As the holiday shopping season rolls around for another year, the East Montgomery County Improvement District’s (EMCID) Safe Shopper Program kicks off on Saturday, November 10 in an effort to keep residents safe during busier months at shops around East Montgomery County. The EMCID Safe Shopper Program is a joint effort between EMCID and the Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office, who provide the manpower as well as bike and mounted patrols at retail centers in East Montgomery County.
The program, approved by the Board of Directors, pays deputies to provide extra patrols at high-traffic areas in New Caney and Port, r between November 10 and mid-January when shoplifting and burglaries tend to increase due to holiday shopping activity.
“We’ve found the program to be quite beneficial not only for our residents and shoppers as they’re out and about but for businesses as well,” said Frank McCrady, EMCID President and CEO. “When deputies aren’t stopping shoplifters and patrolling parking lots they’re performing building checks, which gives business owners and store managers greater peace of mind that someone is looking out for them.”
When the program began in 2012, extra patrols occurred over a period of 29 days. Deputies that year arrested 26 shoplifters, 36 people for misdemeanors and 12 people for felonies. During a 93-day period last year deputies conducted 6,455 business checks, arrested 25 shoplifters, responded to five vehicle burglaries, wrote 88 citations, issued 302 warnings, made 60 misdemeanor arrests and 71 felony arrests and wrote 95 case reports. This also accounts for eight total bike hours and 16 mounted patrol hours during this time period.
“Since 2012, we have partnered with EMCID to provide more proactive area patrols around our high-traffic commercial shopping districts in East Montgomery County,” said Precinct 4 Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden. “We want our residents and visitors to feel safe, comfortable and know we are here to make sure everyone has a great shopping experience during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.”