It’s been about a month since CherryVale Mall announced new security precautions, and now they’ll get help from Cherry Valley Police patrolling the property. With more of a police presence in and outside the mall, it’s hoped this will bring shoppers peace of mind.
“It gives us another tool for criminal deterrence for criminal activity detection,” said Cherry Valley Police Department Chief Robert Swank.
Patrol officers will drive through the parking lot enforcing Illinois traffic laws – something that they were previously unable to do, as the mall sits on private property. Officers will also be on patrol inside the mall as well.
“Traffic violations are obviously going to impact public safety, and it also gives us an opportunity to conduct more of an investigative aspect,” Chief Swank said. “We are going to take a zero tolerance approach to any kind of criminal activity.”
Since 2016, there have been four shootings at CherryVale Mall, which includes two that have occurred since February of 2018.
“Our main goal, always, is to provide a family-friendly shopping environment for everyone in this community,” said Melissa Cavanagh, Marketing Director for CherryVale Mall. “We have added additional security measures in order to continue to provide that.”
Cavanagh says she hopes the increased police presence will send a message to anyone considering committing a crime there.
“We also want the bad guys to know it’s here. We’re watching,” she said.
The Cherry Valley Police Department does not plan to hire any extra staff to conduct the patrols of the mall.