Fayetteville, N.C. — At Cross Creek Mall Saturday night, shoppers, especially teenagers, came to terms with the new policy that will require anyone 18 or younger to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The Youth Escort Policy takes effect June 15 and will be enforced after 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Lamont Shaw, 20, remembers the allure of hanging out with friends. "I don't like the idea," he said.
Shaw worries that teens will find somewhere else to hang out. "I think I'd rather them be in the mall doing something than out in the street doing nothing," he said.
Mall manager Matt Holligan pointed out that the policy limits only six hours out of a 72-hour weekend.
"We believe the youth escort policy is in the best interest of all patrons," he said. It was developed at the urging of local government and business leaders.
"Shoppers have expressed concerns about the uncomfortable atmosphere Friday and Saturday nights due to the behavior of unsupervised youth," he said.
Shopper Danna Aeschliman agreed. "I have three children, and I want to feel safe," she said. "I'm not aware of any violent activity going on, but if it there is and it curbs it, then I'm all for it."
Teens who work at the mall on Friday and Saturday nights will have to wear identification. Security guards will monitor the mall entrances to enforce the new policy.