Malls and shopping centers continue to grow larger and more sophisticated with every passing year. As violence continues to escalate in seemingly safe places, mall security is more necessary than ever before. Due to the nature of the job, mall security officers must be trained to appropriately respond to a plethora of different situations on a day to day basis. Mall security must be able to handle emergencies, theft, gang incidents, lost children, riots, violent acts, and other criminal activities, professionally and efficiently.
As malls continue to expand, they now include so much more than mere shopping, but also gyms, dining, movies, and banking. Thus, with so much traffic inside the building, mall security must be vigilant instead of merely patrolling the premises of the building as in former days. Instead, these officers must be versatile and well trained to correctly handle any emergency that presents itself as they are the first responders until law enforcement or paramedics arrive. Hence, these officers must be trained in first-aid, criminal response, and emergency situations related to fire, injury, or safety.
Furthermore, mall security is also responsible for protecting stores full of expensive merchandise from theft or robbery. This includes protecting innocent civilians who are shopping, eating, or parking as they get from point A to point B, especially if dangerous criminal activity occurs. Malls have become very vulnerable to mass theft attacks, perpetrated by gangs. These targeted attacks place employees, store owners, and customers at risk as during such episodes the gangs are typically armed, and incidents can often escalate to violence. Mall security officers must be trained on how to safely respond and be willing to put their lives on the line for all those inside the mall.
In recent years, we have seen a surge of gun related violence in malls and shopping centers across America. These events have often been tragic in nature with many people left dead or injured. In such incidents, mall security, although often unarmed are the first response to the situation, being responsible for contacting law enforcement, calming civilians, and administering first aid until proper authorities and paramedics arrive on scene.
Mall security is often tasked with addressing criminal incidents occurring in their parking garages. Crimes commonly occur there, involving purse snatching, car theft, mugging, and carjacking. Mall security will also be the first to respond if shop lifting incidents occur. In situations where it is possible, mall security will be required to detain these criminals until law enforcement arrives, many times conducting a citizen’s arrest.
Malls are also hot spots for homeless persons with easy access to bathrooms, food, and unattended merchandise. Malls have always been and will likely always be a popular teenage hangout. While this can be good for business, teenage antics can also cross the line at times leading to issues with shoplifting, fighting, loitering, theft, store window smashing, and rioting. During busy holiday seasons, particularly during Black Friday these kinds of incidents are particularly prevalent making a strong security presence essential.
Mall security guards are tasked with prevention of abducted children, finding lost children, and watching out for other vulnerable people at the mall, such as the elderly or disabled.
No matter what the situation, mall security guards must be able to respond to today’s threats. Thus, this job has become a staple in ensuring that your routine trip to the mall is safe and secure. This job will require people who are dedicated to their work and fully trained to handle all incidents in a professional, deescalating manner, making security guards far more important than most realize.