METAIRIE - The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is stepping up patrols in the parish’s most popular shopping areas for the holiday season.
Beginning on Black Friday, shoppers will see a much higher police presence along Veterans and Clearview Boulevards, Terry Parkway. Barataria and Lapalco Boulevards, and around the Clearview, Lakeside, and Oakwood malls.
"We always bring a holiday patrol, our bureaus, instead of going out doing their normal day to day duties, will work an extra detail to come out and patrol the holiday corridors," says Sheriff Joseph Lopinto with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Joe Lopinto said about 50 deputies from the Special Investigations Bureau and Reserve Division will join the patrols.
Deputies will turn on the emergency lights of their marked vehicles while on patrol in an effort to increase visibility. There's also a mobile command center.
"It gives us the ability to park our vehicles next to it, to have these mobile units that will drive through the parking lots. It gives us the ability to staff people here for a long period of time," says Sheriff Lopinto.
The deputies will supplement existing mall security, with up to 15 deputies patrolling Lakeside on high-traffic days.
Observation towers will also be deployed to give officers a better vantage point over parking lots and surrounding streets.
The JPSO encourages any shopper who sees any suspicious activity to call 911.