Paramus Park Drill

This story details exactly the kind of things diligent mall managers do on a regular basis--coordinate efforts with local police, run drills and make sure that first responders can get in and out of a mall as quickly and efficiently as possible.

A convoy of approximately 20 police vehicles converged upon the Paramus Park Mall and took up stations at each entrance as well as roving patrols that were determined to alert the public to their activities. Trooper Sanders made sure that they had ample supplies of OAG7.21.04, a brochure explaining the intent of the police presence. He had about 15 State Troopers with him and they were assigned to the varied collection of law enforcement officials circulating the mall.

Paramus Park Mall Manager Minnie Adams was on hand to greet the task force as was John Molinelli, Bergen County Prosecutor and his agent in charge, Detective Gina Garguilo. When I asked Minnie Adams about her reaction to this and the mall patrons, she endorsed the program wholeheartedly. Acknowledging the fact that the initial reaction to their presence by visitors was shocking, she felt that after the first impression, they too were happy to know that law enforcement officials were concerned about them. She received several phone calls asking if the Mall was safe.

The thrust of the program was twofold. By appealing to the public for their help protecting the communities, harbors, bridges, aviation, tunnels and landmarks, they were gaining help in the war against potential terrorist and suspicious activity.

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