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'Business Watch:' Pine Bluff police hopeful new program will help curb theft in city

With theft at businesses remaining a problem for parts of Pine Bluff, the city is introducing the new 'Business Watch' program to help curb crime.

PINE BLUFF, Ark. — Police in Pine Bluff are actively trying to find ways to curb theft at businesses in the city.

Leaders have even rolled out a new plan to make it happen.

Business owners apart of the program now have the ability to keep a watchful eye out for each other's workplaces and report anything suspicious to police.

Like any place you visit, businesses are the backbone to the city.

"We have a lot of business in Pine Bluff [and] we want business to keep moving in Pine Bluff," Chief of Police Lloyd Franklin Sr. said.

He said the city continues to deal with theft on commercial properties.

"We have, like many other cities, theft [and] we have people openly in the daylight stealing," Franklin said.

But this new initiative could add some extra protection for those business owners.

"We want an alert system where when they see someone hanging around another business, they can call us or make us aware of it and make that business owner aware of it," Franklin said.

One of the benefits to the Business Watch program is that it will really help police pinpoint who is responsible for crime.

This is all with the help of reports from business owners.

"If they talk and they exchange information, they'll find that those [people] are the same people that are doing it in most of the businesses," Franklin said.

As the list of people involved continues to grow, Franklin said the department will also focus on teaching business owners how they can keep themselves and staffers safe.

"[We will] talk to the business about how they can protect their business, the type of locks they can use, the type of lighting that they need to have around their places of business," said Franklin.

A couple of businesses in the city have already signed up.

The Pine Bluff Police Department urges any other owners interested to contact them.

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