The Puyallup Police Department is hosting its ninth Not in Puyallup campaign, aimed to encourage shoppers to be cautions at retail locations and to be aware of those who may attempt to take newfound treasures from the seat of parked cars.
“Our whole purpose is to keep the community safe,” said Lisa Isaacs, the department’s crime prevention coordinator. “We will have an enhanced presence with uniformed and undercover officers.”
The department launched the campaign on Black Friday. Similar to previous years, the goals include to reduce vehicle theft and car prowls in retail shopping areas.
New to the campaign will be the addition of 21 extra DUI emphasis patrols through Dec. 31, according to the department.
“All patrol officers will be on the lookout for impaired drivers,” Isaacs said. “Targeted areas for the DUI emphasis will be around the mall and other shopping zones. We’re hoping to have no DUI collisions during this period.”
Other campaign goals include educating the public about how not to be a victim of car prowl and reducing shoplifting with an enhanced presence of officers who will walk through stores.
“We’re very pleased that we have had no car prowls reported so far,” Isaacs said. “Every time we have done the emphasis, there has been an impressive slowdown of car prowls. We’re very excited about that. We’ve been able to observe and make several arrests concerning those who were inappropriate at the mall. One was a drug arrest.”
Car prowl inspections conducted by the Puyallup Police Department’s Citizens Academy and members of the Puyallup Kiwanis Club and Emerald Ridge High School Key Club will take place at the South Hill Mall. One was held Dec. 7, and a second will be held on Saturday afternoon.
“When we kicked this off nine years ago in 2004, I was here with the department, and we did a major reduction in car prowls,” Isaacs said.
Isaacs was the full-time crime prevention specialist at the department from 1999-2006. After she worked as a crime-free program coordinator for the City of Tacoma, she returned last May to the Puyallup Police Department to be the part-time crime prevention coordinator, funded by a grant. The department hopes the position will transition to full-time, she said.
Isaacs manages the community and education outreach program for the department and is the community liaison. One of Isaacs’ goals is to reactivate the block watch program in the city. She also wants to continue targeted emphasis campaigns throughout the year, not just during the holidays.
Those who have a current block watch or want to start one can call Issacs at 253-841-5531 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Make sure your vehicle is locked and valuables are not easily visible
• If you bring gifts to your car, then resume shopping, make sure to put the gifts in your trunk and park your car in a different place
• Leave no change in your center console
• Remove after-market add-ons to your vehicle such as stereo faceplates and dashboard GPS systems
• Do not leave your cell phone in your vehicle
• Park in well-lit areas, away from shrubs or trees that could hide your vehicle
• Be aware of who is around you
• Call 9-1-1 if you see someone suspicious in the parking lot
“Officers are very attentive to responding to those calls, especially this time of year,” crime prevention coordinator Lisa Isaacs said.