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Joplin Mall Security Guards Quit Over Alleged Safety Concerns - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Mall Security Guards Quit Over Alleged Safety Concerns

Updated:
Joplin, MO -

We asked Ray Martinous if shoppers at Joplin's Northpark Mall should be worried over safety.

"I think so.  Yes," says Martinous.

Martinous and Bob Jacobous quit their jobs as security officers at Northpark Mall shortly before Christmas.

"My wife doesn't feel safe now," says Jacobous.  "Even when I worked there, she still didn't feel safe."

The now former security guards say ERMC, the company Northpark Mall contracts for security and housekeeping services, has ignored the need for security cameras inside and outside the mall.

"We had a senior shopper who was struck by a careless driver, turned out to be a hit-and-run driver," says Martinous.  "Right there, should have been enough to have cameras installed, both inside the mall and outside.  We were depending on the mall director to tell them, hey, we need cameras here.  She comes up and says, I need you to write a report on every shoplifter who gets away.  I asked her, what is the point here?  She said, well, I have to get enough reports of crime going on so I can get these cameras out here."

Numbers from the Joplin Police Department show a steady decline in shoplifting incidents over the past four years (183 in 2014; 151 in 2015; 118 in 2016; 40 in 2017).  But Martinous and Jacobous say those statistics could be even better, especially if security guards at the mall took their job more seriously.

Martinous says pictures included with this story show a security guard sleeping on the routine job and also during CPR training.

"CPR, first aid, and the AED operation is very important to a security officer's, police officer's, whatever's duties," says Martinous.

A statement from CBL Properties, the company that owns Northpark Mall, reads, "We contract with a third party to provide security services for the property.  Once made aware of these allegations, we contacted our vendor, and corrective action was taken.  Our top priority is to provide a comfortable and convenient experience for our customers, employees, and retail partners, and (we) are working closely with our security provider to ensure our standards are upheld."

The statement from CBL Properties also reads, "The claims being made are from disgruntled former employees of the security contractor."  Martinous and Jacobous disagree, also saying their security concerns are legit in any circumstance.

We have not gotten a response back from ERMC.

The full response from CBL Properties: "We contract with a third party to provide security services for the property. Once made aware of these allegations, we contacted our vendor, and corrective action was taken. As we understand it, the claims being made are from disgruntled former employees of the security contractor. Our top priority is to provide a comfortable and convenient experience for our customers, employees, and retail partners, and are working closely with our security provider to ensure our standards are upheld."

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