Thursday , February 22 2024

Police on Horseback Patrol Busy Shopping Centers for Holiday Season

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Fresno police have increased&nbsp;their presence at busy shopping centers as Black Friday officially kicks off the holiday shopping season.<br /><br />Mounted police officers will be patrolling places like Fashion Fair, Manchester Mall and Riverpark until Christmas Day.<br /><br />The mounted patrol gives them another vantage point to deal with the holiday crowds.<br /><br />&quot;Because of the horses, we have a high platform, we’re able to see a lot more, and we can get into some tighter places with the horse,&quot; says Sgt. Mike Palomino with the Fresno Fire Department.<br /><br />On Black Friday, the parking lots were packed and the crowds&nbsp;were out at Riverpark, and that will be the constant scene in the month leading up to Christmas.<br /><br />Alyssa Binion-Luttrell works in retail and knows how hectic the holiday crowds can be.<br /><br />&quot;Actually, it’s the&nbsp;type of hectic that you would necessarily say, ‘Oh I&nbsp;want to go home now,’&quot; Binion-Luttrell said.&nbsp;<br /><br />She appreciated that police are keeping a lookout.<br /><br />&quot;They give us peace of mind that there will be security somewhere just in case anything goes wrong,&quot; Binion-Luttrell said.<br /><br />Police warn that the holiday shopping season can bring in those who are looking to committ crimes of opportunity.&nbsp;<br /><br />Mounted on horseback, police are looking out for suspicious behavior and urging people to be aware of their surroundings.<br /><br />&quot;We don’t usually shop after night,&quot; said Lina Mata, a holiday shopper. &quot;After dark, it’s too hard for us.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Just making sure to keep an eye on the little one and make sure you have everything–your belongings together,&quot; said Tina Kalkowski, another holiday shopper, as a suggestion on&nbsp;keeping safe in the crowds.<br /><br />Being on horseback allows police to manuever through traffic or tight spaces.<br /><br />Bringing out the horses also gives people a reason to approach them, and it&nbsp;gives police an opportunity to interact with the public.</div>

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