WILKES-BARRE TWP. — The owner of the Wyoming Valley Mall will switch the majority of its security services to a private firm and cut back on the use of township police.
Starting Oct. 1, AlliedBarton Security Services of Conshohocken will manage security, bringing the mall in line with other properties owned by the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust of Philadelphia.
In a prepared statement, a PREIT spokeswoman said Wyoming Valley Mall was the only one of the its 36 properties in 12 states that did not use AlliedBarton.
“After a comprehensive review, it was determined that the most efficient and effective means of managing this security program for us is to include them in the practices, policies and procedures that serve us well and are in place at all other PREIT malls,” said Heather Crowell, vice president of corporate communications and investor relations.
The Wilkes-Barre Township Police Department will still provide security services “in a reduced capacity,” Crowell said.
Messages left with township police and officials were not returned.
On its website, AlliedBarton listed the PREIT account as a case study. The security firm has more than 55,000 employees and 120 offices, serving health care, higher education, government, chemical/petrochemical, manufacturing and distribution companies among others.
PREIT used a mix of in-house and contract security and local police at its properties, according to AlliedBarton.
The combination of security providers was effective, but it “resulted in a variety of standards and procedures that differed from mall to mall,” AlliesBarton said.
Over a two-year period, PREIT sought and reviewed proposals from national firms before choosing AlliedBarton in 2006 which standardized security procedures, according to AlliedBarton.
“Our challenge was to get everyone marching to the same drummer,” said Bud Bradley, AlliedBarton’s vice president, national accounts portfolio management, who oversees the security program for all PREIT malls throughout the country.
PREIT also owns the Viewmont Mall in Lackawanna County.