Police beef up patrols

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Public safety: Extra officers will hit the streets this season

By Tris DeRoma

Santa’s elves and Baby New Year won’t be the only ones out and about during the holidays; the Los Alamos Police Department will be out there, too.

According to Lt. Scott Mills, the LAPD will boost their patrols now, through New Year’s Eve.

“We’ll be putting extra officers in to increase our enforcement efforts for shoplifting, armed burglary, drunken driving and any other criminal activity that would victimize the citizens of Los Alamos during the holiday season,” Mills said.

The strategy will include beefing up foot and bike patrols in the downtown area, as well as extra officers in different locations throughout the county to help with drunken driving enforcement.

“Wherever officers think they are needed, they will be moving around to keep an eye on what’s going on,” Mills said.

He said there’s also a lot residents can do help the police as well as protect themselves.

“The predators seem to come out in force around this time of year,” Mills said.

With that in mind, Mills said residents should be mindful of what they have lying around in plain sight in their parked cars.

“They tend to target parking lots, so people need to be careful not to leave any packages in their cars because they will break in to get them, purses and any other valuables,” he said.

If you do have to leave packages in your car, Mills said the best thing residents can do is keep them out of sight.

“If you have them covered, the bad guys can recognize that pretty easily,” Mills said. “But if you keep them out of sight, they won’t see anything, so they probably won’t bother breaking into the vehicle; they will just move on to an easier target.”

Also, he said, lock your car. It sounds simple, but Mills said many of the car break-ins police investigate involve cars that had doors left unlocked.

He also said residents need to use common sense when it comes to partying during the holidays. Mills also advised residents that planning ahead of time can keep them out of trouble as well as save lives. “Designated drivers are awesome,” Mills said.

According to Mike Davis, transit manager for Atomic City Transit, the agency offers a “Buzz Bus” during the holiday season, specifically during Halloween, the New Year and St. Patrick’s Day.

Anyone that needs a ride, or friends of people that think their friend needs a ride, can call Atomic City Transit at 661-7433. ACT also sends fliers out to all the area bars and restaurants beforehand, so bartenders and restaurant owners can make arrangements if they think one of their patrons needs a ride home. Residents can also make reservations beforehand through the same number.