SWEETWATER, FLA. (WSVN) - As the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear, Sweetwater Police are intensifying security measures at the Dolphin Mall.

The focus is on ensuring a safe shopping environment amid the hustle and bustle.

“This time of year brings, not only joy and celebration, but also increased demand for security and safety,” said Sweetwater Police Chief Sergio Diez.

While most people are worried about getting the best deals or what to buy for someone special, Sweetwater Police are ramping up patrols at Dolphin Mall.

Officers, both in uniform and plain clothes, will be patrolling on foot, bicycles, motorcycles, and even utilizing the department’s K-9 units.

“Our presence will be highlighted during the holiday season to provide a visible deterrent and a quick response to any potential threats at the Dolphin Mall,” Diez said.

The comprehensive approach aims to deter criminal activity and enhance public safety throughout the busy shopping center.

In addition to traditional patrols, the police department is deploying cutting-edge technology, including drones and license plate readers. These tools enhance the efficiency of law enforcement efforts, providing an extra layer of surveillance and security during this festive season.

Although the increase police presence at the mall is a deterrent, police said shoppers avoid a few things.

“Whatever stuff that you buy inside a store, keep it with you,” Diez said. “Don’t come outside, leave it in your car and then walk in again. That is the number one problem that we have. Also, lock your cars. People actually leave their cars open and it makes it that much easier. What I really want to say here today is if you see something, say something. If you see a crime in progress, call 911.”

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