Reports: Alderman proposes expanding Water Tower Place security policy this summer

CHICAGO (WLS) -- More rules may be in store for teenagers wanting to shop at Chicago's Water Tower Place. At least one Chicago alderman is reportedly calling for the plan to be expanded to seven days a week during the summer.

"I feel like people are not going to like that," shopper Madison Medjes said.

According to published reports, 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins said that would help keep teens - like those accused of causing disruptions at the mall before attacking several people at a nearby CTA Red Line stop - from terrorizing shoppers and tourists along Michigan Avenue.

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A group of teens attacked three people at the CTA Red Line's Chicago and State station.



Lindsay Kahn, a spokesperson for the mall, issued a statement in response to the alderman's suggestion that reads, in part: "We constantly review and evaluate our security protocols and have a close partnership with the Chicago Police Department. We will assess if extended PGR hours will be needed during the summer months, or any time."

And while Ed Yohnka with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois understands the need for security, he remains concerned that the implementation of the policy could become discriminatory.

"If four kids are coming from the North Side or the north suburbs to see movie and decide to purchase something, are they going to treated the same as four kids from the West Side or the South Side?" Yohnka asked.

The parental guidance required program at Water Tower Place went into effect January 4. Every Friday and Saturday beginning at 4 p.m., all guests 17 years old or younger must be accompanied by a parent or adult at least 21 years old. One adult can supervise up to four minors.

There's no limit for the number of kids - aged 10 or younger - an adult can accompany. And while some understand the need to keep everyone safe, others like Lauren Wallace say shopping at Water Tower Place may not be worth it any more.

"It'd be easier just to go on your own, go somewhere else," Wallace said.
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