Govt. grant secures new cameras at KOP Mall
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - November 21, 2012 (WPVI) -- Thanks to a Homeland Security grant, King of Prussia Mall, one of the largest malls in America, is also now one of the safest.
"I think it gives us a very strong level of protection," said Chief Thomas Nolan, Upper Merion Police Department.
Most people have become accustomed to video surveillance over the years.
We know we're being watched in busy retail centers like shopping malls. However, even before you get onto the mall property, new cameras are protecting the perimeter.
"We were also able, through the Department of Homeland Security, to secure a Buffer Zone Protection Program grant, which allowed us to put some pan, tilt and zoom cameras on the roadways around the mall," said Chief Nolan.
The cameras are constantly monitored by Upper Merion police. The cameras were funded by a Homeland Security grant to protect against possible terror activity.
However they are useful crime fighting tools day and night, so powerful, they can zoom in on any suspicious activity in the parking lots.
In addition, the police also have access to all of the surveillance cameras inside the mall.
Shoppers are always aware of the possibility of theft. Some may feel cameras are an intrusion, but most welcome the extra surveillance.
"At the end of the day, if it helps make everyone safe and makes a better environment for everyone then sure," said Chip Ruggieri.
Mall management has its own security force, and they're paying to have another dozen or more non-uniformed and plainclothes police officers on site.
"We have a great relationship with the police that we work with throughout the year. The safety of our customers is our upmost priority and this achieves that goal," said Robert Hart.
The perimeter cameras add an extra level of security, but the police say shoppers should always be on guard during the busy retail season.
pennsylvania, local/state, david henry
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