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In the wake of the Garden State Plaza Mall shooting in Paramus, New Jersey, David Boehm, COO of Security USA, Inc. was interviewed regarding what can be done to improve the security at shopping malls throughout the United States and avoid shooting incidents like the one at the Garden State Plaza Mall. Mr. Boehm spoke of the Israeli model of mall security which has been developed throughout years of living with suicide bombers, shooters and a myriad of other terrorist threats.
In Israel, malls have fewer entrances, making it easier and less expensive to create good security coverage of all those entering the mall. Security can be placed at parking entrances as well as pedestrian entrances and mall surveillance can also enhance the overall security plan. Parking security can check for large weapons or bombs, while pedestrian security can screen for smaller weapons. Well-monitored surveillance systems can recognize suspicious behavior early on, allowing security officers to respond before it escalates to violence.
At Security USA, the Israeli security model is very familiar to CEO Rami Hahitti, who served in the Israeli Defense Forces Special Forces division before coming to the United States. His experience with the need to maintain safety in the face of constant terrorist threats while maintaining a vibrant, open society adds another dimension to the company's security plans and services. Combining the Israeli security model with Mr. Boehm's experience as a lieutenant in the NYPD allows Security USA to design security programs for malls and other public spaces that are effective while not being overly obtrusive.
Some of the people who were interviewed for this piece felt that increased security at malls would not be well accepted by the American public, but as random shootings and terrorist attacks become more frequent, the peace of mind that comes with effective mall security will increasingly be seen as being worth the price by both business owners and consumers.
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