Shreveport and Bossier City police have special details in place for the busy holiday shopping season. 

In Shreveport, it's the Armed Robbery Intervention Unit.  Corporal Marcus Hines tells KEEL News it's only been deployed for the past two years, but the department has seen significant results from it.

"I know last year, it was very successful.  Plenty of arrests made," Corp. Hines says.  "We've seen a 7%decrease in overall robberies compared to this time last year.  So I believe the tactics that we've used in years past have been effective."

Hines says there will be additional officers patrolling the streets throughout the holidays, some in plain clothes and some more visible.  And they'll be mainly targeting retail businesses and convenience stores, where traffic is the heaviest during this time of the year.

Bossier City police also have their Armed Robbery Task Force, which aims to deter business hold-ups and other crimes during the holiday shopping season.  Officers assigned to the Task Force will begin patrolling businesses and shopping centers on the day after Thanksgiving and will continue through the end of the year.

This holiday season will mark the 27th consecutive year that the BCPD has utilized the Task Force.  "All they're doing is patrolling retail stores, convenience stores, being a visual presence during the holiday season," says City Spokesman Mark Natale.  "That's to not only deter armed robberies, but other crimes."

The Task Force keeps criminals guessing whether a business they intend to target will have a Bossier City police officer inside or close by and ready to respond.  The Bossier City Police Department began utilizing its Armed Robbery Task Force for the holiday shopping season in 1987.  It's funded each year by a grant from the United States Justice Department.

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