A New Jersey mall is now requiring those who are under the age of 18 to be chaperoned by an adult 21 years of age or older on weekend evenings. Garden State Plaza Mall will begin enforcing this on April 28. The policy will be in effect after 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, mall officials said per North Jersey.com.
However, it does not include the AMC Theater or any restaurant with an outside entrance. The movie theater can be accessed via Entrance 1 or the escalators at Entrance 17. One adult may accompany up to four youths.
“We’ve seen an increase in large crowds of teens, essentially juveniles. … The teens aren’t just enjoying the property in shopping, dining, and entertainment,” said Wesley Rebisz, senior general manager at Garden State Plaza.
“They’re being unruly, violating code of conduct, which can include running through the property in large groups, fighting and putting it on TikTok, basically disrupting business and making it uncomfortable for our everyday customers.”
To enforce the forthcoming rule, security and police will check the identification of anyone suspected to be under the age of 18. Those who choose not to produce a valid ID will have to leave the mall.
“We are rolling training that’s customer service-oriented for our security officers to stay with when they’re explaining the policy and the program,” added Dan Kennedy, senior vice president of security operations at the mall’s parent company, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. “In the event something does try to begin to escalate a little bit, we have a police officer right there on top of it to de-escalate.”
If you are denied entry into the mall after 5 p.m. there will be waiting zones available for minors waiting to be picked up. The zones are Entrance 1 by the movie theater, Entrance 10 on the property’s west side, and Entrance 15 by the food court.
Garden State Plaza is not the only mall that has taken up this policy. American Dream Mall in East Rutherford also has a parental escort policy for children under age 16 after 4 p.m.