With holiday shopping season here, some police departments are making changes to keep shoppers safe.
The Dayton Mall is such a popular stop for shoppers that it can easily draw crowds that triple Miami Township’s population during business hours between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
All those crowds means there’s extra police attention.
“The Greene, Fairfield, Dayton Mall, those three places,” said Tipp City’s Barbara Calhoun on where she does her holiday shopping.
And she isn’t alone.
The Dayton Mall can attract 90,000 people during peak hours this time of year.
Starting Thanksgiving Day, Miami Twp. police are doubling their staffing during peak business hours.
They’ll have officers on overtime handling traffic around the mall and Austin Landing.
“You have your theft offenses that happen at retail, not to mention the car crashes due to more automobile traffic in our area,” said Miami Twp. Police Capt. Charlie Stiegelmeyer.
There will also be extra police in uniform and on foot patrol inside the mall.
At The Greene and The Mall at Fairfield Commons, Beavercreek police have extra officers on duty and they’re encouraged to conduct extra patrols in high-traffic areas.
Retailers there pay for the overtime shifts.
Kettering police make extra checks at Town and Country Shopping Center and other places like Kroger and Meijer.
“It’s wonderful,” said Calhoun. “We need it really, really bad. It makes customers feel safer.”
Talk to police and they’ll tell you that’s the goal.
“We want to do two things, make sure the shopping experience is safe and pleasant for everyone who comes to the township and then we want to also make sure the level of service that our residents expect is maintained during this period of time as well,” said Stiegelmeyer.