After Kenya attack, expect tighter mall security

Industry analysts say these big shopping destinations will need to beef up their staffs, surveillance and coordination with local police.

By Bruce Kennedy Sep 24, 2013 9:08AM

Security officer at monitoring station (© Bill Varie/PhotoLibrary/Getty Images)The deadly attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, is drawing new attention to the growing costs of keeping customers safe in large shopping centers. Less than a year ago, two people were killed when a man opened fire at the Clackamas Town Center mall outside of Portland, Ore. Industry analysts say whether consumers see it or not, malls will be getting tighter security soon.


"We constantly monitor events and adjust plans accordingly," Dan Jasper, a spokesman for the massive Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., said in a statement to Reuters. "The safety and security of our guests remains a top priority."


On its website, the Mall of America says its "nationally recognized" security department has more than 100 personnel who work closely "with various local and federal law enforcement agencies."


While most malls won't go into details, "they're obviously going to ramp up security," Malachy Kavanagh, a spokesman for the International Council of Shopping Centers, told the wire service.


Kavanagh says in the aftermath of the Kenya attack, he expects the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to contact corporate security heads at all U.S. malls. He also expects more coordination between malls and local police departments, including initiatives such as hiring off-duty police officers to work mall shifts.


Consumers are apparently leery of too much security at shopping malls. After the 9/11 terror attacks, the ICSC polled mall shoppers about whether consumers should have to go through metal detectors and other screening devices to gain entry. Said Kavanagh: "Unless there was an immediate threat, by and large they said no."


However consumers may feel about screening and more law enforcement, "shopping centers and retailers will have to spend more money on security," Irwin Barkan, the CEO of the real estate firm BGI, told Reuters. "I hope it doesn't get to the point where it is like getting into an airport."


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8Comments
Sep 24, 2013 11:10AM
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Unless they train and arm security, what difference will it make?  Call 911, kiss your butt goodbye.  Gun free zones are prime for this type of attack.

Sep 25, 2013 2:00PM
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What's missing in this story is how in the Clackamas mall incident a legally armed young man - a private citizen in his 20's - was credited with limiting the "death by maniac" toll to two when he pointed his Glock pistol at the shooter, who then turned his gun on himself. In Nairobi just one man - a former UK Royal Marine - armed with a pistol is credited with saving over a hundred potential victims from the Jihadist murderers in their rampage. Want to see more mass murders in shopping malls? Simple......turn them into "Gun Free" zones and feel good about how "progressive" a move that is as bodies stack up.

Sep 24, 2013 10:20AM
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The new Segways come with machine gun mounts.
Sep 24, 2013 2:55PM
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Let's see, if I'm a mentally unstable person with a gun, where would I go to inflict the most damage?  I'm thinking anywhere that is posted a "Gun Free Zone".
Sep 24, 2013 12:53PM
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So I guess I'll be avoiding malls...the same way I already avoid courthouses, government office buildings, airports...
Sep 25, 2013 8:20PM
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I called bullsh%%t.Nobody got killed.Just a drill.Wake up people.
Sep 26, 2013 3:34PM
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Great. My life in the hands of a HS dropout with (10) minutes in weapons training and terrorist profiling.

 

Now let's give 'em a loaded semi- automatic weapon....with extra magazines....

 

Yeah.....I feel safer already.

Sep 24, 2013 11:42AM
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Not only retro, now also a video game for real?
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