ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The end-of-year holidays can be the happiest time of the year for many and local enforcement agencies are making sure it stays that way. "Law enforcement is going to be out in numbers, we will have covert, as well as overt operations in place," says Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office teaming up with local agencies for Operation Safe Holiday, reminding shoppers and criminals alike, that police will be out in full force this holiday shopping season. Orlando Police Chief John Mina says there is usually an uptick in crime during the holiday shopping season. "Typically during the holiday season -- November, December -- we see a slight increase in robberies, burglaries and those types of crimes, but because of these operations, last year in the city of Orlando we saw a 15 percent decrease in our shopping areas."
Officials say one way to combat crime is an increased police presence in high volume shopping areas, along with shoppers reporting anything suspicious. Locals say they feel safer knowing more police will be on hand. "It's the holiday season, so a lot of people out there are going to be on the look out to take advantage of the consumer but yeah it makes us feel a lot better that's for sure," says shopper Javier Perez.
Chief Mina says you can help out too. "They could also help us by locking up their vehicles, and not leaving unattended packages in the vehicles where criminals can see that."