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Unmarked police cars part of larger presence during holidays
Gainesville Police stepping up patrols in shopping centers
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Some Gainesville Police officers are trading out the classic black-and-white cruisers for unmarked cars around the holiday season.

“We’re taking a more proactive, progressive method to policing,” Gainesville Police Sgt. Kevin Holbrook said.

Police will be using unmarked cars in shopping centers and other highly-populated areas. The practice is already underway, Holbrook said, in hopes to curb seasonal property crimes.

“Around the holidays, we do see an uptick in crimes such as entering autos. Many people are out shopping and enjoying the holidays,” he said. “They tend to have their minds focused on other things.”

Officers are also looking to pass out information and use the time as an educational time for those who may have their minds busied with the holiday rush.

“We’ll be looking for vehicles in which people have items in plain view,” Holbrook said.

In addition to property crimes, the department will be looking to increase its presence in the commercial area and other high-crash areas. Of particular concern will be areas like Dawsonville Highway and the section of E.E. Butler Parkway up through Green Street.

“We’re aggressively looking for distracted driving, speeding, seatbelt usage, texting while driving, those types of things that are contributing factors to these types of crashes,” Holbrook said.

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