Jacksonville police kick off Holiday Shopping Task Force

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The Jacksonville Police Department’s Holiday Shopping Task force is returning for the 22nd year.

Beginning on Friday, the task force will take a proactive approach to deter crime and keep shoppers safe. The task force is made up of teams of officers on foot, bike and in patrol cars.

Sergeant Paul Ehrler, who leads the Holiday Shopping Task Force, says, “high visibility of the police presence concentrated in and around our major shopping areas is one of the best tactics we have to deter criminal activity. It takes the help of concerned citizens and the cooperation of merchants to make the task force successful.”

The police department is also offering the following tips to shoppers:

  • Park in well-lit areas
  • Shop in groups
  • Conceal packages in trunks
  • Report suspicious people or activities immediately
  • Carry bags or purses in your hands rather than on your shoulder or back
  • Don’t leave purses in shopping carts
  • People carrying cash should be discreet – Don’t flash money when purchasing gifts

Officers are also reminding everyone to be aware of their surroundings when out shopping.

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