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Future USA in Syracuse has new parental escort coverage for minors

Destiny USA, the largest mall in upstate New York and the fourth largest in the country, has tightened its parenting policy, requiring that visitors 17 and under be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times.

“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,” said Stephen J. Congel, CEO of Mall Pyramid Management Group owner. in a statement. “We don’t want that small percentage to spoil the experience of local residents and tourists.”

Previously, Pyramid required that visitors to shopping centers up to 17 years of age be accompanied by a parent or adult aged 21 and over from 4:00 p.m. to Fridays and Saturdays. It announced the expanded policy on February 3rd and went into effect on February 5th.

The change follows January 23, according to Syracuse.com, when a 14-year-old boy was stabbed to death near one of the mall’s entrances.

In his statement, Congel said the move, which requires adults up to 17 to be accompanied at all times, was based on discussions with the Syracuse Police Department and feedback from buyers, tenants, community leaders and city officials. “This is also in line with the development of similar security policies in other major retail complexes, including the Mall of America in Minneapolis,” he added.

From 2019:Destiny USA Shoots: Police arrest suspects after a man shoots a mall on Black Friday.

Visitors should be ready with ID

The new policy at Destiny USA also states that all visitors should be willing to provide identification including a photo and date of birth (driver’s license, state ID, military ID, passport, or visa) and not to be released from the premises. “

The six-story shopping center first issued a guideline for accompanying parents in 2003. Wilmorite, owner of a shopping center in the Rochester area, set up a policy at the Mall at Greece Ridge in 2008 after two fights. Visitors aged 18 and under must be accompanied by a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or legal guardian from 4:00 p.m. to Friday and Saturday. Each adult companion can supervise five young people. The policy also states that anyone who appears to be under the age of 19 should be ready to provide ID with a photo and date of birth. Mall employees are exempt from the policy during their working hours.

Wilmorite does not use parenting guidelines in its other two malls, Marketplace Mall in Henrietta and Eastview Mall in Victor.

When asked to explain its considerations, the company said in a statement: “The Mall at Greece Ridge is located in a more populated suburb of Rochester and receives more pedestrian traffic, so an escort policy is warranted.”

The company went on to say that many malls in densely populated areas like Greece – Monroe County’s largest suburb by far, with populations over 96,000 – have similar policies.

“The Mall at Greece Ridge has a great collaboration with the Greek Police (Department),” it said. “Our security forces in cooperation with the Greek police had very quick reaction times to situations and were able to defuse situations quickly.”

The mall closed on the evening of December 26, 2020 after fighting broke out between several dozen teenagers, according to the department.

After the police broke up the fighting, the mall was first evacuated. But the teens “gathered again and continued fighting in other locations, which ultimately led to the mall management closing the mall,” said Sgt. Jared Rene said at the time. Three people were arrested at the time.

Reporter Marcia Greenwood covers general assignments. Send story tips to mgreenwood@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @MarciaGreenwood.

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