Increased vigilance key to local holiday safety

By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ

COOKEVILLE – As reports of a “heightened threat environment” are seen on the nightly national news, along with an increase in smash and grab thefts and parade tragedies, local law enforcement is staying increasingly vigilant for any potential threats locally. Special attention is being paid to big events like the 54th Annual Cookeville-Putnam County Christmas Parade set for Monday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.

“We are taking every precaution to monitor and be vigilant in our awareness of something that could or might happen in Cookeville or Putnam County throughout these holidays,” Putnam County Sheriff Eddie Farris said.

Cookeville Police (CPD) Capt. Darin Stout agreed saying, “We’ve always had an abundance of security and safety measures in place because you never know when these things could pop up. That’s always been the practice with our events.”

During the parade, both departments will have extra officers scattered along the parade route. In addition, social media and other sites are scoured for any chatter indicating planned trouble.

“We always have plans in case something happens,” said Farris, who stressed that training helps keep the departments ready for anything that might arise.

Stout said that although there have been several retirements within the department over the last few years, the department remains at normal staffing levels. 

There is also no reason for safety concerns while shopping. Stout shared, “We are in those businesses or parking lots continually throughout the shifts.”

Farris and Stout agree that vigilance is the key to holiday safety, and Stout encourages people to just reach out to the CPD if things don’t look or feel right. 

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