Police prepare for Black Friday crowds at Premium Outlets - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Police prepare for Black Friday crowds at Premium Outlets

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Black Friday isn't tomorrow but some stores are getting ready to open their doors as early as 8 p.m. Thursday night.

More than 300,000 people are expected over the holiday weekend.

San Marcos police say every year people from Mexico, Dallas, Houston travel to the outlets and their goal is to make sure shoppers stay safe.

Call it a preview of what's to come. San Marcos Premium Outlet's parking lot filled with cars and shoppers walking out with bags of stuff and it's only Wednesday.

While some shoppers plan on coming back for Black Friday, others plan to avoid the even more crowded shops.

"We'll certainly have more than 300,000 people visit the malls," said San Marcos Police Chief Howard Williams.

Chief Williams says their focus will be crowd control. He says they'll shut down the on and off ramp for McCarty Lane to help with traffic. Also, he'll have not only eight of his officers but several others from surrounding law enforcement agencies to help with directing traffic.

"It's not a lot of hard work directing traffic but it's very important that we make sure people are paying attention to pedestrians as they go across not trying to force their way into traffic at those stop signs," said Williams.

On top of that, Williams says firefighters, EMS and a command center will be out there in case there's a crisis. Officers will also be on bicycles skimming through the parking lot. He says they've had very few thefts over the years and they want to keep it that way.

"They'll be doing a lot of asking people to put things away so they are not visible, so they're not tempting for anyone. They'll also look for people looking in the car windows and watching for those kinds of things," said Williams.

With security heightened for a festive crowd expected to be six-times the size of the city of San Marcos, he hopes everyone enjoys their shopping experience.

"We just want people to take their sweet time and make sure everybody is safe and has a good weekend," said Williams.

If you plan to go shopping at the outlets or anywhere else, remember to hide all of your valuables, put your shopping bags in your trunk or in a place where they can't be seen and lock your doors.

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