Have no fear, because as you gear up this holiday season to check those items off your shopping list, you can do it knowing law enforcement is out patrolling area shopping centers to deter crime.

According to a media release, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office will implement their 13th Annual Robbery Prevention Mobilization (RPM) "in an effort to deter crime and assist shoppers in the parking lot at the Prien Lake Mall during the holiday season which will begin November 23 and will continue through December 26, seven days a week from noon until one hour past mall closing".

Deputies, wearing orange Sheriff's Office traffic vests, will patrol the mall parking lot on marked ATV's and patrol cars, as well as manning the CPSO Mobile Command Center located in the front parking lot of the mall on Prien Lake Road. Deputies will be on hand to assist shoppers during evening hours, with help finding their vehicle, jump-starting dead batteries, changing a flat, and walking employees and shoppers to their vehicles after dark, and deputies can provide assistance with.

“The CPSO Robbery Prevention Mobilization has always been instrumental in, not only assisting shoppers with their problems and concerns, but keeping crime to a minimum at a time of year when it is usually on the rise,” says Sheriff Tony Mancuso. “We are very pleased to be able to offer this service to the public.”

CPSO deputies are not hired by the mall and are not there to work security for the mall, they will be there to assist the public during the holiday season. The presence of law enforcement is important in deterring crime in the parking lot, said Kim Myers.

In addition to patrolling the Prien Lake Mall parking lot, deputies will also visit all convenience stores throughout the parish to check if "they are experiencing any problems or if they have any special needs". Deputies will conduct the same service at the Southgate Shopping Center on Ryan Street, the Power Center on Highway 14, and the Target Shopping Center on Prien Lake Road.

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