MPD ramps up security to ensure shopper safety

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Thousands of shoppers are hitting local stores around Meridian looking for the best deals for the holiday season.

Sergeant Dareall Thompson says Meridian Police will do their part to make shoppers feel safe. MPD has deployed extra patrols around Meridian's busiest shopping areas to help curb crime and create a safe haven for shoppers.

Last week's shooting at Bonita Lakes Mall raised a number of concerns for patrons, but some are unfazed.

"I feel fine. I guess all over our country there's things going on, but we still have to live our lives and go on," said local shopper Philip Chisolm.

We spoke with local bargain hunters at the Crossroads Shopping Center and asked them how the feel about their level of safety while out shopping.

"Well I feel safer coming in this area than I do at the mall, but I'll still go to the mall," said Gloria Campbell.

Campbell's rule of thumb is to always bring someone along for the trip, and if she has valuables, she'll always lock them in the trunk.

"My son doesn't like for me to be out by myself and my husband doesn't, so when I come over to Meridian I have to try to bring somebody over with me now because of so much violence that's going on," said Campbell.

Sergeant Thompson says the community should expect all sorts of officers roaming the parking lots of your favorite stores. Many will be visible, others may be discrete.

"I don't come out here very often but I don't have any issues coming around here. It's always relatively quiet coming out into the parking lot here and I never felt unsafe," said Kerry McInnerney.

McInnerney offered this piece of advice for people expecting to take advantage of these holiday deals.

"You never know what could happen wherever you go, but you can't live in fear of everything," said McInnerney.

If you notice any type of suspicious activity while out shopping, you're urged to call the police.