The Oak Park Police Department will have more officers in cars, on foot and on bicycles through New Year’s Day to combat crimes that traditionally rise during the holiday season, according to a news release from the village.
“The purpose of this high-visibility initiative is to reduce the crimes of opportunity that unfortunately become more common during the holiday season when people are distracted and perhaps not as aware of their surroundings,” said Oak Park Police Chief Rick C. Tanksley.
Oak Park has a history of an increase in crime during the holidays, most notably theft and impaired driving. Officers have been told to be more active than usual to deter street muggers or thieves taking delivery packages from homes and apartments.
“By having officers on foot and patrolling the streets where criminals are mostly likely to look for opportunity, we will be sending a message that we are on the lookout for the grinches that prey on the innocent who are in the spirit of the season,” said Tanksley.
Not that Tanksley is comparing Oak Park to Whoville, but if any Chicago suburb is representative of Dr. Seuss’ fictional town, the village is certainly a viable candidate.
Around Oak Park recommends the following tips to be safe and stay out of trouble during the holidays:
- Be mindful of any suspicious individuals approaching you on the street when you are shopping.
- Track online packages and be quick to get them inside your home or apartment.
- Have fun at holiday parties but designate a driver, or use an Uber or taxi to get home.
- Shop in groups of three or more.