Lenox Square adds weapon detectors at main entrance, GM says more security measures to come

ATLANTA — The next time you stroll through Lenox Square, you may go through some weapon detectors.

But as Channel 2′s Sophia Choi found out, not everyone is convinced they’ll keep shoppers safe, due to a potential flaw in the mall’s security plan.

The weapon detectors are located at the main entrance to Lenox Square. As Choi watched, they detected three people with guns who were walking into the mall.

But the main entrance to Lenox Square is not the only entrance to the mall.

Shopper Durrell Brown said he has noticed the violence around Lenox Square over the last several months.

“I do think it’s an issue, with all the violence going on,” Brown said.

The weapon detectors installed by the mall use artificial intelligence and sensors to highlight threats, which are displayed on large tablets used by Lenox Square’s security guards.

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Within five minutes, Choi saw three people get flagged for guns.

“Georgia is a right-to-carry state. We’re private property and don’t permit guns,” Lenox Square General Manager Robin Suggs said.

But the detectors can only find threats that come through the main front entrance.

“If they’re going to do something like that, I think they need to make that uniform policy at all the different entrances,” Brown said.

Since last holiday season, Lenox Square has had at least six shootings on its grounds.

In March, a parking lot dispute led to a homicide. One of the most recent shootings happened in November, outside the Apple Store. The shooters fired off at least 35 shots.

On Wednesday, Choi noticed a lot of security personnel inside and outside stores.

Suggs told Choi that the weapon detectors are on a trial run.

“We are testing various technologies, analyzing operational logistics and efficiencies to determine which technology best meets our needs,” Suggs said.

Lenox Square is the first major mall using the technology, but for some shoppers, it’s still not enough.

“Crime is very high, you know? It’s very scary,” shopper Tony Tarud said.

A Lenox Square spokesperson said the mall is also trying out some new technology in the food court. Suggs said they’ll see what works in the next few weeks before installing their preferred security equipment not just at the main entrance, but at other entrances too.

She said the security measures are a direct response to the uptick in crime in the Buckhead area.