Police patrol mall area and share safety message

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Reporter - Robert Bradfield
Photographer - Michael Bradford

PADUCAH -- People flocked to the Kentucky Oaks Mall area in Paducah for Black Friday. However, Paducah Police say the crowds were not as big as last year. They credit that to stores that opened in Thanksgiving, giving shoppers the option to start a day early.

Crowds this evening are pretty steady. However, there has not been the normal early swarm of crowds as in years past. Police officers are patrolling the parking lots and are saying the same thing, and it's making their jobs a little easier.

Patrolling the mall on Black Fridayi s a job in itself. Paducah Police Sergeant George Johnson is one of five circling the parking lot, and he is staying busy.

"People falling, locked out of cars, minor thefts, lost vehicles, medical problems... Hard to keep up with sometimes," Johnson said.

But this year, Johnson says the crowds are smaller. He says the stores that opened yesterday may have kept your typical Black Friday shoppers at home today.

Mall workers noticed that trend, too. Kelsey Kincaid says this year's Black Friday sales already surpassed last year. She opened last night for the first time ever on Thanksgiving.

"It's more spread out as opposed to being slammed all at once at midnight, "Kincaid said.

Back outside, Johnson keeps a close eye on common violations. Failing to yield to the right of way and misusing handicap spaces are big this year. He says the best ways to not get a ticket are to obey the law and don't act suspiciously.

Johnson says there were a few incidents today, including a couple fender-benders and thefts. However, it has been pretty smooth for the most part. The Kentucky Oaks Mall will remain open until 10 p.m. tonight.

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