Following a recent brawl involving several teenagers, the Parks Mall says it will now require underage guests to have a chaperone during certain hours at the shopping center.
On Wednesday, the Arlington-based mall enforced the Parental Guidance Required (PGR) program placing guests under 18 on a strict curfew.
The PGR will be in effect on Fridays and Saturdays beginning at 2 p.m. and will require all guests under the age of 18 to be accompanied by a parent or supervising adult who is at least 21 years old.
According to Arlington Police, since Jan. 1 officers have responded to approximately 50 calls for service to the Parks Mall, two of which were large fights involving multiple teenagers.
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Saturday, April 16 marked the second large brawl since January when officials say multiple teens were detained after 20 to 30 people were involved in a physical altercation outside the mall.
"In response to the disruptive behavior last weekend, we made the difficult decision to implement a curfew program," said Lorie Lisius, senior general manager of The Parks Mall at Arlington. "The PGR program is intended to help provide a safe, peaceful experience at our shopping center. We want to reiterate that all are welcome at The Parks Mall at Arlington at any time."
Announcements will be made inside the mall starting at 1 p.m. allowing unsupervised guests time to complete their shopping or dining before the curfew is initiated.
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Trained public safety officers will be stationed at all mall entrances to check visitors' IDs who appear to be 17 or younger and will provide optional wristbands to those over the age of 18.
After 2 p.m., security inside the shopping center will check the IDs of those who appear to be underage or are not wearing their mall-issued wristbands.
One adult is allowed to accompany up to four youths and must remain with them through the duration of their visit, officials say.
Al Jones, Chief of Police at Arlington Police Department gave his support to the PGR program as it aligns with the police department's goal to "ensure the mall remains a safe and welcoming place for all visitors."