SAVANNAH, GA. (October 29, 2014): Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department taking steps to address the annual rise in crime during the holiday season by reactivating its yearly amplification of patrols in areas where shoppers are most vulnerable.

Through a special assignment known as “Jingle Bell Patrol,” additional officers are placed on busy streets, in commercial parking lots and around high traffic retail zones in search of thieves who would break into cars, rob shoppers or increase shoplifting. In past years, “Jingle Bell Patrols” helped reduce holiday season crime.

“This is an effort to keep crime at bay during the holiday season,” said Police Chief Julie Tolbert. “Crime tends to pick-up at this time year; but increased officer visibility will make criminals think twice before acting.”

Patrol officers from all five precincts have been assigned overtime hours to police areas where thieves are most prone to act, along with plain clothes detectives, crime suppression units, canine officers, and mounted patrol.

Each Metro precinct is expected to activate its “Jingle Bell Patrol,” by Nov. 24.  The patrols will intensify as the holidays near.

Police ask the public to support these efforts by taking personal precautions, to include: shopping in groups, parking in well-lit areas, securing packages in trunks and reporting suspicious activities to police immediately. Also, police ask shoppers to be aware of their surroundings at all times, lock their cars and hide all valuables.

For more holiday safety tips, visit scmpd.org.