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Sarlo Says ‘Model Mall’ Critical For Bergen Safety

PARAMUS – Senator Paul A. Sarlo today said the “Model Mall” homeland security proposal, designed by the New Jersey Institute of Technology, is critically important to Bergen County because it is a national leader in mall-generated revenue.

“The malls of Bergen County rank behind only New York City and Los Angeles as generators of retail revenue,” said Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic. “NJIT will effectively put Bergen County at the national forefront of mall security. I’m proud to have helped to make NJIT the New Jersey Homeland Security Technology Systems Center.”

Based on Senator Sarlo’s efforts, the McGreevey Administration last year agreed to make NJIT the hub of homeland security development in New Jersey. Acting Governor Codey today unveiled NJIT’s first formal recommendation – the “Model Mall” proposal which will be implemented at the Garden State Plaza.

“The safety procedures implemented for mall shoppers will become models of security plans needed for our schools,” said Senator Sarlo. “The enhanced video technology programs that can be shared with local police also will be used to make our children safer at schools.”

Senator Sarlo, an alumnus of NJIT, said he is extremely pleased that the institute has responded with such an advanced proposal to help make New Jersey families safer while shopping or while at school.

“There is no more sacred a responsibility than for parents to ensure the safety of their children,” Senator Sarlo said.

Under the NJIT proposal, so-called “smart security cameras” will be programmed to detect a wide array of suspicious behavior in public places. In addition, advanced video procedures will enable first responders to crises to receive briefings about disturbances even before they arrive on the scene.

Senator Sarlo was personally cited for his efforts by Governor Codey during today’s new conference at the Garden State Plaza.

“We need to use every possible tool in the fight to stop terrorists before they strike,” said Senator Sarlo. “The security technology coming out of NJIT is about the best in the country. In that regard, New Jersey is most fortunate because all of us will be the beneficiaries.”

The “Model Mall” and “Model School” projects will be funded through fedeal homeland security grants and through in-kind contributions from firms and consultants involved in technology and homeland security.