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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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