Area malls keep quiet on security following Oregon shooting

Posted at 7:51 PM, Dec 12, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-12 19:51:10-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Hours after a shooting in Oregon that killed three including the shooter, Richmond area malls, for the most part, are quiet in responding.

Of the ten busiest shopping centers in the surrounding Richmond area, only three responded to CBS 6's request for a comment -- Willow Lawn, Stony Point Fashion Park, and Regency Square Mall.

None of the malls wanted to give specific information on security procedures.

"This does not surprise me," Steve Neal, a former Chesterfield police officer and security expert, said.

"Malls need to make customers feel safe and if they do not feel safe there is a chance they'll shop somewhere else," Neal said.

While mall officials are not discussing mall security, Henrico Police are. 

Barry Clarke is a community officer with the department and one of the coordinators of the ACT Now Program.

The program trains volunteers to be extra eyes and ears for police in shopping centers during the holidays. 

"They have on safety vests, they walk the parking lots, they have cell phones, they report any crimes that they may see," Clarke says.

Anyone looking to join the ACT Now Program can contact the Henrico County Police Department.