F’ville to put more cops at Pavilion
In the wake of several brazen daylight armed robberies and carjackings at the county’s largest shopping center, interim Fayetteville Police Chief Scott Pitts in a May 2 report to the Fayetteville City Council announced his plans to beef up the police presence at the Fayette Pavilion.
Those plans include increased security patrols and the possibility of installing license plate readers and cameras on Pavilion Parkway.
Pitts in the report said the department has developed an action plan to increase police presence that is designed to promote public safety and awareness for shoppers at the Fayette Pavilion.
“This increased presence will also serve as a deterrent for those persons considering the commission of criminal acts in the Fayette Pavilion,” Pitts said. “This plan will be implemented with the understanding that coverage in all other areas of the city must be maintained.”
In what was his first report to council members, Pitts said the patrol division will be increasing security patrols and traffic enforcement at the Pavilion.
“Officers are being directed to increase security checks on the businesses in the Fayette Pavilion and the officers assigned to the department’s traffic management team will also increase their enforcement activities on Pavilion Parkway,” said Pitts. “The patrol division will begin holding some pre-shift briefings in and around Station 92 located on Pavilion Parkway.”
Pitts said the actions outlined will immediately increase the number of officers in the Fayette Pavilion at different times throughout the day.
Pitts during the presentation also said the department will continue to work closely with DDR Corp., property managers of the Fayette Pavilion, to explore options for procuring license plate readers and cameras at the large retail area and having a DDR-funded police officer work off-duty security everyday at the Pavilion.
City Manger Joe Morton on Monday said though cameras are not included in the current budget, the city will determine how they can be funded if DDR gives the go-ahead.
Pitts at the meeting said the police department is committed to supporting the Fayetteville Auxiliary Force and will continue to utilize them in the Fayette Pavilion. He also encouraged all visitors to the retail venue to report any suspicious circumstances, activities or encounters to the police department immediately. An alert public is a critical partner in this effort, he said.
Pitts was appointed interim chief on April 19 after the announced retirement of Chief Steve Heaton.