WHITE MARSH, Md. — Starting on Friday, there are new rules for teenagers under a certain age at the White Marsh Mall and The Avenue.
On Thursday, officials with the White Marsh Mall announced they are launching a new Parental Guidance Required (PGR) program. Under the new program, customers at the mall that are under 18-years-old are required to be accompanied by a parent or supervising adult over the age of 21-years-old on Fridays and Saturdays after 5 p.m.
Officials say the program will be strictly enforced throughout the entire shopping center property, including the parking lot and sidewalks.
“After much evaluation and discussion with our partners at the Baltimore County Police Department and the County Executive, we determined the necessary next step for our security protocol will be to implement a formal curfew program," explained Mary Williams, the General Manager of White Marsh Mall. "We’ve continuously explored and implemented new security measures while also listening to the concerns from our community. All are welcome at White Marsh Mall at any time. We simply require that during certain weekend hours, families shop together and guests under 18 are accompanied by an adult. The PGR program will enhance the shopping experience in ways the entire community will appreciate.”
During the allotted PGR program hours, trained public safety offices will be around the entrances of the building to check IDs for vistors who seem under 18-years-old. If they do not have an ID or an adult with them, the officers will ask them to leave.
One adult can accompany up to four underage kids at a time and must stay with them while they are shopping.
If a younger looking person does show proper ID, they will be offered an optional wristband. If the visitors choose not to wear the wristband, they may be asked for ID again by safety officers inside of the shopping center. Valid ID includes a state issued driver’s license or ID card, a military ID, a school ID card, or a passport.
Announcements will be made at 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays to give underage teens enough time to finish their shopping or eating before the curfew begins.
Shortly after the White Marsh Mall made their decision, The Avenue in White Marsh announced they are also changing their policies.
The shopping center said they are also adjusting their Youth Escort Policy to be in effect at 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays starting on Friday as well. This affects all teenagers under the age of 17 who do not have an adult to supervise them.
Parents also need to make sure the underage teens have a ride by 5 p.m., for any teen who is still on the property, even if they are waiting for a ride, by 5 p.m. will be in violation of the policy.
If the teens are going to the AMC Theatres, they must have adult supervision until the movie begins. If there are unsupervised teens in the lobby for longer than 10 minutes, they may be asked to leave.
Teens under 17 still will be able to be at The Avenue unsupervised until 9 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday. If a teen under the age of 17 is in violation of this new policy, they will be banned from The Avenue for three months with or without supervision.