Excessive mall security needs balance


Dayanara Miranda

A mall security guard supervises JCPenneys, preventing the youth from entering past 5 p.m. on a Friday.

Jackson Heritage, Staff Writer

For decades, shopping malls have been a staple of American suburban life. But with new security measures being implemented at the Louis Joliet Mall in recent years, some believe that the mall’s purpose as a shopping center for everyone has been compromised. There is also a belief that there are now too many security guards patrolling the mall just for the purpose of kicking teenagers out. This raises the question: are their policies actually beneficial? Even though the rules can be a pain for younger people trying to enjoy their time at the mall, I believe that it is important to keep the positive effects they have had in mind.
In October of 2017, Louis Joliet Mall implemented its “Youth Supervision Policy”, which states: “All visitors age 17 and under must be accompanied at all times by a parent or supervising adult age 21 or older on Fridays and Saturdays after 5 pm.”
This was a controversial topic at the time, with some teenagers upset that they could no longer visit the mall during the hours that were most popular with younger visitors previously. However, it is important to not overlook the causes of the rule.

Prior to the rule being enforced, it was not uncommon to hear about friends getting into trouble for making a scene at the mall late at night, or encountering security guards while skateboarding in the parking lot. Now, these stories are rarely heard about. It is probable that the mall openly prohibiting teenagers from being at the mall late on weekends has allowed for decreased conflicts between younger people and the security force.
Obviously, the mall should not overstep its boundaries as far as restricting visitors, or else it risks losing customers. Even if they are just trying to keep the mall, its stores, and its visitors safe, the overuse of security forces should be controlled and limited. The mall should practice moderation in its rules, with the existing policy of allowing anyone in the movie theater area at all times being a good start. Hopefully this balance will maintain order in the mall for the future, and keep disagreements with security at a low level.