ATLANTA, Ga — Lenox Square is taking new measures to help the mall feel safer after a series of shootings on mall property this year.
Simon Property Group, owner of the mall, said it has made significant investments in the mall, including cameras and an Atlanta Police substation on the property. New improvements will include metal detectors and even K-9 units.
Lenox Square is “committed to the safety of its employees, shoppers and retailers, which is why they teamed up with Atlanta Police and other Buckhead organizations to address the issue”, according to a statement from the mall.
Recently trained K-9 patrols have been added to help detect firearms on the property, a mall spokesperson said. There are more than 200 cameras on the property with license plate readers at every entry point that are connected directly to APD.
Lenox Square will also be adding metal detectors to help find weapons. The mall says customers will be asked to leave the property immediately if a gun is found.
There has already been more than a half-dozen shootings on or near the mall property this year. The uptick in crime in the Buckhead community, particularly near Lenox Square, and it’s sparking criticism from residents.
“It seems like the crime is getting so much worse,” one Buckhead resident said, asking not to be identified.
This resident says Buckhead has been her home for more than a decade and she is tired of all the crime.
“Just having to look over your shoulder constantly, going to the grocery store, getting gas,” the woman said. “I had one friend get held up at gunpoint.”
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“It’s been grueling. Our officers are fatigued, but our officers have been out there nonstop. The Atlanta Police Department has been the only part of our criminal justice system that has been operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the pandemic,” Major Andrew Senzer, Zone 2 commander said.
During business hours, the property is monitored by 14 or more hired off-duty APD officers and more than 10 private security officers. These officers and security guards use patrol cars, UTVs and Segways to patrol the property, making it one of the most surveilled environments in the Atlanta area. Lenox Square has 24 hour daily coverage.
“We’ve since had meetings with Simon Properties. We made recommendations to the number of off-duty officers that we felt (were needed) in the mall to kind of mitigate some of the things we are seeing over there,” Senzer said.
Cox Media Group