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Extra serving of police for holidays

Intoxicated revelers, opportunistic thieves and frazzled shoppers alike should expect to get a heavy serving of beefed-up police patrols at the malls and on the road over the holiday season.

Intoxicated revelers, opportunistic thieves and frazzled shoppers alike should expect to get a heavy serving of beefed-up police patrols at the malls and on the road over the holiday season.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer promised “omnipresent” law enforcement — including police recruit foot and bicycle details — through the end of the year.

A special seven-person DWI unit will attempt to quell the county’s state- leading total of Leandra’s Law arrests. From Dec. 18, 2009 to Aug. 30, 2010, Suffolk County tallied 49 arrests — a dozen more than its number of arrests for drunk drivers with passengers under 16 years old.

“It’s unfortunate that people are not getting the message,” Dormer said, noting that holiday drinking at family events could mean more child passengers. “They’re killers on the highway.”

In Nassau County, authorities are working with popular stores to ensure crowd control on Black
Friday. In 2008, a horde of shoppers fatally trampled a Valley Stream Wal-Mart employee. Detective Vincent Garcia said security is “better organized” than in previous years.

Mounted units and undercover officers will also watch for parking lot thieves preying on preoccupied shoppers. “Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you,” Garcia said, summarizing police suggestions.

Friendly advice

Officer Friendly says:

» Leave your home secure, engage alarms and give the appearance that your home is occupied by leaving the lights on in the most frequently used rooms.
» Always park in well-lit areas. Remove all items, such as radar detectors, laptops or packages and hide them in the trunk, glove compartment, out of sight.
» Avoid parking near vans or other vehicles with covered cargo areas.
» Keep your money and credit cards in your front pocket and try to limit the number of credit cards and cash you’re carrying.
»When returning to your car, never leave the store with your arms full of packages.
»If you’re planning on returning to the store, never leave packages in plain view inside your vehicle.

 
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