Coun­cil to vote on White Marsh Mall cur­few

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By: GIANNA DECARLO gde­carlo@ches­pub.com

On Novem­ber 5, the Bal­ti­more County Coun­cil will vote on a res­o­lu­tion that would push for a manda­tory parental guid­ance pol­icy at White Marsh Mall.

Res­o­lu­tion 110-18 en­cour­ages the mall’s man­age­ment to re­quire un­der­aged pa­trons of the mall to be ac­com­pa­nied by adults on Fri­day and Satur­day evenings af­ter 5:00 p.m.

The res­o­lu­tion is a re­sponse to an in­ci­dent that oc­curred at the mall in Au­gust when two adults and seven ju­ve­niles were ar­rested fol­low­ing a brawl spread be­tween the re­tail des­ti­na­tions and sur­round­ing prop­er­ties of the Av­enue in White Marsh. The in­ci­dent took sev­eral hours to quell and re­quired the de­ploy­ment of more than 36 of­fi­cers from four precincts, the Avi­a­tion Unit, and the Mar yland State Po­lice.

The res­o­lu­tion is spon­sored by Coun­cilmem­bers Cathy Bevins (D-6), David Marks and Todd Cran­dell (R-7). Marks told the Av­enue News he was ap­proached about spon­sor­ing the res­o­lu­tion since he was in­volved in craft­ing a sim­i­lar pol­icy in his district, at Tow­son Town Cen­ter in 2016.

“It’s worked very well and helped give peo­ple the peace of mind,” said Marks about the Tow­son youth cur­few. “Peo­ple feel safer.”

He called the Au­gust in­ci­dent the “straw that broke the camel’s back” and said the Coun­cil has been push­ing mall man­age­ment to pre­vent fu­ture con­flicts through se­cu­rity mea­sures crack­ing down on un­su­per­vised youths.

The text of the res­o­lu­tion en­cour­aged that Brook­field Prop­er­ties Re­tail Group, the own­ers of the White Marsh Mall, work “to im­me­di­ately in­crease vis­i­ble se­cu­rity” in or­der “to en­sure the safety of the young pa­trons as well as other pa­trons.”

Call­ing White Marsh Mall one of the largest re­tail des­ti­na­tions on the east side of Bal­ti­more County, the res­o­lu­tion states that it has be­come a meet­ing place for young pa­trons with­out adult su­per­vi­sion, par­tic­u­larly in the evenings and on week­ends, re­sult­ing “at times in large groups of young peo­ple mov­ing through the re­tail ar­eas unattended, and caus­ing con­fronta­tions within the var­i­ous groups”.

The Av­enue at White Marsh ad­ja­cent to the mall is not owned by Brook­field and has had a pol­icy since 2016 in which vis­i­tors 17 years of age and younger are re­quired to be ac­com­pa­nied at all times by a par­ent or su­per­vis­ing adult age 21 or older on Fri­day and Satur­day af­ter 5:00 p.m.

The Av­enue News reached out to Coun­cil­woman Bevins but did not re­ceive com­ments as of press time.

Photo courtesy of White Marsh Mall

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