Many of our team members have conducted undercover mall details in the past several weeks. These details entail augmenting existing uniformed security guard teams with our plain-clothed, armed, specially trained operators (most of whom are recently retired or active police officers). We wander the mall, blending in with shoppers, observing the crowds for odd behavior or escalating confrontations. We trail the uniformed security guards as they respond to incidents, discretely at the ready to quiet incidents that turn violent.
Last weekend's attacker in St. Cloud, Minnesota was stopped by an off-duty police officer who was, thank goodness, in the right place at the right time. Other shopping mall management companies are more proactive in their approach to keeping their patrons safer and their properties free of violence. How many fewer victims would there have been with operators in place? Would the attacker have chosen another place to target if word was out on the street that undercover operators were crawling this mall? What if the off duty officer had decided to shop elsewhere?