Pedal-pushing patrol on duty at stores |

Pedal-pushing patrol on duty at stores

Staff Reports

Holiday shoppers will notice an increase of law enforcement officers in the parking lots of many Douglas County commercial properties this holiday season thanks to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Advisory Council.

The Sheriff’s Advisory Council raised $6,000 for the purchase of four police bicycles and related equipment such as helmets, lights and saddlebags.

“Far more effective than the patrol vehicle for this type of assignment, the four Trek brand Alpha Superlight 24-speed bicycles benefit the officer, allowing for an increase in his or her visual and auditory capabilities as opposed to being seated in a noisy patrol vehicle,” said Sgt. Tom Mezzetta.

The bicycle allows for a quicker response in close quarters as officers can easily move through parked cars or over barriers separating parking lot, he said.

“The bikes may also be deployed during community events or other times when the stealthier mode of transportation would assist law enforcement in the apprehension or observation of criminals,” Mezzetta said Tuesday.

He cautioned holiday shoppers against routinely place purchases in their cars as they move from store to store within a shopping center.

“Thieves are aware of this and often target parked vehicles looking to steal these newly purchased gifts. Shoppers should keep this in mind and when securing these purchases in their automobiles, assume that someone waiting for them to leave their vehicle and purchases unattended is watching them,” Mezzetta said.

Shoppers should never place purchased goods within the interior of their vehicle that can be seen from the outside, he said.

Even items perceived to be of value left visible in the passenger compartment of an automobile might result in the car being broken into resulting in a minimal property theft and a costly repair bill.

“Secure your purchased goods in the trunk of your automobile,” Mezzetta said. “The safest thing to do is to take those purchases home before venturing out to other stores.”

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Advisory Council is a nonprofit organization that raises funds for extraordinary expenses of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. It has funded training items, equipment and services that would not be possible due to budget constraints.

The council is soliciting donations to help fund the purchase of mobile computer terminal units for 35 sheriff’s office vehicles including all patrol, investigations, command and incident support units. The units will allow the officers to tie directly to Douglas County’s comprehensive new public safety software operating system, Mezzetta said.

Contributions are 100 percent deductible and can be made payable to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Advisory Council, PO Box 1002, Minden, NV 89423. For information, contact chairman Carl Malkmus at 782-4931.