First look at Hamilton Place Mall updated security system - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

First look at Hamilton Place Mall updated security system

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

It's been almost a month since the riot at Hamilton Place Mall. Police credit high-tech security cameras for easily identifying the riot suspect, 18-year-old David Ballard.

Friday, for the first time Channel 3 was invited inside to take a look at their security system. The cameras cover every angle, both inside and outside the mall.

Mall officials wouldn't tell us how many officers are on mall property, or where exactly the cameras are located, citing safety reasons. But they tell us security personnel have the ability to view 300 different angles on mall grounds.

“If you are coming to Hamilton Place with the intent to commit a crime, you will be on camera,” said Marketing Director Kim Lyons.

You may not always see them, but throughout the hustle and bustle of Hamilton Place Mall, officers are on site at all times.

“The police department and security here, we keep in constant contact with each other. About issues that are going on outside the mall, issues that are going on in the city, issues going on inside the mall,” said mall security director Kim Noorbergen.

Last year, the mall purchased a high-definition camera system. It is monitored by mall security in its administrative offices during peak shopping hours. Noorbergen said it is a significant upgrade.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Mall 'riot' suspect surrenders to Chattanooga police

“It shows gender, hair color, clothing description. The police department will use that to make an ID on people who come in and want to disrupt the mall.”

The surveillance isn't only collected and used for crime. Video data can assist security officers locate a missing child from the play area or help customers find their vehicles. 

“Sometimes elderly people will come onto the mall and they get turned around, think they came in one entrance and actually came in another. We can go in here and look for their vehicles.”

Noorbergen said they will continue to look at measures to ensure people's safety inside the mall. It is reassuring news for customers.

“Bringing my son to the mall when I am not with my husband, that does make me feel better knowing they have that added security. I don't think it is going to stop things from happening, but if things were to happen, then yes. Of course that makes me feel better,” said mall customer Amber Estep.   

Including the mall riot last month, there have been five reported incidents in less than two years. In 2016, police responded to a shooting in the parking lot on Black Friday and a fireworks incident inside the mall, the day after Christmas.

READ MORE | 2016 Hamilton Place Mall Black Friday shooting

Last year in January, there was  a credit card theft, in which the suspect was carrying a gun inside the mall. In march, one person was shot in the parking lot outside Bar Louie.

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