Keeping You Safe At East Tennessee Malls

KNOXVILLE (WVLT) - In the wake of the deadly mall massacre in Nebraska, we set out to see what East Tennessee malls are doing to keep you safe this shopping season.

Volunteer TV's Lauren Davis filed this report.

Mall officials are tight lipped about their security plans because they say they don't want to compromise your safety.

A situation like the mall attack is nothing you can ever be ready for, but there are things you can keep in mind that could help minimize your risk if you're ever caught in a dangerous situation.

Security is usually the last thing on shoppers' minds, but yesterday's shooting in Omaha makes safety their main concern.

Leigh Turner of Knoxville says, "It could have just as well been a terrorist attack it was very scary."

Some shoppers are still in disbeleif.

Betty Gibbs says, "Shocked, disappointed, happens everywhere sometimes or other it seems always at Christmas."

None of the malls Volunteer TV news contacted would comment on camera.

However, "Simon Malls," owner of West Town and Knoxville Center did issued this statement:

"We maintain a close working relationship with local law enforcement authorities to ensure that the appropriate security measures are being taken to help provide and maintain a safe environment at our mall."

The mall security and Knoxville Police presence make some shoppers feel safe.

Gibbs says, "Always security inside so if you ever needed anything they are there three or four."

Knoxville Police say if you're confronted with a chaotic situation, there are three things to remember.

First stand still, second make yourself as small a target as possible by getting on the ground or behind a solid object, and finally if you can get out exit the mall with your hands up so police will know you're not armed.

Many shoppers think the public shootings are a random, unpreventable act.

Jeff Spradlin says, "You have the issue where so many people are coming and going they can only do so much."

West Town Mall managers hope the mall security will free your minds so you can continue with the main reason your here, the shopping.

WVLT encountered three security guards inside West Town Mall today in five minutes.

In the parking lot, we also saw a Knoxville Police cruiser patrolling the area.

So definitely seems to be a law enforcement presence.


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