Security Changes at the Wyoming Valley Mall

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WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP -- You might start noticing fewer police cars at the Wyoming Valley Mall next month. The mall decided to privatize security, just as several other malls in our area have done.

Spotting a Wilkes-Barre Township police car in the lot of the Wyoming Valley Mall is easy, but that`s about to change.

A spokesperson for PREIT, the company that owns the mall, says AlliedBarton Security Services will start managing security at the mall October first.

Some shoppers, such as Sarah Phillips, of Kingston, don`t think the change will affect very much.

"As long as they have the shoppers and the community`s best interests at heart, I don`t think that it will matter either way," said Sarah Phillips, of Kingston.

Wilkes-Barre Township Police referred question the owners of the mall.

According to a statement from PREIT, the police department will still provide secuirty for the mall, but it will be reduced. The company statement says it decided that hiring AlliedBarton would be more efficient and effective.

"Our police force is stretched thin at the moment. It will free the police up to take care of problems in the community," said Catherine Burlingame, of Benton.

While some shoppers say private security could only help the mall and the Wilkes-Barre Township Police, others say it will do more harm than good.

"I know I feel safer when I see the Wilkes-Barre Township Police cars and I really would not feel the same if a private security company were to replace them," said Hilary Palencar, of Nanticoke.

The ownership company did not return calls to Newswatch 16 about what hours AlliedBarton would patrol the mall. But the statement does say that AlliedBarton provides security for all malls owned by PREIT, which include the Viewmont Mall in Lackawanna County and also the Lycoming Mall.