Central Arkansas police stepping up patrols at shopping centers this weekend

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Expect to see extra security at shopping centers this weekend while you are out doing some last minute holiday shopping.

“We are going a little bit above and beyond to keep our shoppers as safe as possible,” Lt. Steven McClanahan said.

Lt. Steven McClanahan with the Little Rock Police Department said officers are working overtime this weekend to patrol shopping centers.

“When you see a marked police car and see you uniform policemen, you are just going to feel safer,” he said.

Officers will mostly be watching parking lots.

“We’re going to run with our cruise lights on. We’ll be in a marked police car. They will be in uniform. So, you should see them driving up and down,” Lt. McClanahan said.

But, it is also important to still keep your guard up.

“Like if you’re walking into a store, pay attention to your surroundings. Keep your bag or your purse over your shoulder because it doesn’t take very long for someone to steal it,” he said.

Of course, as a reminder, if you’re ever out shopping and have a purse or a bag in your car, you want to make sure you put it in a safe spot, like your trunk. 

“If you’re going to do a lot of shopping with a lot of items and you don’t have a lot of space to secure those items, maybe make several trips. Maybe stop by the house if you have that opportunity to drop off those items,” Sgt. Amy Cooper said.

Sgt. Amy Cooper said North Little Rock police are also working overtime to keep shoppers safe in the McCain Mall area. Police towers have been added to parking lots at McCain Mall and the Promenade in Little Rock.

“To observe the parking lot in a very wide open area instead of being on ground level and seeing a few things a few feet away,” Sgt. Cooper said.

Lt. McClanahan said there hasn’t been many problems this holiday season.

“I’ve worked the detail a few times and I think we had some minor shoplifting at one store,” he said.

If you ever have an issue or even see something suspicious while you are shopping, call 911 immediately. An officer is likely to respond within seconds.

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