A new policy in Eastland Mall will now require minors to be accompanied by an adult on the weekends after 6 p.m. while shopping.
On Sep. 6, the policy officially went into effect prohibiting mall-goers under 18 to stay in the mall without a parent or guardian over the age of 21. The policy is only enforced after 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
David Cate, general manager of Eastland Mall, discussed why the policy was initiated.
“Basically, we were getting feedback from the community as well as our tenants regarding an uncomfortable atmosphere at the mall Friday and Saturday nights due to unsupervised youth,” Cate said.
Due to this feedback, Cate reviewed the bans placed at the mall and noticed 60 percent of the bans were related to unsupervised youth.
Before the policy went into effect, Eastland Mall beefed up its security, but the uncomfortable atmosphere persisted, Cate said.
Eastland mall will increase its security personnel to enforce the new policy and police may help with patrol to curb this atmosphere.
Security guards will be posted at the mall’s five entrances and they can ask for identification from mall-goers.
Although this law is directed toward youth, not every minor will be asked to leave the mall if they do not have adult supervision.
“Teens employed at the mall will be welcome to work after 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights,” he said.
“Eastland Mall will issue identification to the teens under 18 years of age for free access to work during those times.”
Additionally, the mall’s public address system will broadcast a message over the intercom at 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights to tell mall-goers under 18 they have one hour to finish their shopping if they are not accompanied by an adult.
The same message will be replayed every 15 minutes until 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
Eastland Mall has partnered with the media including CBS and NBC to get the message out to the public.
Additionally, they have reached out to school systems to talk with young mall-goers and parents. Pamphlets and signs have been placed near the entrances of Eastland Mall as well.
“We believe the policy is in the best interest of the mall patrons and our tenants,” Cate said. “We are striving to maintain a center of commerce that brings stores and shoppers together.”
If a minor is caught in the mall after 6 p.m. on Friday or Saturday night, he or she will be asked to call a parent or guardian as they wait in the reunion room.