'Operation Safe Holiday' Helps Protect Local Businesses During Holidays

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Decatur County, GA- Between now and the new year, store owners in Bainbridge could get a surprise visit by Decatur County Sheriff's Deputies.

"We meet the clerks, we get out there and talk to them and spend a little bit more time in the store and usually shut down most of the stores at closing," said Captain Chip Nix with the Decatur County Sheriff's Office.

It's all part of 'Operation Safe Holiday.' It's a program created by Sheriff Wiley Griffin to help curb crime during the busiest time of the year.

"Rather than just riding by the stores, stop in and say hey; exchange business cards with them, find out their name and tell them our name and be more of a presence," explained Sheriff Griffin.

Store owners say they welcome the beefed-up patrols.

"It makes me more comfortable as a business owner, you know, especially if I know it's being patrolled on a regular basis, during that time because our economy like it is, people are kind of down right now so it spurs on a lot of mischief," said Brian Parker, owner of Parker Paint.

"It really makes us feel good that we have cops up and down the streets, very visible, they make regular stops by and a lot of them come in and ask us how we're doing," said Banks Miller, owner of Southern Trading Company.

Sheriff's Deputies hope these new relationships will last well beyond the holiday shopping season.

The goal for 'Operation Safe Holiday' is to visit more than 200 businesses over the next few weeks.

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