MARANA, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Marana Police Department is taking a proactive approach to preventing potential holiday crimes by increasing patrols.
According to Sgt. Chris Warren of MPD, officers who are typically behind a desk or working an administrative job are scheduled to join "holiday patrols" for the week leading up to Christmas and New Year's Eve.
Officer Kevin Litten, who oversees the department's Explorers program and community relations, said he spends 90 percent of his day behind a desk. This week, he is out on the streets with everyone else.
"This makes me happy coming out to do patrol work," Litten said. "This is where my heart is at. It's what I love to do."
While the population of Marana continues to grow, Warren said MPD has kept crimes like larceny and shoplifting from rising. Litten said he is sure that the department's increased presence this time of year is part of the reason why.
"I really believe that if we weren't here, that we would see a massive increase in crime," he said.
John Maxey, who was out shopping Tuesday night, said he agrees that the additional officers are needed around the holidays.
"I'm thankful that they're out there," Maxey said. "I feel safer for my wife and my kids."
Darrell Chrisman, who was also shopping Tuesday night, said he noticed the extra police cars around the parking lot.
"I think it's pretty awesome," he said. "It makes me feel a lot more comfortable."