FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WNCN) — As you head out for holiday shopping, you might start noticing more police officers.
As the holidays bring plenty of cheer and larger shopping crowds, there’s also been some scary moments for shoppers in recent days.
Now, police departments in the Triangle are responding to safety concerns.
In Fuquay-Varina, police started using steady blue lights to increase their presence and visibility.
“We’re out here in the community and we want to be seen,” said Fuquay-Varina Police Chief Brandon Medina. “We want not only the residents to see us, but people that are maybe participating in criminal activity know that we’re out here in plain view.”
From 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. daily, police will light up their cruisers with just a click of a button.
The move is proactive, to keep Fuquay-Varina a safe town, officials said.
Medina says it comes at no cost to the town or the taxpayers.
While you’re spending money on gifts instead, the chief said you will see a lot more officers out and about.
“You will see a lot more officers in the business areas of both our downtowns, and throughout the town,” he said. “I would ensure that our officers are visible and accessible and out there to make sure that everybody has a safe shopping experience.”
Other police departments in the Triangle are also ramping up patrols for the holidays.
Apex police said they will have more officers in areas with an increase in vehicle and pedestrian traffic, especially around retail stores.
Garner police said they plan to have more officers near shopping centers and residential areas as people go out of town for the holidays, and they plan to increase traffic enforcement on the roads.
Knightdale police said they are increasing visibility in businesses and shopping centers, and they might engage in a social media campaign to provide helpful reminders and tips.
They said a handful of local businesses are also employing off-duty officers for security services.
Chapel Hill police said they increased their patrols downtown earlier this year, and that increase remains in place.
CBS 17 has reached out to other Triangle police departments for their plans.
Throughout the holiday season, police from several departments ask the public to slow down, drive safely and watch out for car break-ins, which they said are more common around the holidays.