In and around stores, law enforcement will have a heavier presence ahead of the Black Friday shopping weekend.
“We have staffed accordingly to expect large crowds and a higher number of calls for service,” Gainesville Police Sgt. Kevin Holbrook said.
Though no specific numbers could be given, Holbrook said more officers than normal will be in the shopping areas particularly around Dawsonville Highway beginning at 6 p.m. today. The police sergeant said the common peak hours on Black Friday are between midnight and 3 a.m., as well as 6-10 a.m.
Because most of the shopping areas fall into other jurisdictions, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office will act to assist other agencies, as well as patrolling the roadways, spokeswoman Deputy Nicole Bailes said.
“Hall County will definitely work to aid those agencies during the busy holiday shopping period,” Bailes wrote in an email. “Additionally, we will have concentrated patrol efforts in our residential areas to deter burglars.”
Gainesville Police have already begun using unmarked cars in commercial areas in an effort to deter entering autos outside of the stores.
“Most of the shopping centers, the retailers and commercial development have hired off-duty officers that will be working at those locations, and those officers will be stationed at those particular stores to assist with crowd control, as well as being proactive for crime deterrence,” Holbrook said.