Local News

Triangle Town Center creates new policy for teens

Posted September 19, 2008 2:59 p.m. EDT
Updated September 20, 2008 9:27 a.m. EDT

— Parents are required to accompany shoppers under age 18 on weekend nights at the Triangle Town Center starting next month.

Jack Love, general manager of the mall, announced the Youth Escort Policy Friday. It goes into effect Oct. 3.

“We are concerned about our shoppers, and we want to give them a family friendly and enjoyable shopping experience every time they come,” Love said.

Love said the mall is trying to curtail the number of unsupervised teens at the mall during evening hours.

The changes come after a July 26 incident where officers said as many as 200 people participated in a gang-related brawl inside the mall. A 15-year-old was stabbed during the incident, and six people were charged.

The new police requires that from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, anyone younger than 18 must have a parent or guardian over 21 with them at all times while inside the mall.

Mall security personnel will enforce the new policy. Security will conduct patrols and check identification if escorts do not look 21 years old.

Unaccompanied teens found inside the mall will be escorted to a reunion room, where they can contact a parent or guardian to pick them up. Love said teens who arrive without an escort will be turned away at the door or asked to leave by mall security.

Individuals found in violation of the Youth Escort Policy or the Code of Conduct who refuse to leave the property when requested to do so by mall security officers might be prosecuted for trespassing.

The center's corporate parent, CBL & Associates, has had success with similar policies at other properties, Love said.

Security guards handed out flyers at the mall on Friday to make customers aware of the policy.

“I think that’s a great policy,” adult shopper Gina Witcher said.

Mall management said store owners are on-board with the new policy and are not worried about business.

“A lot of time on Friday and Saturday, all we see are families out together anyway. We don’t think it’s going to be much of a problem,” Starbucks barista Kate Neumeier said.

However, the policy could be a problem for some stores that target teens, PacSun clothing store manager Sam Cox said.

“I think it’ll be a lot harder for kids to get their parents to come out here stopping on a Friday or Saturday. A lot people see the mall as a place to hang out; it shouldn’t be,” Cox said.

Mall employee Calli Glover, 19, said the new policy will cost the mall business.

“Friday and Saturday nights are the biggest. It’s when it’s more crowded in the mall,” Glover said.

Glover said she believes her friends under 18 years old might head to Crabtree Valley Mall if they do not have an escort.