Police step up patrols at Bristol shopping centers for holiday season

(WFSB)

The holiday shopping season begins after Thanksgiving, and in one city, expect to see police out and about as you're getting your gifts.

Police in Bristol say they're stepping up patrols to keep you safe while you’re shopping.

Officers will be deployed to shopping plazas, looking out for thieves in and outside of stores.

“That's going to be their job. We're not taking away from any other safety aspect of the community. These officers are going to be assigned to the shopping places,” said Bristol Mayor Ken Cockayne.

He said the special detail will be intentionally visible and won’t cost taxpayers an extra cent in overtime.

“Having our officers on the street there will hopefully drive more people to Bristol. They'll say, 'hey, Bristol is being proactive, let's do some shopping in Bristol’,’ Cockayne said.

Margie Cameron said she’s happy to hear about the extra security, especially since she’s been pick-pocketed before.

“I had my wallet stolen out of my purse once on Good Friday. I was in the grocery store. I was distracted by other people,” Cameron said. “They were purposely distracting me. Reached right into my bag and pulled out my wallet. Before I got out of the store, they charged $800 worth of stuff.”

Addie Monteleone says the special detail gives her an added sense of security and will try to stay strictly in Bristol when she shops.

“A lot of times, I come at night and I’m always aware of things like that, so it's good if there's an officer in the parking lot,” Monteleone said.

Police say park in well-lit areas, never leave items unattended and always be aware of your surroundings.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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