With several stores getting a jump on Black Friday this evening, local police are ready for the onslaught of shoppers.
Stores such as Sears, Roebuck and Co. in the Logan Valley Mall and Toys R Us in the Park Hills Plaza will open their doors to bargain hunters at 8 p.m. while Target in Sierra North Plaza will open at 9 p.m.
Both Logan Township and Allegheny Township police said the influx of shoppers creates problems for them.
"Since the stores started opening earlier, we've had issues every year, significant issues. The lines start at noon on Thanksgiving Day, and people get agitated. We have had disorderly conduct with fighting and people cutting in line. We have had arrests," Logan Township Chief Ron Heller said. "We will have a full complement of officers on duty Thanksgiving Day and Friday. We will just deal with things as we have to."
"We will have extra patrols on duty to deal with any issues, accidents or problems in the stores," said Allegheny Township Chief P. Richard Books. "During the evening shift, we will boost up our patrols when the crowds start to gather."
Allegheny Township heads up security for Target.
"We have increased security both inside and outside of the building," said Randy Hickox, store team leader.
"We try to be highly visible to prevent things from happening," Books said. "We will have a presence inside the store; they contact us every year, and we work with them."
Books said shoppers need to use some common sense.
"Keep your car doors locked, keep your packages out of site or in the trunk and secure your purses the best you can," Books said. "Be nice and remember the holiday season."
Heller agrees: People need to remember it is the holiday season.
"I understand there will be bargains out there, but after that, there will still be bargains," Heller said. "Be calm, patient and respectful of the others and things should work out."