Jefferson Mall interior

Jefferson Mall (WDRB file photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jefferson Mall will soon be enforcing a new rule that requires anyone under the age of 18 to be accompanied by a parent or guardian on Friday and Saturday nights. 

It's part of the mall's new Youth Escort Policy, that will be enforced beginning June 7.

Jefferson Mall management said the new policy is designed to provide shoppers and retailers with a more family-friendly shopping environment.

"We want to make sure that this is an enjoyable and comfortable shopping experience," said Sarah Robinson, marketing director for Jefferson Mall.

Under the new policy, the parent or guardian accompanying juvenile shoppers must be at least 21 years old. The rule will be in effect every Friday and Saturday, but Robinson said it "can also be implemented at any other day and time at the discretion of management, when it is deemed necessary."

"This is in response to feedback that we have received from our retailers, our shoppers and local government about unsupervised and disruptive youth that we've had issues with here in the shopping center," she said.

Mall management said teens and pre-teens are welcome to shop, but they're asked to follow the new rules, or they'll be asked to leave.

"We'll have security stationed around the shopping center to check IDs to make sure that they are of age," Robinson said.

Teens under 18 who work at Jefferson Mall won't be affected by the policy and will be issued special IDs for employees.

"Occasionally, we have some kids acting foolish, as kids do," said Doug Burk, owner of Bluegrass Airbrush. "Never seems to be anything dangerous, but it is kind of annoying at times."

After 15 years in business, Burk understands some of the concerns about teenagers roaming the mall.

"A lot of customers aren't used to the environment where they would expect to see a crowd, especially of young people," he said. "Yeah, you can see a little concern."

It's more than just a little concern for some customers.

"I don't come to the mall at night," Chrystal Karem said

Karem supports the new policy and hopes it works.

"I think it has come to that," she said. "I think for the other customers to feel safe, they might need to implement that for a while."

Oxmoor Center and the Mall St. Matthews implemented similar policies a few years ago. 

Full details of Jefferson Mall's Youth Escort Policy can be found on the mall's website.

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