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Montgomery County Police Urge Residents to 'Shop With a Cop' This Holiday

An increased police presence will provide extra security and pedestrian safety awareness in some of the county's busiest retail centers.

 

Black Friday shoppers might notice an increased police presence in some of the county’s busiest shopping areas.

Beginning Friday through Dec. 23 the Montgomery County Police Department’s annual “Shop With a Cop” campaign will provide extra security in retail areas in all six county police districts.

Officers also will distribute 9,000 reusable bright yellow shopping bags, county police Chief J. Thomas Manger said at a news conference on Tuesday in Rockville Town Square.

The bags have a drawing of a pair of eyes above the slogan “Can you see me now?” and are part of a Montgomery County pedestrian safety campaign also announced Tuesday. 

Shop With a Cop is focused on making drivers aware of increased pedestrian holiday traffic in shopping center parking lots and urban retail districts and reminding shoppers of safety tips so that they don’t become victims of thefts, robberies or other crimes during the holiday shopping season. 

Manger outlined tips, which he called “common sense efforts that we remind people [of] every year to make sure folks are not the victims of crimes.” They are:

  • Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Park in well-lit parking lots and park as close as possible to the mall or store.
  • Lock car doors and keep packages hidden in the trunk or under vehicle seats.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash. Try to pay with checks or credit cards when possible.
  • Don’t carry a large number of packages. Try to periodically store packages in the trunk of your vehicle, and then continue shopping.
  • Carry closed purses as close to the body as possible.
  • Carry a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
  • Walk with confidence and know where you are going.
  • Trust your instincts; if something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person and go toward an open store, restaurant or lighted house.
  • Have car or house keys in hand before reaching the door.
  • If someone does try to rob you, don’t resist. Give up your property—do not endanger your life. Report the crime to police as soon as possible, and try to describe the attacker accurately. Your rapid reporting of the incident may prevent others from becoming victims.

Shoppers can expect to see police officers at some of the county’s busiest shopping areas, including in:

macadoodle November 21, 2012 at 04:24 PM
What a sad commentary. What's the next step? Personal bodyguards? Police escorts into shopping areas? Frisking? And all the while we hear our County Council members and Annapolis legislators crow about MoCo being an crime-free oasis and its quality of life. An Orwellian society, for sure.
jag November 21, 2012 at 04:31 PM
What is wrong with you? How could someone be against this? And what on earth are you babbling about bodyguards and Orwell for? This program is about pedestrian safety, or are you illiterate?
Bastante November 21, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Stay home. Shop online. Save gas, time, frustration.
macadoodle November 21, 2012 at 11:15 PM
@jag. Enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one's opinions and ideas. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute and the right is subject to limitations: libel, slander, obscenity, etc and since my comment violated none of those limitations, sir, it is my right and privilege to exercise my rights under the Constitution. Am tempted to respond to your unwarranted attack in a like manner with insults but will refrain as it is your constitutional right to disagree with my opinion. And we'll leave it at that.
Joe Thomas November 22, 2012 at 04:09 AM
There is no reason that police officers should be providing security for these shopping centers. They should hire their own private security.
1ke November 22, 2012 at 04:50 PM
@Frank, yer boy? Gone but not forgotten. 'You announced a new cyber crime unit because it was becoming a serious problem not only in the count by the country as well. The Shellenberger doesn't even have such a unit. I become a victim, report the crime, call you new cyber crime unit and -we'll get right on it - and then your own people are calling me on how to investigate it. Then I hear Shellenberger tell me it's no crime but I can get a warrant for the suspect. His assistant DA Ms. Slazak says - oh well you choose to be on the internet and this is what you got."'
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