NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - More than half a dozen incidents -- mostly fights and flash mobs from social media -- unfolded at malls around the country the day after Christmas.
Extra security measures are in place at the Mills at Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth, New Jersey, after a fight sparked a wave of panic. The Elizabeth Police Department is making its presence known with 8 to 10 more officers. A food court fight and false reports of gunfire sent tens of thousands of panicked shoppers rushing to get away. Heavily armed officers searched the area and found no gunman or weapon. The day after, everything at the food court was back to normal.
Dr. Darrin Porcher, a former NYPD lieutenant, is not impressed by security at malls. He said the low level of security at most American malls is way behind the times. He said another issue is the staffing. He advocated that malls hire ex-cops or ex-military.
Some store employees and shoppers have complained there was no notification and very poor communication about the incident, which caused minor injuries to at least 8 people. Mayor Chris Bollwage said all stores were notified there was no gunfire.
With the terror threat to shopping areas growing and real shootings more common, we wanted to hear from the Simon Property Group, which runs this and many other malls, but unfortunately the company's representative did not return our calls. Mall security guards told Fox 5 to stay off the premises.