ALEXANDRIA, LA — Alexandria Mall announced a new program and policy on Tuesday to curb unsupervised youths visiting the mall on Friday and Saturday nights.
Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult from 5:00 p.m. until mall close on Fridays and Saturdays.
The new program is branded by the mall as “@5 Family Weekends”. It's intention is to create a family-friendly atmosphere. The move was prompted by patrons, who avoid the mall because of their discomfort with unsupervised teenagers while shopping, and tenants who began advising mall staff of the ongoing problem. Merchants mostly support the new plan.
The policy will be enforced by mall security checking identification (driver’s license, military ID or passport is acceptable).
According to the policy guidelines:
- Those who have been checked and cleared will be given a wristband to avoid being checked repeatedly.
- Adults serving as guardians must be 21 or older and can accompany no more than four youths (with a few exceptions).
- Young people who work in the mall must have proof of employment and proceed directly to their place of employment.
- Unaccompanied youths will be directed to a waiting area where they can call for transportation or directed to leave the mall. Loitering in the parking lot will not be tolerated.
Before implementing the new plan, Alexandria Mall officials met with community and church leaders, law enforcement officials and educators to get input.
Malls, shopping centers and entertainment areas have taken similar steps over the last few years to prevent unsupervised youth causing a potential security issue.