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Chambersburg Mall's teen policy approved

January 30, 1998

By LISA GRAYBEAL

Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Chambersburg Mall officials announced Thursday that a policy requiring young people to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian on Friday and Saturday nights will go into effect on March 6.

"We're anticipating March 6 as the start date if everything comes together," said Ron Formosa, Chambersburg Mall's general manager.

Under the policy, unaccompanied youngsters age 16 and under will not be allowed in the mall from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

In the next month, the mall will hire about a dozen more security officers to help enforce the new policy. The new officers will go through at least six hours of training, Formosa said.

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Security officers will be posted at each entrance to the mall on Friday and Saturday nights to check identifications of adults accompanied by teenagers, Formosa said.

Chambersburg Police with a police dog will continue regular patrols on those nights.

Teenagers who work at the mall will be issued photo identification cards, which they will be required to show during the parental escort hours, he said.

Chambersburg Mall will be the first of 25 malls nationwide owned by Crown American to have a parental escort policy in place.

In an interview earlier this week, Formosa said the policy was needed at the Chambersburg Mall because it has the highest number of incidents regarding teenagers of all the Crown American malls.

Mall security has logged reports of teenagers bumping into people, spitting, using profanity, bullying smaller children, shoplifting and fighting.

Business owners at the mall, most of whom endorse the new policy, said the large number of teens who congregate at the mall on weekend nights intimidate regular shoppers.

The nation's largest mall, the Mall of America in Minnesota, has a similar policy in place, and Formosa said he checked that out when considering Chambersburg's plan.

That mall reported a 5 percent increase in sales on Friday nights and a 10 percent increase in sales on Saturday nights within six months after the policy took effect, Formosa said.

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