MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Christmas is right around the corner and even as coronavirus cases surge, thousands of shoppers are expected to hit the stores on Black Friday next week.

At Dadeland Shopping Mall in Kendall, officers kicked off their annual ‘holiday crime’ initiative and detailed what the department is doing to keep shoppers safe, and healthy.

“Today, we are kicking off the Miami-Dade police department’s holiday initiative. During this initiative, uniformed, and undercover officers will conduct surveillance and high visibility patrols throughout our community. Focusing in and around major malls and shopping centers,” said Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo Ramirez.

Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo Ramirez says, “While the primary focus is on safety, that also includes the enforcement of social distancing, and health guidelines in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus.”

“This year we have the added responsibility to social distance, and to wear our face coverings when shopping. Remember, it takes all of us, to help keep us all safe and healthy.”

Officers are making the message clear to everyone planning on heading to the stores: “If you see something, say something.”

“Always remember, remain aware of your surroundings, park in well-lit areas, remember to lock it or lose it, do not leave gifts or valuables visible in your vehicles. Call the police if you see suspicious activity. Maintain your COVID-19 precautions, and connect with the Miami-Dade Police Department’s social media team for any updates.”

Along with the Miami-Dade Police Department, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava also took the time to remind residents to find a safe way to celebrate the holidays with loved ones and stop infection rates from rising.

“It’s critical that we celebrate safely during this holiday season. So, finding the ways we can enjoy the family and the friends this holiday season while protecting ourselves and our loved ones. That is really a critical part of this holiday season,” said Levine Cava.

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“The only way to secure our economy is to protect our health. So, it is on each and every single one of us to take the important precautions that we all know by now. No secret what we need to do.”

Officers say they believe the added security will help keep shoppers safe and alleviate some of the holiday shopping stress amid the pandemic.

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