SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Destiny USA announced Wednesday that anyone under the age of 17 must be accompanied by a parent or an adult over 21 any time the teen enters the mall. That updates a long-standing policy of requiring a parental escort in the mall on weekend evenings.

In a news release, Destiny USA also said the new policy gives Syracuse Police greater authority to “arrest and hold juvenile offenders accountable for violations of the center’s Rules of Conduct.”

If there is one overriding goal of our Parental Escort Policy at Destiny USA, it is to ensure that all guests have a continuous, safe, and enjoyable shopping, dining, and entertainment experience. While 99.9% of the guests that come to Destiny USA act responsibly, including our younger shoppers, there is a very small percentage that are disruptive. We don’t intend to allow that small percentage to damage the experience of local residents and tourists.

CEO of Pyramid Management Group — Stephen J. Congel

“Based on recent discussions with our law enforcement partners at the Syracuse Police Department — as well as feedback from tenants, guests, community leaders, and city officials — we determined that broadening the scope of PEP was necessary. It’s also consistent with the evolution of similar safety policies at other major retail complexes, including the Mall of America in Minneapolis,” added Congel.

The mall says it will continue its partnership with UnBEYlievable Enterprises, a community-based peer support network that helps deter juveniles from engaging in risky activities.

Destiny USA is also creating additional space on its fifth floor to house Syracuse Police who patrol the mall.

Destiny USA is a vital part of the Syracuse community, and the high volume of guests that it regularly attracts has also included a very small percentage of individuals who are unfortunately disruptive. Our on-site work with Destiny USA has clearly helped limit these matters in the past, and we are confident the enhanced PEP program will allow us to intervene and actively address any incidents involving disruptive juvenile guests.

Syracuse Police Chief Kenton Buckner

Click here to view the mall’s conduct policies.