Is Your Mall Safe?

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

"The safety of our employees and vendors at Meridian Mall is our top concern," said Claudia Bleil of Meridian Mall.

Malls across the country have taken a critical look at security after the events this week in Nebraska. Bleil said she can't disclose the mall's security detail, but she said shoppers should feel secure.

"We have a professional security force here at the mall," she said.

Both Lansing and Meridian malls use private security companies. David Hagstrom works for a private security company in Lansing. Though he hasn't worked with the local malls, his company has provided security to hospitals and malls across Michigan.

"The communication between contract companies and local police is an on-going process that enhances safety," he said.

He said it's important to remember that mall security guards are not police officers though.

"We are not the police," he said, "and we don't want to take the place of the police."

He said Teachout and companies like his extensively train their guards before they are put on the job.

"When the need arises during an emergency, we're that much more ready and the public feels safer," Hagstrom said.

When something happens, like the incident in Omaha, Hagstrom said it's important to take something away from it.

"You may never know why it happened," he said. "but you should learn from it."

He added that Lansing shoppers shouldn't feel leery of shopping at the malls this holiday season.

"I have worked in the business for 18 years," Hagstrom said. "In my opinion Lansing shoppers should feel safe."


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