- Eastview Mall is expected to see about 1 million shoppers this holiday season.
- The Ontario County Sheriff’s Office will be beefing up its presence at the mall in Victor, as it usually does this time of year.
- The Fishers Fire Department and UR Medicine are building awareness of the need to put medical information on cell phones.
VICTOR — If the weather cooperates, an Ontario County sheriff’s deputy may ride to the rescue of someone involved in an emergency or incident at Eastview Mall this holiday season aboard a … bicycle.
Close to 1 million shoppers are expected to walk the aisles of Eastview this holiday shopping season, according to interim Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero, and those shoppers expect to see security and feel safe.
How will the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office do this?
Extra deputies will be assigned to the mall beginning Black Friday, the traditional day-after Thanksgiving shopping day, to supplement the deputies and security officers who work the mall all year-round, Povero said.
Numerous patrols will also be outside the mall, in and around the parking lot to serve as a visual deterrent for car break-ins as well as to be quickly available for slip and fall and other medical emergencies.
And you just might see Deputy Conor Boyer bicycling around the lot as well—balthough Povero is banking that law-breakers might not notice him if he arrives on scene aboard his bicycle.
People who see something suspicious will be able to tell him what is going on because bicycle-riding deputies are more approachable than those driving around in squad cars, Boyer said.
“It’s a tactical advantage at times,” Boyer said, as would-be thieves may be on the lookout for sirens and lights but not so much for a bike.
Why are added patrols needed for mall safety, according to police?
Eastview Mall and the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office have had a great relationship over the years when it comes to providing a safe environment for shoppers, according to mall General Manager Mike Kauffman.
Surveys of shoppers show that they consistently want a safe and secure mall for a more desirable shopping experience, Kauffman said.
“We take that commitment and request very seriously,” Kauffman said.
How can technology help keep shoppers safe?
As technology has evolved over the years, so have the ways shoppers can alert emergency responders, such as having the ability to text 911 for help, as was introduced several years ago.
Now, the Fishers Fire Department is working with UR Medicine to build awareness of the importance of having a cell phone emergency medical ID set-up.
Medical information can be stored on your phone so that a first responder can find it easily, as a patient may be unable to speak, or speak loudly enough, for the rescuer to best help them, Fishers Fire Chief Daniel Chapman said.
“It just helps us make sure we’re properly treating patients in a potentially noisy, chaotic setting,” Chapman said.
That could save a life, he said.
Other safety tips
Of course, make sure you lock your car doors before heading into the mall. If you must store gifts in your car, keep them hidden.
Also, be aware of your surroundings, Povero said.
And if possible, avoid areas you’re not familiar with and watch your footing, especially when it starts to get icy and slippery.