Vicksburg Mall increases security after teens fight in parking lot

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 1:30 PM CST
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VICKSBURG, Miss. (WLBT) - The Vicksburg Mall will work with local law enforcement from now on to make sure children stay safe after a fight broke out over the weekend.

”This is not only to protect our establishment and the people here, but it’s also to protect them as well,” mall General Manager Joseph Ross said.

Late Saturday night, cell phone video captured a fight breaking out between multiple teenagers in the parking lot of the Vicksburg Mall.

Vicksburg Police Chief Penny Jones said when she saw the video, she knew the department needed to step in.

“It sparked a lot of interest in the community because the video started spraying and on social media. So, I got the video, definitely wanted to make contact with them all so I can find out about their security and what was going on,” Jones said. “We did hear something about a gun, you know, somebody wanting to get a gun. So, that really made us concerned that we needed to make sure that we were doing something.”

Chief Jones said while the department works to identify those in the video, she and mall management have been working together to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

During the summer, rules were implemented to keep parents from dropping their children off.

“I had beefed up my security and we have enforced and posted our rules and regulations on that,” Ross explained.

Now, Ross and Chief Jones are looking to install more security cameras that will allow both groups to survey the area.

“We’re definitely going to get back out with the mobile command center. We’re actually going to put some cameras in the parking lot so that we’ll be able to see a lot that’s going on, we’ll be able to monitor some things ourselves,” Jones said.

“We want to give our school groups, children, parents, to everybody a safe and pleasurable environment,” Ross explained.

Ross said they are considering getting NOLA cameras, which is a security camera company headquartered in New Orleans, that allows both mall security and the police department to simultaneously view video of the parking lots.

This would allow for closer surveillance of the property.

“I don’t want anybody to take it wrong, that you know, the Vicksburg Mall don’t want our children out there. We would love to have you and your children out here. If your children have an older brother or sister, sibling, cousin, anybody over the age of 18, we want them to come out here,” Ross explained.

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