The Corpus Christi Police Department has finalized its 2012 Holiday Season Safety Plan. Working with the District Attorney’s Office, the Nueces County Sheriff’s Office, City Traffic Engineering, and the Texas Department of Transportation, the Police Department has developed a plan that will provide for both increased enforcement efforts and improved traffic flow around the busiest shopping areas. This year’s plan once again provides for increased traffic control and police presence in and around the busiest shopping areas, along with enhanced DWI enforcement throughout the city. Beginning November 23rd and continuing through December 31st, officers from several divisions will combine resources to ensure that our citizens enjoy a safe and crime-free holiday season.
Up to 26 additional officers will be redirecting their enforcement and traffic control efforts toward the busiest shopping areas in town. The officers will work staggered shifts beginning as early as 7:00 AM each day to provide additional resources to this area. Among the areas targeted for increased patrol are:
- La Palmera Mall
- Moore Plaza
- Sunrise Mall
- The Promenade (includes Toys-R-Us)
- Gulf Way Shopping Center
- Saratoga Town Center (includes Kohl’s)
- Island Gateway Plaza (Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, Ross Department Store)
- Wal-Marts, Sam’s Club
- Other busy shopping areas and restaurants along SPID
Officers from the Uniform Division, the Enduro Motorcycle Unit, CID, Gang Unit and the Directed Patrol Program will conduct frequent high visibility patrol through the parking lots of these busy shopping areas. Shoplifting, auto burglary, auto theft, purse snatching, and robbery are the most common crimes committed by those who take advantage of busy and sometimes distracted holiday shoppers. Plain clothes Detectives, including those from the Auto Theft Task Force will also be patrolling the parking lots and busy shopping areas, attempting to spot crimes in progress.
In addition to patrolling the parking lots, Auto Theft Task Force officers will deploy their “bait vehicle” in the parking lots of the busiest shopping areas. The “bait vehicle” is a specially equipped vehicle complete with sensors, video cameras, GPS tracking, and a remote ignition switch that allows officers to disable the vehicle if it is stolen or burglarized.
Throughout the holiday shopping season, Traffic officers will direct their efforts toward ensuring a safe and smooth flow of traffic into and out of the malls and other busy shopping areas. Beginning Friday the 23rd, traffic officers will be assigned to provide traffic control and enforcement at the major intersections along SPID, as well as near the entrances and exits to the malls and major shopping centers. Shoppers are urged to monitor the large Texas Department of Transportation message boards located along State Highway 358 (SPID) and State Highway 286 (Crosstown Expressway) for important notices regarding current driving conditions, traffic crashes, and potential alternative routes. The City Traffic Engineering Department will also be deploying at least two portable electronic message boards to communicate important traffic information to the motoring public. In addition, there will be an increased emphasis on the use traffic cones, delineators and similar traffic control devices to help maintain a smooth flow of traffic into and out of busy shopping locations. Drivers are urged to drive alertly and be prepared to follow these devices.
Alternative Routes to Major Shopping Centers
With the increased amount of vehicular traffic around the malls during this time of the year, traffic crashes also typically increase proportionally. Construction on South Staples Street between Williams Drive and Saratoga Boulevard is only expected to exacerbate the problems of traffic congestion and traffic crashes. As a result, shoppers this year are encouraged to take several steps to ensure their shopping trip is accident free:
- Plan ahead.
- Leave early.
- Avoid major thoroughfares and intersections if possible.
- Utilize less traveled alternate routes.
- Watch for construction signs and workers.
- Monitor and follow directions on message boards
- Watch for traffic cones, delineators and other traffic control devices.
- Be especially cautious and look out for Officers directing traffic. Slow down and follow directions.
- Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you.
- Avoid distractions in your vehicle.
- Always wear your safety belts.
- Follow CCPD on Twitter (Corpus Christi Police @CorpusChristiPD)
In addition to the Police Department’s two full time DWI Officers, a State grant reimburses overtime costs to hire an additional 3 officers, allowing the department to place as many five officers at any one time on the street to concentrate solely on DWI enforcement.