Orlando law enforcement kick off holidays with annual safety message

Orlando Police, Orange County Sheriff’s Office are amping up patrols

ORLANDO, Fla. – Law enforcement officials in Orlando are getting ahead of the holiday shopping season and reminding everyone to stay vigilant while buying gifts.

“Operation Safe Holiday” was held at Mall at Millenia Thursday morning with the aim of educating residents, visitors and businesses during the festivities this year.

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“The Orlando Police Department is committed to the safety of everyone in our community. This holiday season is no exception,” Rolón said.

This year, there is set to be increased amount of tourism compared to last.

Police say with less travel restrictions from the pandemic they are starting to see increased crowds.

International travelers are already on their way coming back into the area, which is why Rolón says his department is ready.

“We just need our residents, both residents and tourists, to not hesitate to report suspicious activity if they see it,” said Rolón.

Patrols are set to be amped up in marked and unmarked vehicles, but this was a reminder for shoppers to do their own part in ensuring their safety.

That includes making sure unoccupied vehicles are locked at all times, and keep shopping bags in the trunk, or otherwise out of sight.

“We can’t do it by ourselves, it takes all of us,” said Orange County Sheriff John Mina. “So our shoppers out there, if they see something suspicious, we want them to call 911 and let us know because more than likely there will be a deputy close by.”

As for online shoppers, Orange County says people need to be have a plan set in place before their package arrives.

“Make arrangements with a carrier or a neighbor to pick up the package so a porch pirate doesn’t come up and take your package,” said Mina.

People should also be careful when and how they get rid of packaging, so prospective burglars can’t see what they got for the holidays.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office will once again have six “burglar boxes” around the county, dumpsters where people can dispose of boxes for things like televisions so they aren’t left on the curb.

About the Authors:

Lillian M. Hernández Caraballo joined News 6 in September.

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.