The Bossier City Police Department is preparing to send out their Armed Robbery Task Force. The BCPD Armed Robbery Task Force will deploy to businesses and shopping centers throughout Bossier. Their presence helps deter would-be assailants or thieves. Unfortunately, the holiday shopping season means that crime increases in our area.  The BCPD said in a press release "The Bossier City Police Department has utilized its Armed Robbery Task Force each year during the holiday shopping season since 1987. Officers assigned to the Task Force will help ensure that holiday shoppers have a pleasant experience while out filling their Christmas lists."  The BCPD also sent some tips that we can use when we are out shopping. Their number one safety tip is to "stay alert and use common sense. Be aware of your surroundings and never let your guard down." They also said "Scam artists can prey on your holiday spirit. Be wary of strangers who approach you for money. Look out for phone scams, fake charities, and people posing as representatives from legitimate charities. Never give out personal and financial information over the phone. If you decide to give to a charity you are unfamiliar with, do your research."

Here are their other tips:

  1. "Shop with a friend. Leave your purse at home and carry your wallet and keys in a fanny pack or an inside coat or front pants pocket."
  2. "Try not to carry large amounts of cash, and never flash money in public. When possible, use credit cards or checks. If you use an ATM, do so during daylight hours."
  3. "Guard PIN and credit card numbers. If you plan to shop online, use trusted websites and apps. Type in the web address to ensure that you are routed to the correct site. Look for the SSL (secure sockets layer) padlock on the websites you use for added security. Avoid using public, unsecured Wi-Fi to make purchases. Whether shopping in-store or online, view your account statements regularly. If you believe an account has been compromised, contact the card company and/or bank immediately and report it to the police."
  4. " When shopping, try to park as close to the stores as possible, and in a well-lit area. Keep your car windows and doors locked - whether driving or parked."
  5. "Never leave packages in plain view inside the vehicle - store them in the trunk."
  6. "When going out for the evening, consider leaving lights and a radio or television on in your home. Always lock all doors and windows when you leave. Do not display gifts where they can be seen through windows."

The Bossier City Police Department has a Vacation Watch Program which helps residents who are out of town. The BCPD encourages residents to call 741-8605 to register so patrol officers will check on your home every day that you are gone.