Capt. Mike Kline, commander of the Mount Vernon District Station, knows that the holiday season increases crime in and around the shopping centers.
To curb criminal activity, the department will institute several initiatives.
A corps of Auxiliary Police Officers will volunteer for a special detail, stationed in a marked cruiser to patrol the Engleside, Woodlawn, Sacramento and the Hollin Hall Shopping Centers. They will be help in providing police presence and writing parking tickets in the shopping centers parking lots. The officers will pay special attention to handicap parking violations.
Other officers, when not on specific station-directed assignments, will spend time in the shopping centers not being covered by the Neighborhood Patrol Unit. These officers will work on anti-retail theft.
Officers in a marked car will also patrol the shopping centers from Hybla Valley north. Day officers will continue with the neighborhood foot patrols during the week as the children get out of school. On weekends, foot patrols will be done in the shopping centers.
Evening officers will divert their foot patrols from the neighborhoods to the shopping centers during the weeks leading up to the holidays.
Kline also knows that along with increased crime in shopping areas, there will be excessive consumption of alcohol. Kline has asked his midnight shift officers to continue patrolling local bars.
“While this is robbery season it is also the season for excessive celebration,” Kline said. “We will DIP OUT [arrest for drunk in public] all obviously drunk folks for their own safety and the safety of motorists. ‘Obviously drunk’ is defined by me as unable to stand without help, passed out, willfully defiant and obnoxious in the presence of law enforcement while under the influence of intoxicants.”
People should also keep in mind that there will be one or more units whose sole responsibility is DWI enforcement.