Jingle Bell Patrols keep holiday shoppers safe - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Police beef up patrols to keep holiday shoppers safe

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Black Friday is officially kicking off the holiday shopping season. It was a busy day at area malls and shopping centers and it seems like shoppers will do anything for a good deal.

"When the mall first unofficially opened at midnight, we had a rush of shoppers. It was incredibly busy for three or four hours," said Paul Baker, Oglethorpe Mall general manager.

With so many extra shoppers, Savannah-Chatham Metro Police are adding a dozen extra officers to protect shoppers and businesses. Officers will have a strong presence at stores, beefing up security to make sure things don't get out of hand.

Known as the Jingle Bell Patrol, it is the department's extra effort to cut down on holiday crime.

"For the holiday season, we ask if any stores are opening early and what there plans are for handling the crowds. Then we plan accordingly," said Cpl. John Simmons, SCMPD.

Cpl. Simmons says overall shoppers kept the peace on Black Friday.

"Overall, things have been pretty mild except maybe a dispute over placement in line, but things have been very nice this year."

In the past, officers have been successful in catching shoplifters and issuing parking and traffic citations.

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