Local law enforcement prepares for shopping crowds

As shoppers prepare to hit the stores on Thanksgiving night and Black Friday, local law enforcement agencies are gearing up to keep them safe.Fultondale Police have set up its Skywatch at the city's main shopping center off Interstate 65. Sgt. Allen Rogers says the tower sits 25 feet tall, and it can zoom in on potential suspects in store parking lots. The department also has a command post on site.Hoover Police Cpt. Jim Coker says the department has an extra dozen officers from last year patrolling the streets. He says the department will also cover the new Chapel Lane extension that leads to Riverchase Galleria and Patton Creek Shopping Centers.Several law enforcement agencies urge shoppers to place valuables and shopping items in car trunks instead of in seats, have car keys ready before exiting stores and be vigilant in parking lots and refrain from texting while walking to cars.