ALBANY, Ga. — Calling it "Operation Shock and Awe," Albany Police Department officers will hit the streets in three overlapping 12-hour shifts during the holidays.
"The Uniform Division will be in 'Power Shift Mode,'" said police Capt. Tracey Barnes. "History has shown that crimes pick up, property and personal crimes pick up, in the holidays. We want it to be: You need us — we get there fast."
Plans call for at least 30 cars in the overlapping shifts to cruise the city as a show of force and making traffic and suspicious person stops. Barnes said that number did not include undercover vehicles and supervisors in their vehicles.
Police will be looking for people with outstanding warrants with vigor, said police Deputy Chief Nathaniel Clark. He added, "We want to get them off the street."
Whether in the street or in a shopping center parking lot, police warned that the community must remain on alert.
"Keep your personal space," Barnes said. "Watch out for anyone who walks up to you and asks for a cigarette, a light or to use your cell phone."
Speaking at the last Gang Task Force meeting of the year on Thursday, Barnes said that the operation will be a cooperative effort launched with the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office and school police.
"There is always the possibility that the holiday crime will involve gangs or gang initiations," Barnes said. "The Gang Unit will be involved."
During the holidays, residents sometimes leave home for extended periods. Barnes recommended timers for lights, radios and televisions to give the appearance that the home is occupied.
Both Barnes and Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul strongly advised residents to call their offices and arrange to have their homes checked by patrols. Call APD at (229) 431-2100, the Sheriff's Office at (229) 431-2861 and the Dougherty County Police Department at (229) 430-6600.