Jonesboro Mayor Harold Copenhaver announced today that he is allocating an additional 1,000 hours in police shifts to patrol populated shopping areas during the remainder of the holiday season.
The purpose is to provide an increased safety presence for holiday shoppers.
The decision is a pre-emptive measure to address the annual national uptick in automobile break-ins and store thefts during this busy time.
“National and local trends always show an uptick in auto break-ins, shoplifting and burglaries this time of year, and I want Jonesboro to do everything we can to stop that on the front end,” Copenhaver said after meeting with JPD Chief Rick Elliott and department leaders during a planning session Monday.
Elliott said the additions should put upward of a dozen more officers in shopping venues at any given time during the day or night.
“We are just trying to be more proactive, and hopefully this will deter bad behavior,” Elliott said.
Tips shoppers should use include not leaving valuables in vehicles, locked or unlocked. Don’t buy more than you can carry, or plan to have a friend or store employee help you get items to your vehicle. And wait until asked before taking out your checkbook or credit card.
“We should not be fearful in Jonesboro,” Copenhaver said. “But we should be aware of our surroundings anywhere.”