they see packages in there, they might go ahead and take that chance and break a window and somebody hearing them, but they've got your packages," Traxler said.

Traxler said you can do a few things to make yourself less of a target.

"Put the stuff in your trunk, double check your door handles, don't leave your keys in your vehicle and first and foremost make yourself safe, know where you are headed to before you get to your car, have your keys readily available," Traxler said.

The police department's mobile command will also be out in the Hub City and will move from parking lot to parking lot during the holiday season.

"We've got things within the command post that we will utilize to monitor areas throughout the city, different shopping areas, but also the traffic flow and all, we'll be having assistance with traffic maintenance and all as well," Traxler said. "If you see something and just don't look right or something just don't feel right, give us a call at the police department, give us as much information as possible, so that we can come out and check it out."