Beginning with the Thanksgiving holiday and extending through the first weekend after Christmas, local residents will see an increased presence of police patrols at Conway’s most-shopped areas.

The Conway city council approved the Shop Secure program Tuesday, which allocates $50,000 to the Conway Police Department’s general fund to provide overtime funding for officers working patrol at shopping areas during the holiday season.

Police Chief A.J. Gary said with the allocated money, four additional patrol officers will be able to provide extra patrol during the weekend and the high-shopping times during the week.

"Roughly, we’ll have two officers at the Conway Commons, one at the Conway Towne Center and one in the downtown area, but they will also move around to different areas," Gary said.

"This is something we’ve done the last few years, and at least for the past seven years," he said. "We have a lot more people coming to Conway to shop than we used to, so we try and get additional patrols out."

With the increase in shoppers, Gary said it has become important to make sure extra patrol is in place.

"Unfortunately, there are also people that have less-than-good intentions, and with additional shoppers, the (additional police) presence has an impact," he said. "It helps reassure that Conway is a good and safe place to come shop."

While only four officers will provide the extra-patrol at one time, Gary said the duties will be rotated among various patrol officers.

(Staff writer Lee Hogan can be reached by email at or by phone at 505-1246. Follow Lee Hogan on Twitter at To comment on this and other stories, log on to