(Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 6:09 PM
Holiday season shoppers who venture to Target and nearby stores should feel safe since a contingent of volunteer security officers will be watching over them.
The workers, who will be guided by the Ward 3 City Marshal’s Office, will operate seven days a week until the buying season ends.
City Marshal Joey Alcede said the security detail consists of non-paid volunteers.
“Yes, this is free to taxpayers. They will start working Thursday at 8 p.m.,” he said.
Alcede thinks the security detail has done some good since there have been no reported purse snatchings or other strong-arm crimes in the shopping center, 1776 W. Prien Lake Road, since the reserve marshal’s started providing security there.
“This is about giving people peace of mind. Merchants get peace of mind. Our guys have also responded to medical situations as reserve deputies have helped people who got sick,” he said.
The security detail will pay close attention to purse snatching. People who put purses and bags in shopping carts provide easy targets for criminals.
Alcede said the volume of cars and people who visit the shopping center, along with other shopping centers in the southwest portion of the city, create a challenge for the security detail.
In order to oversee the area, the security detail will walk and use other modes of transportation to get around on the property. A mobile unit will also be parked near Target.
Alcede said three to eight reserve marshals will work at any time.
Hours of operation are: 5 a.m. until 11 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Sunday.
Alcede said his agency has about 40 reserve marshals.
“They walk parades and other details throughout the year. All of these people put a lot of hours in and we appreciate them,” he said.