MOA officials introduce weapons screening system for shoppers following recent shootings
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Weapons screening for shoppers is underway at Mall of America (MOA).
Mall officials call it a “weapons detection system” and if you enter the north entrance you’ll have to walk through it.
“The testing is taking place over the next month at the north doors, but the location might change as we go through the testing,” a MOA spokesperson said in a statement, adding: “Safety and security of our guests, tenants, and team members is our top priority. We are always looking for innovative ways to enhance security using the latest technology.”
The security measure was created by Evolv Technologies and is called “Evolv Express” — according to the company, the system can screen 4,000 people an hour without the need of emptying their pockets or bags.
Evolv Technologies also states the screening system can pinpoint exactly where a weapon is located on someone and is being used at profession football and baseball complexes nationwide.
The MOA spokesperson was not able to share if any weapons have been detected — writing they’re in the “testing phase” and “can’t share further details as we are evaluating the system.”
The new safety measure was instilled less than three months after the second shooting at the mall within a year.
The most recent happened in August — a fight inside the Nike store led to gunshots. While no one was hurt, certain businesses have taken a hit to their bottom line in an already tough time.
“We have our lives invested in this and it’s been very, very, very hard for the last since 2020 — crazy hard,” Ronnie Hendrickson, who’s been the owner of the MOA Dairy Queen for more than 15 years, said.
Hendrickson feels the reason his business has slowed down is a mix between the pandemic and the shootings — adding he’s also lost employees because they don’t feel safe. Welcoming the new screening system, Hendrickson hopes more are added.
“It should have been done three, four years ago,” Hendrickson said.
Below are the full statements from MOA.
At Mall of America, the safety and security of our guests, tenants, and team members is our top priority. We are always looking for innovative ways to enhance security using the latest technology. With Mall of America being such a unique property, it is important to thoroughly evaluate this technology onsite to ensure its accuracy, effectiveness, and efficiency. We are currently in the process of testing a variety of options that may allow us to further enhance our advanced security systems at Mall of America.
The testing is taking place over the next month at the north doors, but the location might change as we go through the testing. The technology is a weapons detection system. Anyone entering the north doors will need to go through the detector. As mentioned in our statement, we are always looking for innovative ways to enhance security at Mall of America using the latest technology.