Area police plan to keep close tabs on shopping traffic on Black Friday, but no special enforcement plans are in the works to ease the crush from hordes of bargain hunters.

Stores are bracing for throngs of savvy shoppers to turn out to take advantage of the sales that mark the official start of the holiday gift-buying season. So motorists should be prepared for clogged roads in and around shopping meccas like Northwoods and Citadel malls.

North Charleston police plan to conduct special patrols throughout the city, but many retailers, including the Best Buy complex on Rivers Avenue, have hired off-duty officers to help with traffic control and store security, police spokesman Spencer Pryor said.

Mount Pleasant police will have extra officers on the street keeping an eye on intersections around busy shopping centers like Wando Crossing and Mount Pleasant Towne Centre, Capt. Sean Kenneally, said. “If anything needs attention, they will do it,” he said.

A dozen or more officers are also working off-duty at shopping centers to help with crowds and security, Kenneally said.

Charleston police and Charleston County sheriff’s deputies also plan to keep an eye on holiday traffic, but no special traffic management plans are in the works, authorities said.