Archive for Thursday, February 9, 2006

Village West developers say security a top priority

February 9, 2006

A recent drama on television portrayed a terrorist "sleeper cell" practicing an attack drill on a crowded Los Angeles shopping center.

And, though fictional, it's the heightened threat of a nightmare scenario such as this that has caused shopping centers across America to bolster security.

Since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and the London bombings in July 2005, shopping centers have taken proactive steps toward enhancing security. Industry experts say shopping centers were among the first business ventures to coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security.

To protect both customers and its $248 million investment in the western Wyandotte County area, RED Development, which owns the 750,000-square-foot Legends of Village West retail area, has "invested heavily" in security.

Though developers refrain from commenting on how much was spent on protection at the KCK shopping center, they indicated that all areas of Legends -- including its exterior parking lots and garages -- are covered by security measures 24 hours a day.

"The system is very similar to what one would expect to find in a casino, in regards to the quality, quantity and locations," Dennis McGovern, general manager of Legends, said in a recent statement.

Legends developers said they have worked with the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department, security consultants and Sound Products, a leader in audio and video installation. A system of closed-circuit television cameras and an emergency telephone system are throughout the parking facility.

The camera system is monitored 24 hours a day and images are recorded at all times.

Legends also has partnered with First Response, a Kansas City-based firm specializing in security. Kauffman Stadium is among the clients served by First Response.

Security measures at Legends don't end with the digital fortress. Officers, both on foot and in vehicles, continuously patrol all areas of the center.

A spokesman for the KCK police department said, "there have been no significant incidents" reported at Legends.

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