What would you do if you were at a shopping center and heard gunfire? Would you know what to do or where to go? Last Friday merchants at Eden Prairie Center learned how to help shoppers figure out what to do in the event of a mall shooting as they participated in a lockdown drill.
During the months leading up to the drill, Retail Crime Unit Officers Travis Serafin and Bob Haberle worked with mall security and General Growth Properties (the owner of the mall) to give presentations to businesses in the mall explaining how the drill would work and what role their employees could play in protecting themselves and visitors to the mall.
The mall was open during the drill allowing people shopping during that time a chance to participate. The drill lasted 10 minutes and after it was completed, General Growth Properties, mall security and EPPD staff held a debrief session to talk about what went well and where they could make improvements. For example, the Public Address system used to communicate to shoppers couldn’t be heard in all parts of the mall so mall management will work to upgrade the sound system. In addition, a communication was sent out to merchants seeking their feedback on the drill.
Officers in the Retail Crime Unit plan to hold similar drills in the future in order to continue to provide a safe shopping and working environment for all who spend time at Eden Prairie Center.