Victor, N.Y. Nov 20 2016 - Just in time for the holiday rush, Eastview Mall partnered with the Ontario County Sheriff’s Department in rolling out new security technology. It aims to keep shoppers safe and criminal away.
Seven license plate camera readers have been installed at the mall's four entrances.
Sheriff Philip Povero said this raises the level of security for the approximately one million people who visit Eastview during the holidays.
"Malls in our country, unfortunately, fall under the category of soft targets,” he said. “When it comes to issues of security, we've seen too many stories of violence around retail centers."
The readers went up last Wednesday on light posts. They only take snap shots of a car’s licenses plate as they enter the mall, not anyone who’s in the car.
The pictures the cameras take help deputies identify murders suspects, missing persons or groups involved in a shoplifting and reselling ring. These persons are on a federal, state or local “hot list.” Deputies are not checking for expired registrations.
“We truly believe that the issue of retail security of incidents that we’ve seen really motivates us to try and use this as another spoke in our wheel, for example, for enhancing security here,” he said.
If a license plate shows up on that "list," it pings deputies in a matter of seconds.
"That way the officers working can know if they are coming back into the mall and keep an eye on them, and hopefully deal with it in a preventative way," said Lt. David Cirencione.
Some shoppers say they feel safe.
“I think it is a great idea to ensure the safety of everyone that’s here.” said shopper Sarah Loverdi. “There have been lots of things that have happened in the community and in the world, and I think you can never be too safe.”
Mall management and deputies say they've have been working on this for several years.
The Sheriff’s office received a total of $75,000 dollars in grant money from the Department of Justice and Homeland Security for the cameras.