City leaders troubleshoot mall violence among youth after recent incidents

Rev., mall leaders disagree about curfew

INDIANAPOLIS - The city's Department of Public Safety is spearheading talks with mall owners, the Ten Point Coalition and Metro police to find ways to curb youth violence at shopping malls.

A spokesman for Simon Properties, owners of Circle Centre Mall, said the discussions are not extraordinary, and that mall security is, for the most part, sufficient. 

Rev. Charles Harrison, president of the faith-based Ten Point Coalition, is still concerned.

"The problem we're having right now is kids bring their issues downtown particularly some gangs, some neighborhood groups, some cliques that are coming," said Harrison.

Harrison takes an active role leading volunteer groups who monitor malls and neighborhoods as a way to keep kids safe.

Harrison is worried that the next mall skirmish could be disastrous.

"You have more kids now that have guns," Harrison said. Our concern is when these kids are fighting and it may escalate into deadly violence."

Harrison believes the problem is so serious that one major step is needed.

"I think we really need to really seriously look at some sort of curfew in the mall," Harrison said.

A mall spokesman said today no curfew is needed.

"Where we disagree is I think they're underestimating these kids today, and these kids are more dangerous than what we had to deal with 10 or 15 years ago," Harrison said.

The Department of Public Safety said education is a good first step.

"The biggest thing right now is to educate the mall owners and the citizens on the correct conduct in a mall," said Valerie Washington, deputy director of public safety.

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