You could call it a branch cop shop, but law enforcement officers won't be selling police T-shirts or sunglasses.
The Kansas Highway Patrol has opened a field office inside the commons area of the Tanger Factory Outlet Center, 1035 N. Third. The Lawrence Police Department will soon be using office space right next to the highway patrol.
Law enforcement officers can use the space for filling out reports, making phone calls or storing files. The space can be closed and locked, but officers will interact with the public when using the facility.
For Lawrence police, the branch will augment the current field office at the downtown McDonalds, 911 Mass.
"That's a trend in a lot of areas," said Lt. Terry Maple of the Kansas Highway Patrol. "It's part of putting police back into the community."
Areas with high traffic near highways are especially useful for responding to the public.
"Everybody goes to the mall," Maple said. "They're doing it in several states."
Sonya Woertz-Butler, general manager of Tanger, said the move to house officers at the outlet center increases safety as much as it shows community support for law enforcement.
"They're in and out 24 hours a day," Woertz-Butler said. "If they are there, they are very accessible to the public."