FRESNO, California (KSEE) – After several incidents at Fresno’s Fashion Fair Mall over the last year, including a January shooting inside the mall and an April shooting outside the mall, some employees who work at stores in the building are concerned for their safety.
“That shooting that happened inside the mall, I can remember just a feeling of sheer panic because with everything going on in the world, your first assumption is it’s a mass shooter and we’re all in a lot of danger right now,” said an employee who wanted to remain anonymous. “I considered not working at that mall anymore because of everything that’s going on. It’s scary going to work everyday.”
Now, an online petition signed by more than 500 people is calling for added security and possibly metal detectors at the mall.
“The metal detectors are a really good idea,” said the anonymous employee. “And I would really like to see more security presence because there is so much that goes on in that mall as far as shoplifters and fights. People have brawled, and then everybody ran, and there’s just pools of blood in front of the store.”
Fashion Fair Mall’s Brian Maloney said in a statement that the mall has a thorough security program in place.
We work very closely with Fresno Police Department and are constantly evaluating and adjusting our plans to address specific issues. However, to preserve the effectiveness of our programs, we do not disclose specifics. We know Fresno Fashion Fair is the heart of the community and we want all who work here and visit to enjoy their experience.
In a statement, Fresno City Councilmember Tyler Maxwell said that he has heard the concerns of safety from Fashion Fair employees and patrons.
In the coming days, my office will be meeting jointly with the Fresno Police Department and the Fashion Fair Mall property management to discuss and create a long-term security plan. The safety of the mall employees and customers will continue to be a top priority for me and my office.
The Fresno Police Department stated that they have an officer stationed at the mall Friday through Sunday, patrolling inside and outside the building to help with security. However, some employees think having a more permanent police presence is needed.