"Operation Summer Heat" targets events in Henrico County - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

"Operation Summer Heat" targets events in Henrico County

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

Summer months can mean an increase in crime. But Henrico Police hope their newest initiative, dubbed "Operation Summer Heat," will stop criminals before they can break the law.

This is the first time Henrico Police have put together an operation that focuses on preventing crimes at events like soccer and softball tournaments and small music venues. You can expect to see more police officers to ensure you're having a good and safe time.

Sports tournaments in Henrico County attract large crowds, most of the event goers are families. But Police say some people become complacent in large group settings, making it easy for criminals.

"I think one thing that's really prevalent is larcenies from autos," said Lt. Mark Banks.

But now, Henrico Police are launching "Operation Summer Heat." The goal is to prevent crime before it happens and make sure people, especially visitors, feel safe.

"We want to make sure we're more visible, more available," Lt. Banks said.

Being more available also means talking to people about some of the issues in their neighborhood.

"I know there have been certain parents that have complained to me that they have seen suspicious activity," said Tasha Dixon who lives in Henrico. "Adults that are in the park in the early and they're just loitering."

People we spoke to say they like the idea of having more uniforms in the crowd.

"I definitely think it's great and gives us reassurance as parents to know that you can bring your children and not have to fear something is happening," Dixon said.

 Police say they will not take officers off their regular beat to help in this operation.

"Especially with kids around we want the police there and I think it's also great for the kids to see the police in a positive role," said Brett Welch who lives in Henrico County.

For the most part-, police say crime is not a huge problem at these events. But it's never too early to turn up the heat when it comes to prevention.

Operation Summer Heat will last until September 1st. Police are also hosting a Community Day on August 2. It starts at 10 a.m. the Government Center on East Parham Road. 

There will be a job fair, information how to prevent crime where you live and events for children.

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