By: Kara Duffy
November 26, 2013
Decatur County, GA - Next time you enter a business or store in Decatur County, don't be surprised if you're greeted by a sheriff's deputy.
Over the next few weeks, they will be making daily stops to more than 200 local business.
It's all part of their annual "Operation Safe Holiday."
"It gives us a chance to go into the convenience stores and the businesses around town to introduce ourselves as the deputies and tell them, 'hey, we are here for ya'll, even throughout the year, we're here for you,'" said Sergeant Jason Williams with the Decatur County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies say they'll be making visits everywhere from gas stations, to dentist offices and banks.
"A lot of times we close stores at night, especially our connivence stores or our stores that can do a lot business," Williams added. "We're there for them to close and if they want us to walk them to their cars, we do that for them."
Jessica Banks is an employee at 'Junior Mall Grocers' in Decatur County. Banks is the mother of two young children and is expecting her third child soon. She says the extra help from officers, especially late at night, means a lot to her.
"When they're here at 12 o'clock, it's a big help, because it's dark out there and you don't know who's out there or who's watching."
Deputies say by the time "Operation Safe Holiday" ends after the New Year, each business owner will have met every deputy in the office, at least once.
"Operation Safe Holiday" was created by Decatur County Sheriff Wiley Griffin in 2005.
Deputies say since then, they've seen a major drop in holiday crime.