CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Safety is a top priority any day of the year for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, and that includes Thanksgiving day. They say although the department runs on smaller, holiday staffing, they always have enough officers available to make sure Charlotte is safe.
Don’t worry though, officers who had to work got a full Thanksgiving meal, enjoyed some pies and got to catch a little bit of the football games as well.
“The police department never closes, we’re always open, we’re always here," said Officer Rita Boric. “It’s better to have enough officers to handle whatever comes out.”
Boric says typically Thanksgiving morning is slow.
“The streets aren’t as busy, there’s not that much traffic," she said.
But when the turkey is gone and the football games are done, she says it becomes a whole other ball game.
“More domestics, a little more noise complaints. Traffic, people getting home after they got the full belly," Boric said.
Just hours later, CMPD responded to a shooting where one person was injured in the Independence Division where Boric works.
Officers on the later shifts gear up for Black Friday as well, one of the busiest shopping days of the year where traffic can be pretty heavy.
“Everyone wants to get out there and get the good deals,” Boric said.
Although CMPD works with less people during Thanksgiving day, the department said they are increasing patrols and utilizing overtime officers to patrol shopping areas for Black Friday.
Police aren’t the only first responders out on the roads. The Huntersville fire department posted on Twitter that in 2017, departments across the country responded to more than 1,600 house fires on Thanksgiving.