YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Stores aren’t the only entities gearing up for the holiday season. So are city police.

At a press conference Wednesday, Mayor Jamael Tito Brown and police Chief Carl Davis announced special patrols will be out during the holiday season to help cut down on retail thefts and robberies at businesses. The patrols will be a mix of uniformed officers and undercover officers.

“When you see our officers, we encourage you to stop and talk to them and let them know of any concern that you may have,” Davis said.

Mayor Brown said the idea came from a recent meeting he and Davis had with a number of business owners who expressed concerns about increased crime over the holidays.

Brown said while officers will set up their patrols, retailers can take steps on their own.

“Local business owners have to be active and engaged in their own safety plan,” he said.

Chief of Detectives Capt. Jason Simon said nationally, statistics show that robberies and thefts at stores increase during the holiday season so the department wants to be ready for the increase in activity.

Just after 7 p.m. Tuesday, a man walked out of the Family Dollar on Glenwood Avenue with several items. Reports said the man told employees he had a gun but no one ever saw a gun.

Brown said he wants people who may be thinking of doing similar acts to know that they may be picking a store where there is an undercover officer inside. Hopefully, he said, it will make them think twice.

“We want them to understand that may be the very day there is an undercover officer in there,” Brown said.