Expect to see more cops during holiday shopping season | Crime
Shoppers in the City of Sumter can expect to see more police officers on Black Friday, as the Sumter Police Department works to deter crime on the kick off to the busy holiday shopping season. Beginning at 3am on November 25, the department’s Command Staff, Neighborhood Enforcement Team, Traffic Division and others will be out in marked and unmarked vehicles as well as on foot and on bicycles to increase law enforcement visibility and provide prompt response to calls for service in and around the City’s shopping areas. The increased presence will continue through January 1.
"We encourage all motorists to be cautious and courteous during the busy shopping season. Shoppers should place special emphasis on personal safety and avoid becoming complacent with the distractions and excitement the holidays bring. Exercising extra caution can help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a crime. We are committed to protecting our citizens and will devote all available resources to this effort." said Police Chief Russell Roark.
As you enjoy the holiday season, Sumter Police remind you of the following 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 the seat. • 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.
• Avoid carrying an excessive number of packages. Make several trips to the car if necessary.
• Always have your keys in hand when exiting stores and walking to your car. • 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 are lost or separated.
Because traffic also increases around shopping areas during the holidays, police are also advising shoppers to take heed of the following driving tips:
Observe Parking Ordinances and Laws. Do not park in handicap parking areas without a valid and visible handicap placard or license plate. Do not park in areas designated as
Fire Lanes or No Parking Zones.
Stop at red lights. Disregarding a red light can have deadly consequences. Violators who are cited by a police officer for disregarding a red light face a monetary fine as well as a loss of four points on their driving record.
Watch for pedestrians. Maintain a safe speed in parking lots and be on the lookout for shoppers exiting vehicles and walking to stores.
Be patient. Holiday shopping increases the number of motorists and pedestrians. A little holiday cheer will go a long way toward safety.