Local police using more taxpayer money for holiday shopping patrols

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by Cory Stark / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on November 14, 2013 at 7:34 AM

Updated Thursday, Nov 14 at 10:27 AM

(KMOV) -- More and more retail stores are opening their doors for Black Friday on Thanksgiving this year, forcing law enforcement to adjust their budgets and use more taxpayer money to provide adequate patrols.

Officials with the Des Peres Police Department say 75 percent of the stores at West County Mall will be opening earlier this year compared to last year for Black Friday.

That means extended hours and more cops, which equals more taxpayer money being spent on overtime.

Most stores at West County Mall are bumping up their opening hours from 12 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday.

“Naturally we are going to have to schedule more people to cover it,” said Capt. Charlie Milano with the Des Peres Police Department.

Milano says officers will now begin their patrols at 7:30 p.m. Thursday around West County Mall.

He says at least an extra $1,000 will be spent this year in overtime compared to last year, more taxpayer money coming out of the department’s operating budget.

“We’ll have extra people assigned to be outside to patrol the parking lot areas to prevent car break-ins and things like that,” Milano said.

The Chesterfield and Hazelwood police departments say no extra money will be spent on overtime during the Black Friday rush.

Those departments will maintain staffing levels they’ve had in previous years.

St. Peters police who patrol Mid-Rivers Mall say they have enough staff to adjust hours instead of using more overtime.

 

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