More lights will be added to the traditional holiday lights in Anne Arundel County's shopping districts -- the flashing reds of additional police on patrol.
This year, on top of the usual additional undercover patrols, the county will send out uniformed police in marked cruisers with flashing red emergency lights in an attempt to deter crime. Nearly two dozen officers will be reassigned, paid overtime or work their regular hours on the red-light patrol.
Also, officers will work closely with security personnel at malls and shopping centers, monitoring their radio broadcasts.
The increased security will begin tomorrow, nationally the busiest shopping day of the year, and run through Christmas Eve, said Police Chief Robert A. Beck.
"We will continue our usual covert surveillance and activities, but I think this increased presence in the community is a benefit to everyone," he said.
The month of extra patrols is being called Operation SHOP (Strategic Holiday Outreach Patrols).
Officers will cruise shopping centers, malls and other shopping areas.
Targeted areas include the Ritchie and Crain highway shopping corridors in Glen Burnie, and West Street in Annapolis; Annapolis Mall and Maryland City; and convenience stores.
"I think it's going to create a sense of security for the general public," said Capt. Emerson C. Davis, commander of the Northern District station.
"If a criminal rides around Annapolis Mall three times, three times he will see police there.
"He's going to say, 'Every time I turn around there's a cop.' He's going to go somewhere else," Davis said. "If he goes to another mall, he's going to see cops there; if he goes to another shopping center he's going to see cops there."
No cost estimates for the patrols were available.
Pub Date: 11/28/96