Security system

Jefferson Mall Adds New Security System with Facial Recognition | New

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Jefferson Mall now has a new way to help keep shoppers safe, and officials believe it could help save lives.

The Okolona Mall installed an upgraded security system in March to give shoppers greater peace of mind – and the mall’s director of security, Kenneth Bennett, says it provides extensive coverage.

“There’s not a place in this mall other than the restrooms that isn’t filmed,” Bennett said.

As shoppers walk below, new hawk-eye cameras peer down from above. Jefferson Mall’s parent company, CBL Properties, installed dozens of new cameras that now have a view of the entire property.

Prior to the upgrade, the mall only had cameras in individual stores.

“The system will allow us to very easily select that person and track them from the time they walked through the door to the time they left,” Bennett said.

This photo dated August 2, 2022 shows Jefferson Mall Director of Security Kenneth Bennett explaining the extensive coverage provided by a new security system at the mall located at 4801 Outer Loop in Louisville, Ky. (WDRB/Frank Stamper)

Numerous cameras are mounted on poles throughout the mall, and each is capable of panning, tilting, and zooming with precision.

Bennett says cameras are only part of the security equation. “It’s just an extra layer of protection. These cameras aren’t there to stop criminal activity, they’re there to support the police in investigations.”

LMPD officer Tonya Landry told the WDRB that high-visibility cameras can also make criminals think twice. “Oh yeah, anytime you have cameras visible – which are the cameras you see – it’s always a deterrent to criminals because they really don’t know what’s being recorded and what’s not. .”

Mall shootings across the country in recent weeks have further highlighted mall safety awareness, and Jefferson Mall was the scene of a shooting that left one person injured in 2020 — as the mall was not equipped with security cameras.

“Two years ago we were relying on cellphone video and that video was shot in panic mode,” Bennett said. “This video here is reliable and records 24/7.”

LMPD officers also responded to a report of shots being fired in the mall’s parking lot in August 2021, but no injuries were reported.

Although the mall does not disclose the cost of the security upgrade or the number of cameras, LMPD says having an improved security system in place is priceless.

“They have facial recognition,” Landry said, “so if we can identify a potential suspect and enter them into the system every time they walk into that mall, we know who they are now.”

The system can even be monitored remotely by LMPD officers after the mall closes.

“Our officers have access to this system,” Landry said. “They can literally log in and see everything that’s going on in real time, so I think that will be valuable.”

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