Officers keep a watchful eye during the Southern 500

DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - This year, law enforcement will have a greater presence at Darlington Speedway –as they work to protect you.

The biggest crime officers have to watch for is theft. Every year the sheriff's office tells WMBF News while fans are inside enjoying the race, they are watching for thieves are in the parking lots.

"We've got deputies on horseback, we've got them on foot patrol, and we got them on golf carts,"said Chief Deputy Jerry Thompson, Darlington County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Deputies from the Darlington, Chesterfield and Florence counties are out here helping to patrol, along with officers from Darlington, Hartsville and SLED.

"We are here for the people and their equipment and their vehicles, motor homes," said Thompson.

You can minimize your chances of becoming a victim of theft by making sure you hide any valuables and lock your doors.

"We want all the people who come here to Darlington County to enjoy themselves and be safe and we are going to do our best to see to it," said Thompson.

But it's just not thieves officers are looking for.

"What we're looking for is anything illegal, anything from drugs, drinking and driving," said Thompson.

K-9 units including drug-sniffing bomb dogs will also be helping officers keep you safe.

In addition, State Highway Patrol says more troopers have been called in from all over the state to help with crowd control.

"Remember things apply like they always do. We are going to be watching for people who are driving recklessly, who are driving impaired we will have troopers out looking for these drivers and if you make those mistakes you will be dealt with as you always are," said Corporal Sonny Collin, State Highway Patrol.

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