SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — This week’s ‘On the Lookout’ roundup is to remind Central New Yorkers to remain safe during the week of Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Staying safe at bars the night before Thanksgiving

The night before Thanksgiving is popular for friends to meet up, college buddies to get together, and a night to fill up on fun before the big feast. For Syracuse Police, safety is on the menu, especially in Armory Square. 

“It’s almost turned into one of the most popular drinking holidays of the year, we obviously want people to be safe and have fun,” says Syracuse Police Department Lt. Matt Malinowski. “You’ll see officers patrolling in cars, standing on street corners and responding if there are any incidents down in the Armory.”

Lt. Malinowski says he doesn’t want anyone getting paranoid but common-sense safety can go a long way.

Staying safe while Black Friday shopping

Once shoppers make their way to the mall after their Thanksgiving feast, they should expect to see police there. The police presence is to ease any safety concerns shoppers have as concerns were amplified after a string of high-profile crimes at Destiny USA.

This year we’re going to be beefing up our police patrols, so we’ll have a lot more officers, especially on Black Friday. We also have an interior patrol and an exterior patrol, so you’ll see marked police cars driving in the parking lots. In addition to what we’re doing, obviously, security has a greater presence, physically, at the doors.

Syracuse Police Department Lt. Malinowski

Another way that police are increasing their safety measures is by enforcing the ‘Minors at the Mall Policy.’ This means everyone 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult.   

You might be asking yourself, “what do I need to do to make sure I stay safe?” Malinowski says to keep a hold of your bags and phone.

“We’ve had cases where people spend all this money on presents, walked away from a bag and then it’s gone. So again, it’s unfortunate, but don’t be the one to get something stolen from you, so making sure you’re holding onto the bag, not leaving your phone around,” says Lt. Malinowski.

It’s something that happens every year. You’re out shopping for gifts and thieves are shopping for victims.

This holiday season, police encourage you to lighten up on alcohol and gas since they will be on the lookout for drivers who speed or take the wheel under the influence.