The shooting at CherryVale Mall in March was the fourth such incident in the past two years. Officials from the mall unveiled a set of extra security measures that they are implementing to make shoppers feel safe.
After multiple shooting incidents at CherryVale mall, the mall’s marketing director, Melissa Cavannagh, wants shoppers to know their safety is a top priority.
Some of the new security measures at the mall include an increased police presence, and hundreds of cameras inside and out, and the youth escort policy – which restricts anyone under 18 to be in the mall without an accompanying adult after 4 p.m. on Fridays or Saturdays.
“[We want shoppers to] have a better understanding of the things that we have in place in order to provide that enjoyable shopping experience that everyone deserves, that everyone expects,” Cavannagh said.
“If you see something that looks suspicious, there’s nothing wrong with reporting it,” said mall shopper, Duane Burlingame. “Keep your eyes and ears open, but don’t be afraid to live your life.”
Sharon Haigh said she’s not afraid to shop at the mall. She said she has noticed more and more police each time she visits, and it makes her feel safe.
“No matter where you go, if you walk in fear, you’re going to be afraid, wherever you’re at,” Haigh said. “We’ve come here for many years, thirty years, and never had a problem.”
Burlingame said his family will continue to shop at CherryVale.
“I don’t think it’s the mall that’s the issue,” he said. “I think it’s just mankind. A lot of people are just doing something that are really bad.”
Cavannagh says the mall security team works with local police agencies on a daily basis. CherryVale’s security also gives local police 24-7 access to their camera feeds.
“If you are coming to CherryVale Mall with the intent to commit a crime, you will be caught on camera, and we will provide the police that footage.”
Next month, CherryVale Mall will be one of the locations where the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office will host a multi-jurisdictional indicent drill, to practice a response to potential emergency situations.