HANOVER, Md. (WJZ) — Shoppers at Arundel Mills Mall may notice an increased police presence soon.

Amy Yensi takes a closer look at the new police facility inside the mall.

Officials say they’re hoping the presence of this new police station will make criminals think twice before breaking the law.

The newly expanded police station at Arundel Mills Mall opens. The mall’s management says it’s a win for shop owners, customers and the community.

“They are all going to see, and have seen, an increased benefit,” said Gene Condon, Arundel Mills Mall vice president and general manager.

Mall security, police patrolling and community relations all operating in one space.

“All of the stakeholders, all of the partners together in one area,” said Lt. T.J. Smith, Arundel County Police Department.

The expansion includes a permanent presence of police officers patrolling the mall as its own district.

“When something goes on, they’re right here to address the issue,” one shopper said.

The security efforts are happening at a popular mall that has seen crime in the past. From brazen shoplifting to violent robbery to the deadly shooting of two men outside a packed restaurant in 2011.

“And he just started letting off round after round on the AK,” a witness to that incident said.

In February, a gunman opened fire at a customer’s car as they left the mall. Local authorities say the incidents are not reason behind the expansion.

“This expansion has been discussed over the years. Again, we were already on site, on staff. Just like that situation that occurred with that serial shooter, our guys were here and that’s who caught him,” Lt. Smith said.

The enhanced policing is meant to keep people both in and around the mall safe.

In addition to the police station, there are three posts staffed with officers throughout the mall.

Police will work in partnership with the mall and casino security to patrol as much of the area as possible.

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