The holiday season means criminals will be in full force and that's why the Roanoke City Police Department is prepping downtown business owners through the Citizens Police Business Academy.

The class is part of a new initiative by the police department.

Wednesday’s class covered a number of topics ranging from how to spot a shoplifter to how to be a good witness to a crime.

A handful of downtown business owners showed up to the Roanoke Police Department on Campbell Avenue Wednesday morning.

Members of the police force gave brief presentations on some of the biggest problems going on downtown. They talked about situational awareness as well as ways to keep your store protected if you have a small staff. They showed surveillance pictures and counterfeit money to give owners a look at what they may be up against this holiday season.

"It's everything because the last thing we would want is to have something terrible happen to us as far as robbery,” said Metro Restaurant manager Beheatherlyn Kirby. “We’ve been blessed to never have that situation but at the same time that doesn't mean it could happen so always being prepared is number one."

The Roanoke City Police Department has offered site assessments at businesses in the downtown district. Officers have offered to come into your business and give you tips on how to set things up to prevent robbery and shoplifting.

According to a spokesman, the next academy will probably take place in January and will be open to business owners in a different part in the city.