Undercover officers, drones, 12-hour shifts to be part of Salisbury Police plan to fight crime near Holiday shopping areas

Operation Santa Patrol targets criminals in Rowan County

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - According to a press release, in an effort to keep shoppers safe this holiday season in the city, the Salisbury Police Department (SPD) is implementing Operation Santa Patrol – a strategic, crime reduction plan for targeted residential and commercial business areas.

The City of Salisbury has historically experienced a significant increase in its consumer base during the holiday season. The SPD Santa Patrol is designed to utilize a strategic plan of leveraging community partnerships, crime prevention technology, business groups, and SPD strategic deployment of resources to prevent crime. The detail will cover major retail areas such as Walmart, Kohl’s/Belk, Lowe’s and Downtown Salisbury, as well as residential areas where car break-ins have increased.

Ultimately, the goal is a 15% reduction in offenses as compared to the same time frame last year.

“The holidays are a time for everyone to enjoy the opportunity to shop and visit our family and friends in the spirit of the season,” said Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes. “The SPD recognizes our community, the residents and businesses, rely on us to provide service aimed at identifying criminals for arrest as necessary, but more importantly taking steps to prevent them from becoming victims. Santa Patrol is intended to add officers to the areas of greatest concern for criminal activity and increase our presence in those locations. Through our expanding partnership with the Department of Justice and the Public Safety Partnership we have been guided to when and where our patrols should be focused. We expect to provide our community the opportunity to have a holiday free from being a victim by addressing criminal activity quickly as it occurs and, more importantly, preventing victimization.”

The detail will feature 12-hour shifts on seven days of the week, the deployment of drones in public spaces only as a deterrent to crime, bait and decoy vehicles, foot patrols and plain clothes operations as needed.

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