CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - If you're out shopping at Prien Lake Mall or another Lake Charles shopping center, don't be alarmed if you see an increased presence of law enforcement.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office will begin its Annual Robbery Prevention Mobilization (RPM) program, in an effort to deter crime and assist shoppers during the holiday season. It's the 14th year the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office has provided this service.
Sheriff's deputies will be at the Prien Lake Mall every day from Friday, Nov. 24 until Monday, Dec. 26. Deputies will be on marked ATVs and patrol cars in the parking lot, as well inside the CPSO Mobile Command Center, located in the mall's front parking lot on Prien Lake Road. During the evening hours, deputies will be wearing orange sheriff's office traffic vests to assist shoppers with such things as helping them find their cars, jump starting cars, changing flats, walking employees and shoppers to their cars, and any other assistance they can provide.
Deputies will also be conducting regular visits to all parish convenience stores to check with store clerks to see if they are experiencing any problems. They will be conducting these same checks at Southgate Shopping Center on Ryan Street and the Power Center on La. 14 in Lake Charles.
"The CPSO Robbery Prevention Mobilization has always been instrumental in, not only assisting shoppers with their problems and concerns, but keeping crime to a minimum at a time of year when it is usually on the rise. We are very pleased to be able to offer this service to the public," said Sheriff Tony Mancuso.
Deputies working this holiday detail are not hired by the mall, nor will they be doing mall security, Mancuso said. The presence of law enforcement is a deterrent to parking lot crimes.