Gainesville Police Department: Have fun, but stay safe while holiday shopping

By B.J. Williams/Video: Seth Chapman
Posted 9:00AM on Thursday 28th November 2019 ( 8 months ago )

In the excitement of holiday shopping, it's easy to put safety on the back burner, but the Gainesville Police Department is hoping shoppers will take some precautions to protect themselves and their possessions this season.

Officer Nick Smith, who works with the department's Community Relations Division, said they've been planning for weeks how to make sure the travel and shopping experience in Gainesville will be good for the community. He said they'll have increased presence in the busiest areas, such as the Dawsonville Highway business corridor. 

"We try to do a lot of extra patrols through these parking lots. We just want to make sure people's property and their vehicles are safe, so they can come in and have a good shopping experience," Smith said. "We're [also] out on the road more trying to do traffic enforcement...there are a lot of vehicles out on the road, so safety on the road is paramount...that's our priority during this week."

Smith said even though extra police patrols will be active in Gainesville's busier shopping corridors, shoppers need to take personal responsibility for safety, as well.

Smith said there are several steps shoppers can take to ensure safety:

Smith said shopping in Gainesville is safer than in the metro Atlanta area, and while shoplifting and entering autos cases are not uncommon, the additional holiday patrols in years past have helped to minimize the problem. 

Gainesville police officers will set up additions patrols in shopping areas in the city on Black Friday and throughout the holiday season. (Photo: Seth Chapman)

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