By now you've probably heard that Towson Town Center implemented a policy last month that…
Towson Town Center, which has had issues in the past with rowdy groups including a major incident in December, says it will no longer let teens roam the mall freely on weekend evenings. Under a new policy, after 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, anyone 17 and under will need to be with a parent or “supervising adult” who is at least 21.
“Towson Town Center is a premier shopping destination in Baltimore County, but following the disturbance in December, I made it very clear that I thought they needed to adopt a youth escort policy as other shopping centers have done,” said Councilman David Marks. “We had numerous conversations with mall management over the past few months, and I applaud these steps which will ensure a comfortable environment for everyone who frequents and works at Towson Town Center.”
The policy goes into effect on Sept. 16. Starting then, “after 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, all mall visitors age 17 and under must be accompanied by a parent or supervising adult who is at least 21 years old. The [rule] will be strictly and uniformly enforced on all mall property, including the covered parking garage and all exterior sidewalks,” according to a statement from General Growth Properties, which owns the mall.
“Baltimore County is home to many large, family-friendly retail venues. Their success often requires fine-tuning policies that ensure customers have a positive shopping experience,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “We are delighted that Towson Town Center will be instituting procedures that have been successfully adopted elsewhere in the County.”
The new rules say that
During [Parental Guidance Required (PGR)] hours, trained public safety officers and off-duty police officers stationed at all Mall entrances will check IDs of all patrons who appear to be 17 and under. Those who cannot provide a valid photo ID showing they are at least 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or supervising adult who is at least 21 years old in order to remain at the Mall.
One adult may accompany up to four youths and all accompanied youth must remain with the supervising adult at all times. Those who provide proper identification demonstrating they are at least 18 will be offered an optional wristband. Individuals, who choose not to wear the wristband, may be asked for ID again by public safety officers patrolling inside the Mall. Valid identification includes a state issued driver’s license or ID card, a military ID, a school ID card, or a passport. The identification must be tamper proof and include a photograph and date of birth.
“Everyone is welcome at Towson Town Center at any time, we simply require that during certain hours families spend their shopping time together,” said Lisa Bisenius, senior general manager of the mall. “Providing a pleasant and comfortable experience for our guests is our top priority. The PGR program is intended to enhance the shopping experience in ways the entire community will appreciate.”
The White Marsh Mall, which is also owned by General Growth properties, does not have a curfew policy, according to its security office. The Avenue at White Marsh has a 9 p.m. curfew every day, as does Hunt Valley Towne Centre.