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Northern Virginia law enforcement agencies ramp up police presence for Halloween weekend

Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said his department had received information about "potential public safety impacts" to malls and shopping centers.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Law enforcement agencies across the Northern Virginia region are ramping up patrols ahead of Halloween weekend after a potential threat of violence in the Northern Virginia area.

The Fairfax County Police Department, Arlington County Police Department, Prince William County Police Department, Alexandria Police Department, Metropolitan Police Department, and Loudoun County Sheriff's Office have said they are increasing police presence around malls, shopping centers, and other areas where people congregate ahead of the holiday weekend. 

"The Prince William County Police Department (PWCPD) is aware of information circulating regarding a potential threat of violence in the Northern Virginia area. While we have not received any credible information of a threat, we do ask our community to remain vigilant while we continue working with our law enforcement partners to ensure everyone remains safe," a PWCPD statement reads.

In a press conference Friday, Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis also discussed the potential threat and said the department had received information of a potential public safety impact to malls and shopping centers across the region.

Davis said police are working to corroborate the information, and out of an abundance of caution, multiple agencies will increase police presence at shopping plazas and shopping malls over the weekend.

“Yesterday we received information concerning potential public safety impacts to malls and shopping centers across the region," Davis said. "You all know we take any and all information very seriously and as we work to corroborate it we have increased our police presence throughout the county to include major thoroughfares, shopping plazas, and shopping malls.”

Davis would not elaborate on the nature of the information received but encouraged the public to remain vigilant. Davis said the increased police presence is similar to when patrols are increased around other holidays, such as the 4th of July or Christmas.

Davis said his department will remain "hypervigilant" over the Halloween weekend. 

"We are simply being proactive," Davis said.

Anyone who sees anything suspicious is asked to call their local police department's non-emergency number or dial 911.

None of the law enforcement agencies have released any information about what the potential threat may be or where it was allegedly made.

In all of the law enforcement issued statements, it said the agencies are aware of information regarding potential threats to malls and shopping centers in the region this weekend,  that information is limited, and there is nothing specific to those areas but they will also be increasing patrols over the weekend.

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