Alabaster police increasing presence at Promenade for holiday season

Published 8:48 am Tuesday, December 7, 2021

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By EMILY REED | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – As more people are out shopping during the Christmas season, the Alabaster Police Department has increased its presence at the Propst Promenade and the South Promenade to ensure the safety of everyone.

“We just want everyone to be safe as they shop for the holidays,” APD detective Josh Rauch said. “There are a lot of people out shopping this year.”

Rauch said the department increased the police presence for 2021 by 300-percent, an increase from 2020.

“We have more officers in the stores, we have officers patrolling the parking areas, and we have undercover officers who are out,” Rauch said. “Last year, we didn’t have as many officers, but this year we are almost fully-staffed.”

Rauch said while criminal activity overall is usually rare in Alabaster, shoppers are encouraged to report any suspicious people or activity to law enforcement as soon as possible.

Other tips to ensure a safe shopping experience this holiday season include:

-Always lock car doors and make sure all windows are rolled up. Rauch said many calls are from individuals who have had items stolen from their car that was not locked, or had windows rolled down.

-Be aware of your surroundings when shopping in the area. Reduce distractions, such as using a cell phone, while walking to your car.

-Always park in a well-lit area and try to shop in pairs.

-When shopping, always make sure purses and wallets are secure on your person, so it is not easy for someone to take.

-When carrying around cash, try to carry around small amounts.

-Avoid leaving packages, phones, purses, or other valuable items in parked cars while shopping. Rauch said it is best to place these items in the trunk, or where they can be concealed.

-When shopping with children, make sure the children know what to do if they are separated from their parents for any reason.

-If children are allowed to walk through a store independently, always have a designated meetup spot to ensure everyone can find each other easily.

Rauch said oftentimes small children do not know their parents’ first and last names.

“We often get ‘mom’ or ‘dad,’ so it is really important to teach your kids what their parents’ first and last names are, as well as their parents’ telephone number and the address where they live,” Rauch said.