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St. Louis Security Company Prepares Malls for Active Shooters

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Chesterfield Mall on Black Friday (KMOX/Michael Calhoun)

Chesterfield Mall on Black Friday (KMOX/Michael Calhoun)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Not long ago, Mike Hackett of Hackett Security, which provides mall security in 43 states, was training mall personnel to stop shoplifters. Now he’s teaching them how to stop active shooters.

“We’re coming into the busy shopping season and no one should be frightened to go to a mall,” Hackett says. “Mall security people know and they’ll be practicing, I will tell you, procedures that will take them into lockdowns and what to communicate to the people.”

Hackett does not favor arming mall security guards who have not been through intensive training but believes the guards should have training in what to tell store employees about providing safety to customers.

“When you talk about mall security, really whether they’re armed or unarmed, what you’re basically talking about is that we need to let the professionals, the police officers, who are trained to handle these situations,” he said.

Hackett says there has been a notable shift in mall security from concentrating on retail theft and shoplifting to dealing with an active shooter.

The latest mall shooting left only the shooter dead. On Monday, Richard Shoop, 20, walked into the Garden State Plaza mall in northern New Jersey carrying a modified assault rifle. He fired shots into the air, causing mall patrons to flee, and then committed suicide within the mall.

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