Mall chaperone policy now in effect at Garden State Plaza Mall

The new policy went into effect Friday at 5 p.m. Anyone under the age of 17 who wants to come to the mall Friday and Saturday nights must be accompanied by someone over the age of 21.

Matt Trapani and Naomi Yané

Apr 29, 2023, 2:24 AM

Updated 441 days ago

Share:

A new chaperone policy is now in place at the Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus. It is an attempt to crack down on unruly teenagers.
The new policy went into effect Friday at 5 p.m. Anyone under the age of 17 who wants to come to the mall Friday and Saturday nights must be accompanied by someone over the age of 21.
Signs were posted at mall entrances reminding shoppers of the new policy. Security guards and police officers were also posted up at mall entrances checking IDs, much like the club, ensuring everyone followed the new rules. According to Westfield Garden State’s website, anyone 17 and under who is at the mall unaccompanied during the days and times when the policy is in effect could be asked to leave, or they must be joined by someone 21 or older immediately.
The changes seem to be an attempt to lower the crowds of unruly teens and the number of fights.
News 12 has previously reported about a situation where shoppers thought there were gunshots fired but it turned out to be a fight between two males. When a glass bottle hit the ground, it sent mallgoers running.
Reactions to the new policy were mixed among shoppers.
“Think it’s great, honestly. Not just for the security of the kids, but also to make the experience of being at the mall a lot better for everybody, just because it’s such a big mall, it gives for a lot of things to happen,” says Laura Aldana, of Ridgewood.
“I noticed it was very quiet and I wondered - I thought it might be the rain or going into a Friday weekend, but it was definitely a lot more quiet than I’m used to,” says a shopper from Bergen County. “I thought it was too bad because it’s a beautiful mall. It’s a great place for young people to hang out.”
One adult can chaperone up to four minors. Waiting zones have also been established for minors waiting to be picked up. According to the mall’s website, the new policy is in effect indefinitely and doesn’t apply to restaurants and the movie theater.


More from News 12