Towson mall adds cameras, police station Management takes steps to make security visible

March 03, 1997|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,SUN STAFF

In an effort to make security measures more visible, Baltimore County police and Towson Town Center are adding security cameras at the 200-store mall, with a new police and security substation.

The substation, moved from an out-of-the-way location in the mall's basement to a storefront on level one behind the escalator near the post office, will be a base for security officers as well as police officers who patrol the mall.

"The basic thinking is it's like putting the police station on Main Street," said police spokesman Bill Toohey. "This way, it's more visible to miscreants."

In addition, 10 security cameras will be installed, at all of the mall entrances and exits, said Charles W. Norris, the Towson Town Center security director.

"The cameras will be monitored from the substation and will also be recording everything," Norris said.

The added measures are "just an overall program of ours to improve on the level of security at the mall," said Norris, who took over as security director in June.

According to the most recently available police statistics, shoplifting at the mall increased to 257 incidents in first half of 1996 from 234 in the first half of 1995. Thefts from cars in the parking lots and garages rose to 40 in the first half of 1996 from 27 in the first half of 1995.

Robberies of stores dropped, from five in the first half of 1995 to four in the first half of 1996. But robberies of people in the parking lots and garages increased from two in the first half of 1995 to three in the first half of 1996.

Shoppers in the mall who need help can dial 511# from any pay phone in the mall and will automatically be connected to the security offices -- another new security feature, Norris said.

Other security measures that have been in effect at the mall include: an escort service, security patrols, security bicycle patrols, call boxes in the parking areas and uniformed police officers who regularly patrol in the mall.

Pub Date: 3/03/97

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