– New policy improvements make PEP effective every day of the week at all hours of operation. –
Syracuse, NY (February 3, 2021) – Destiny USA today, in partnership with the Syracuse Police Department, announced important changes to the centre’s longstanding Parental Escort Policy (PEP).
The expanded PEP now stipulates that all guests under the age of 17 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (21 years or older) if they are visiting every day of the week at all operating hours. The expanded policy also gives the Syracuse Police Department greater powers to arrest juvenile offenders and hold them accountable for violations of the Centre’s code of conduct.
Proactive engagement in the community is also a priority. Destiny USA’s ongoing partnership with UnBEYlievable Enterprises Inc (uBe), for example, enables members of the uBe team to meet regularly with at-risk guests visiting Destiny USA. Founded and run by Timothy Jennings-Bey in 2015, UnBEYlievable Enterprises is a community-based peer support network that discourages teenagers from engaging in risky activities.
As the largest mall in New York State and the premier dining and entertainment destination for the Central New York area, Destiny USA draws approximately 26 million visitors each year. While the vast majority of visitors act responsibly, a very small percentage are responsible for individual disruptions.
“If there is one overarching goal of our Parental Companion Policy at Destiny USA, it is to ensure that all guests have an uninterrupted, safe, and enjoyable shopping, dining and entertainment experience,” said Stephen J. Congel, CEO of Pyramid Management Group. “While 99.9% of guests who come to Destiny USA are responsible, including our younger shoppers, there is a very small percentage that is disruptive. We don’t want to let that small percentage spoil the experience of local residents and tourists. “
The Destiny USA PEP was first implemented in 2003 as part of the centre’s comprehensive security protocols. Since then, the framework of the highly collaborative program has benefited from regular meetings between the local Pyramid team and the Syracuse Police Department. The community engagement programs, elaborate closed loop camera systems, and other less visible measures that are very effective have also been included in Destiny USA’s general security protocols.
“Based on recent discussions with our law enforcement partners at the Syracuse Police Department, as well as feedback from tenants, guests, community leaders and city officials, we have determined that the scope of PEP needs to be expanded. This is also in line with the development of similar security policies in other major retail complexes, including the Mall of America in Minneapolis, ”added Congel.
“Destiny USA is an important part of the Syracuse community, and among the high traffic it regularly draws, there is also a very small percentage of people who are sadly disruptive,” said Kenton Buckner, Syracuse police chief. “Our on-site collaboration with Destiny USA has clearly helped mitigate these issues in the past and we are confident that the improved PEP program will allow us to intervene and actively address any incidents involving disruptive teenagers.”
In addition to the PEP improvements, Destiny USA has created additional space on the fifth floor that can be used by on-site officers at the Syracuse Police Department to provide officers with a more complete and functional workspace.
For more information on Destiny USA’s security policies, including PEP, please visit here