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  • RETAILTRAFFIC magazine

    from:
    http://retailtrafficmag.com/manageme...y_reevaluated/

    This part of the article sums up security at shopping malls rather nicely...
    "...In fact, the state of mall security guards was addressed in the Department of Justice report. Letters with surveys were sent to security directors of 1,372 enclosed regional malls in the United States. Many told researchers that parent organizations told them not to cooperate with the survey. Still, more than 133 directors eventually sent in responses. The study found that the median starting hourly rate for mall security officers was $8.50 and the average for all security staff was $9.50.

    Officers receive a median of 40 hours training, with most of it done in-house or through a parent security company. But the turnover rate arguably undermines much of the training that the industry has striven to put in place. ICSC, for example, says that 2,000 of the 6,000 mall security guards have taken an antiterrorism course it has developed with George Washington University. But if industry trends hold true, by next year none of those guards will still be working.


    In one case, after a November 2003 shooting at the now defunct Blue Ridge Mall in Kansas City, Mo., left Eric Wheaton, then 30, brain damaged, he sued the mall's manager, MBS Mall Investor LLC, and the mall's security provider, Bannockburn, Ill.-based IPC International, for compensatory and punitive damages. Wheaton claimed mall management should have employed heightened security measures given past incidents at the mall. In addition, his lawyers argued IPC violated its documented protocols because there were no guards posted outside the mall at the time of the shooting. (The two security guards on duty were inside filing a report on another incident during the shooting.)

    In April 2006, a jury verdict ruled in favor of IPC and MBS Mall, based in part on IPC's assertion that when the security officer arrived at the scene, his presence had not deterred the shooting. However, before the verdict, IPC reached a settlement with Wheaton for an undisclosed sum.

    A similar case is unfolding from a February 2005 shooting at Hudson Valley Mall in Kingston, N.Y. Thomas Haire — one of two people shot in the incident — has filed a negligence suit against Syracuse, N.Y.-based Pyramid Cos. Haire's lawsuit claims Pyramid did not have adequate security in place when a gunman entered Hudson Valley Mall and fired off 60 rounds.

    “No, you can't stop someone from going to the mall with a weapon, but you can certainly intervene in time or limit the number of injuries,” says Steven M. Melley, of Rhinebeck, N.Y., Haire's attorney.

    According to the plaintiff's deposition, the gunman, roamed the property for over an hour before starting his shooting spree. Prior to the shooting, witnesses at the shopping center said they observed the shooter assembling the assault rifle at his vehicle and purchasing ammunition from the adjoining Wal-Mart.

    To date, the Supreme Court of the State of New York has upheld Haire's case, which remains in litigation. In a statement issued on October 5, 2007, Justice George B. Ceresia, Jr. noted even though there were no previous cases in the New York Court history where defendants were found liable under similar circumstances, “It is well settled that ‘New York landowners owe people on their property a duty of reasonable care under the circumstances to maintain their property in a safe condition.’”

    The issue, according to the note, is whether Pyramid had enough reason to suspect, from past incidents at Hudson Valley Mall, that a security breach of such magnitude was likely.
    — Elaine Misonzhnik"

  • #2
    It will be interesting to see...

    If the court says security has a duty to intervene in a situation such as this, then what happens.

    I don't believe security has any legal obligation to get involved, as there is (to my knowledge) no law even requiring law enforcement to engage in the situation.

    I know this is only a civil court action, but it would still have serious repercussions for security. I think that unless the store / mall did something that would increase the likelyhood of some criminal action taking place, that a higher court would eventually overturn a lower court's ruling that the store / mall was at fault.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by bpdblue View Post
      If the court says security has a duty to intervene in a situation such as this, then what happens.

      I don't believe security has any legal obligation to get involved, as there is (to my knowledge) no law even requiring law enforcement to engage in the situation.

      I know this is only a civil court action, but it would still have serious repercussions for security. I think that unless the store / mall did something that would increase the likelyhood of some criminal action taking place, that a higher court would eventually overturn a lower court's ruling that the store / mall was at fault.
      What about legal authority and even more importantly physical ability to intervene. I don't see unarmed security officers stopping a guy with a firearm.
      Ethical Schizophrenia is the substance of heroes. -Frank Rich

      Comment


      • #4
        A private citizen has all the legal authority required to protect person and property. (Except in Florida, where they only have the legal authority to protect persons, not property.)

        People, especially in Florida, seem to fail to realize that the protection of person and property is not the enforcement of law, and does not require arrest powers.

        A perfect example (in a state unlike Florida where you can actually use force to protect property if you are a "licensed security officer,") is the man climbing the fence. He is on the outside of the fence. Your job is to protect the property, including the persons and property in it, from "tortuous and criminal interference."

        So, tell the guy to get off the fence. If he doesn't comply, use force to terminate his attempt to scale the fence. In simpler words: Knock the SOB off the fence.

        At no time are you attempting to arrest anyone, or enforce a law. You are protecting your property from tortuous interference, which when he hits the pavement on the other side, becomes criminal interference (trespass.)

        In the worst situation, an armed and "active" shooter roaming around your property, you have all the legal authority you need as a private citizen to end the rampage by using lethal force. This is what most armed guards are paid for: To be a trained, neutral, third party with the ability to defend the property from lethal force.

        In this role, the utilization of lethal force to defend against a lethal threat against the client's personnel or invitees, the guard really only needs a sidearm (possibly a long gun), a light source, and additional ammunition.

        The next time you go on post armed, realize that your client has paid your company for a trained killer, in case someone needs killing. You are that trained killer. You are trained in when to kill, how to operate your weapon to kill, and demonstrated to the state that you are capable of killing quickly (by hitting the target) and safely (by not hitting someone else's target.)

        You derive your authority as a "trained killer" simply because states allow private citizens, as private citizens, to employ lethal force to end a deadly force encounter against themselves or another.

        You may tack on additional job descriptions, and the law will usually back that up with authority (citizen's arrest, merchant's right of detention, etc...), but the protection of persons and property is a right of private citizens in the United States.

        Including the right to hire a trained person to stand in your steed.
        Some Kind of Commando Leader

        "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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