Alabaster increasing police presence at Promenade
Published 3:23 pm Thursday, November 12, 2015
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – The Alabaster Police Department will increase its presence at the Propst Promenade and the South Promenade shopping center during the Christmas shopping season by about 300 percent, the department announced on Nov. 12.
“Uniformed officers will be present conducting roaming patrols and foot patrols in an effort to ease the minds of shoppers and deter criminal activity,” read an APD statement issued on Nov. 12. “Uniformed officers will be on foot inside and outside of the businesses. We will also have the APD command post stationed in front of Walmart.”
The command center in front of Walmart will be continuously manned by a uniformed officer, and all uniformed officers will be available to assist shoppers who need assistance or have concerns.
“APD will also have non-uniformed officers working during the holidays. These officers will also be conducting roaming and foot patrols,” read the statement. “Non-uniformed officers will be diligently working to curb any criminal activity inside the businesses and in the parking lots.”
While the department typically increases its presence at the popular shopping centers every Christmas season, shopper safety will be even more of a focus in the wake of a Nov. 9 armed robbery in the parking lot of the Propst Promenade, during which a pair of suspects stole a victim’s vehicle.
“While overall rare in Alabaster, there is unfortunately a trend of increasing criminal activity during the Christmas holidays,” Alabaster City Manager George Henry wrote. “APD will be taking a vigorous stance to proactively prevent and address any issues at the Promenade. We value the funding priority our mayor and council place on making sure there are the resources to do our best at keeping these shopping areas as safe as possible.”
The APD has also issued the following safety tips for all holiday shoppers:
– Do not leave packages visible in your car windows.
– Keep all purses and bags zipped and snapped closed.
– Do not flash large amounts of cash when paying for merchandise.
– Do not leave purses, bags, cell phones or any other high dollar items in plain view in your vehicle.
– Make sure to always lock your vehicle and make sure the windows are up when unattended. The number of thefts from locked vehicles in our area is extremely low.
– Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you.
– If shopping with kids, have a plan in case you get separated. For the older children, have a central meeting spot designated. For the younger children teach them to go to a store clerk or police officer if you get separated. Be sure they know your name (not just mommy and daddy), cell phone number and their address. Go over the dangers of strangers with them so they know who not to talk to or follow.
– Double check that you have your credit cards and checkbook after you pay for your items.
– When shopping online, shop with companies you know and trust. Check a company’s background if you’re not familiar with it.
– If possible, try to be sure you, someone from your family or a trusted neighbor is home when a purchase is being delivered.