WAUWATOSA — Mayfair Mall announced Wednesday that canines will be patrolling the shopping center to detect weapons. The additional security measures come less than two weeks after a mass shooting at Mayfair that sent several people to the hospital.
A few store owners were calling for the mall to install metal detectors at the entrances, but some store owners and customers tell TMJ4 News they believe K9s are a less obtrusive alternative to make sure firearms aren’t brought it inside.
K9s were already on duty inside Mayfair Mall’s main entrances Wednesday night. Mall authorities said the canines are specially trained to search for customers armed with guns.
Mayfair store owner Bruce Riley said he fully supports the mall’s method to make sure customers and employees feel safe.
“I’m quite sure it’s people out there that may be thinking about doing anything going to think twice about coming to Mayfair Mall to do anything,” said the owner of Wisconsin Curated Creations.
Riley was inside his boutique just a stone’s throw from Macy’s when a 15-year-old shot eight people during an altercation on Nov. 20.
“I had my daughter in this space, I heard anywhere between 13 to 15 gunshots,” Riley said. “I told my daughter to run in the back office, lock herself in until I called her to come out.”
In a statement released on Wednesday, Mayfair Mall Senior General Manager Chris Jaeger said, “Firearms and weapons are strictly prohibited within Mayfair and the launch of the K9 program allows trained security professionals to identify anyone in violation of this important policy.”
“It’s kind of a double-edged sword,” said Mayfair customer Darren Hill.
Hill said he prefers K9s over metal detectors, but he still has some concerns.
“I just don’t want to see this turn into another issue where it seems like you’re profiling customers for different things so hopefully they have a plan in place to take care of issues like that and they’re not creating a whole new police state at the mall,” Hill said.
Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber said he supports the innovative approach to detect weapons at the mall.