Youth Escort Program FAQ’s

Q: Why are you implementing this program?

A: Our ultimate goal is to create an environment that promotes a family friendly, enjoyable shopping experience for our customers.

Q: Did you decide to implement this program because of previous incidents at the mall?

A: Absolutely not, we continually evaluate our programming to maintain a comfortable shopping environment. We have seen this program work very successfully at many of our other centers.

Q: How will you ensure your policy is implemented uniformly and fairly?

A: On Fridays and Saturdays after 4:00 pm, Security will approach unattended groups of youth in the mall who appear to be under the designated age and ask them to provide acceptable identification that includes government issued ID such as a state drivers’ license or ID card, passport, visa or military card.</>

Q: What training are you implementing to ensure that you treat all shoppers equally and fairly?

A: All personnel involved in the program’s implementation have completed an extensive training course specifically addressing this policy.

Q: What does that training entail?

A: While the details of the training are proprietary, I can tell you that a great deal of time is focused on communication skills and conflict resolution.

Q: Don't you feel this is a bit extreme?

A: No we don’t. Again, our ultimate goal is two-fold, to create the most family-friendly environment possible and to promote safety first and foremost.

Q: Why don't you want youth in your mall...isn't their money good enough?

A: We absolutely DO want youth in our mall. Many of our retailer’s service this very coveted demographic. We just ask that their parents or guardians supervise them if they are under the designated age.

Q: What are you trying to accomplish with this policy?

A: By asking parents to accompany their children under the designated age to the mall on Friday and Saturday nights we feel it’s a positive experience for the family and a win for the mall and our retailers.

Q: Isn’t it true that only a small percentage of youth are causing any trouble at the mall, so why punish all youth with your policy?

A: We see the promotion of family programming and a policy that addresses unattended youth and encourages parents or guardians to spend time with their family at the mall as a positive experience for all families concerned as well as the mall.

Q: What types of behavior were you seeing that forced you to implement this policy?

A: Anytime you have a lack of supervision of young people, unacceptable behavior can arise. We believe parental or guardian supervision will encourage positive behavior and discourage disruptive, intimidating actions.

Q: Are there any other shopping centers implementing this or similar programs?

A: Mall of America, one of the largest malls in the country began a similar program more than a decade ago. Since that time many malls in several states across the country have implemented a similar program. In our market Newport on the Levee has a parental escort program along with Dayton Mall. Both programs have been in place for several years with very positive results.

Q: Shouldn't it be up to the parents of the youth to decide when their children can visit the mall and whether their behavior is appropriate?

A: Absolutely it should, but the mall is not a babysitting service nor is the mall a place for youth to hang
out when their purpose is other than shopping, eating or enjoying our events. We are asking parents that if they are going to allow their child to visit the mall on the weekends after 4:00 pm that they make it a family night out and accompany their children under the designated age.

Q: What impact do you think this policy will have on your retailers, especially those that cater to a young shopper?

A: All our retailers will benefit when we are creating a safe, family-friendly environment that our customers enjoy, and we are hearing supportive comments to that end from them. Remember, we’re not restricting youth from the property — we truly welcome them. We are simply asking parents and guardians to accompany them

Q: What right does Tri-County Mall have to implement this program?

A: While the mall is a place of public accommodation, it is private property and as such has the right to set reasonable policies that control access. It should be noted that Tri-County Mall is not the first mall to create such a program.

Q: How much is this program going to cost?

A: While I cannot provide you with the exact cost, I can say the program does involve significant expenses in personnel and training.

Q: If a youth is asked to leave and they don't have a ride home, what will happen?

A: Any youth who cannot establish that he/she is over the designated age requirement or under the supervision and control of a parent or guardian will be accompanied to our Youth Center where they can make arrangements to telephone for transportation home. Until a ride can be secured, the youth will be asked to wait in the Youth Center where they will be supervised and have access to television and games.

Q: What if this program doesn't work and the issues that pushed you into this program don't lessen? What will you do then?

A: We will continue to evaluate all our measures to ensure that we are providing the most comfortable and enjoyable environment possible for all our shoppers. This will include the constant evaluation of this program and the results of this program.

Q: How do you expect teens to respond to this news?

A: We doubt they’re going to be thrilled initially but we hope they understand. We welcome them and want them to continue to visit the mall and enjoy all the benefits that the mall has to offer.

Q: Do you expect to see a drop in sales?

A: Historically, other malls that have implemented this program have actually seen an increase in sales as a result of this policy. Our primary goal is to create the most family-friendly, enjoyable experience for our shoppers. When that is achieved we believe the natural result will be increased sales.

Q: What has been the reaction of your tenants?

A: Very positive! They recognize the need to provide all of our shoppers with the best shopping environment that we possibly can.

Q: What about the retailers that market to teens?

A: Our retailers that market to teens recognize our desire to focus on teens making purchases or coming to the mall to enjoy an event, not just using the mall as a hangout.

Q: Are you worried this may cause some teens to lash out at the mall?

A: We believe the youth of Cincinnati and the surrounding communities will respond responsibly. Again, this program is not new and several other malls in the area have had this program in place for several years.

Q: As a community gathering place why exclude certain people?

A: We are not excluding anyone. All ages are welcome! We are just asking parents to accompany their kids under the designated age to the mall for a family experience on Friday and Saturday nights.

Q: How are you communicating this policy to youth in the community?

A: We are actively working with local community groups representing youth and the school districts. We will be placing ads in local papers to inform parents of the policy. Beginning on July 27 there will be signage on all mall entrance doors, large signage in the mall concourses and a flyer at customer service detailing this new policy.

Q: What are youth able to use as ID?

A: Acceptable youth identification includes drivers’ license, state ID cards, passports, visa and military cards.