Mall terror threat fails to deter local shoppers

Security at Eastwood Mall in Niles

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – New threats made by terrorists to attack malls, including in the United States, have not stopped people from going to local malls.

In areas where there is a large amount of public traffic, including Eastwood Mall, the security team said it takes all threats seriously to keep people safe.

“It is very disturbing that you can’t go out and just shop in peace,” Latece Wright of Liberty said as she browsed at the Eastwood Mall on Monday.

After she learned about the threats made by terrorists to attack malls, she decided to go shopping anyway.

“I always pray before I go out. I believe that I am covered and I pray for the people around and I believe that we are all covered,” Wright said.

To help ease fear, mall security guards could be seen roaming the mall.

“We have layers of security here at Eastwood Mall, some of it you see, some of it you don’t see. And we don’t like to discuss in detail what that is. Because obviously, we don’t like to tip our hand to the bad guys as to what we do to prevent bad things from happening here,” Eastwood Mall spokesman Joe Bell said.

Bell said with more threats comes more security improvements. Plans to protect shoppers have evolved over recent years.

“The shopping center industry is becoming cognizant of all the threats that are out there so we are constantly refining the type of security we put in place,” Bell said.

Mall security works closely with law enforcement.

“We train with them so that they understand what happens in this mall. Where things are, and how to react to particular problems as they might arise,” Bell said.

He said the number of guards on the clock varies depending on the time of day and the number of people shopping.

Wright said times have changed and it’s just not how it used to be.

“I remember a day when we could just go out and shop and be out all night without any worries of being kidnapped or anything. It has changed. It is very disturbing and it is terrifying for the generation now,” she said.

Southern Park Mall officials did not return calls seeking comment.

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