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BY PAUL KIBRY

TOWN OF ULSTER - HUDSON VALLEY MALL SHOULD INSTALL A BUILDING WIDE VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM SO THAT PARKING LOTS OUTSIDE AND CORRIDORS INSIDE CAN BE MONITORED BY SECURITY GUARDS, THE TOWN'S POLICE CHIEF AND SUPERVISOR SAID ON WEDNESDAY.

HAD SUCH A SYSTEM BEEN IN PLACE ON SUNDAY, CHIEF PAUL WATZKA SAID, THE MAN WHO FIRED 50-60 ROUNDS FROM AN AUTOMATIC RIFLE, WOUNDING TWO PEOPLE INSIDE THE MALL, MIGHT HAVE BEEN SPOTTED WHILE STILL IN THE PARKING LOT AND APPREHENDED.

WATZKA CONCEDED, THOUGH, THAT THE SHOOTING SPREE - FOR WHICH 25-YEAR-OLD ROBERT BONELLI JR. OF GLASCO HAS BEEN CHARGED - MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED ANYWAY.

" I THINK IT IS NECESSARY IN THIS DAY AND TIME," THE CHIEF SAID OF A SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM. "I THINK IT WOULD BE WORTH IT IN THE LONGER RUN. ... I AM NOT SAYING IT WOULD HAVE PREVENTED (SUNDAY'S ASSAULT), BUT MAYBE."

CURRENTLY, ONLY INDIVIDUAL STORES IN THE U.S. ROUTE 9W MALL HAVE SECURITY CAMERAS. THE COMMON AREAS OF THE MALL ARE PATROLLED BY SECURITY GUARDS, BUT THEY CAN ONLY SEE WHAT'S IN THEIR IMMEDIATE VICINITY.

TOWN OF ULSTER SUPERVISOR FRED WADNOLA AGREED MALL WIDE CAMERAS WOULD BE HELPFUL - NOT ONLY IN PREVENTING INCIDENTS LIKE SUNDAYS, BUT ALSO IN WATCHING THE PARKING LOTS FOR CAR THIEVES AND THE PERPETRATORS OF OTHER CRIMES - BUT HE WONDERED WHETHER THE MALL'S OWNER, SYRACUSE-BASED PYRAMID COS., WOULD BE WILLING TO MAKE THE NECESSARY INVESTMENT.

" THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS THAT GO INTO WHAT THEY CAN AFFORD AND WHAT THEY WANT TO AFFORD," THE SUPERVISOR SAID.

SCOTT GERMAIN, HUDSON VALLEY MALL'S GENERAL MANAGER, SAID SECURITY RECOMMENDATIONS ARE BEING CONSIDERED, BUT HE WOULD NOT SAY WHETHER SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS MIGHT BE INSTALLED.

" WE ARE LOOKING INTO EVERYTHING WE POSSIBLY CAN TO CONTINUE TO MAKE OUR MALL ... A SAFE ENVIRONMENT,' GERMAIN SAID. "WE WILL WORK, AS WE HAVE IN THE PAST, VERY CLOSELY WITH THE POLICE AUTHORITIES ON ALL THE RECOMMENDATIONS THEY MIGHT HAVE."

IN GENERAL, SHOPPING CENTERS IN THE UNITED STATES HAVE RESISTED TOUGH SECURITY MEASURES, SUCH AS METAL DETECTORS, SAID CRAIG LAWRENCE, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS FOR UNITED RISK PARTNERS IN ELK GROVE, ILL.

THE SECURITY EXPERT SAID MALL OWNERS FIND THEMSELVES IN THE DIFFICULT POSITION OF BALANCING SHOPPING FREEDOM WITH PROTECTING CUSTOMERS FROM HARM.

" WITH SOFT TARGETS, SUCH AS MALLS, IT IS A BIT MORE CHALLENGING THAN, SAY, AT MANUFACTURING FACILITIES, BECAUSE YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT (PLACES) WHERE ACCESS IS NOT CONTROLLED," LAWRENCE SAID.

HUDSON VALLEY MALL HAS 17 PUBLIC ENTRANCES. NONE HAS - OR HAS EVER HAD - A METAL DETECTOR.

LAWRENCE SAID STORES AND MALL OWNERS DON'T WANT TO CREATE A SECURITY-INTENSE ATMOSPHERE BECAUSE SHOPPERS MAY FEEL IMPOSED UPON AND GO ELSEWHERE.

HE ALSO SAID MALLS GENERALLY DO NOT WANT CONSULTING FIRMS EXAMINING THEIR SECURITY BECAUSE IF LAPSES ARE DOCUMENTED AND NOT CORRECTED, THE INFORMATION COULD BE USED AGAINST THE MALL "IF SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS."

DETECTIVE BOBBY REYNOLDS, PRESIDENT OF THE POLICE BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION IN THE TOWN OF ULSTER, SAID ARMED OFFICERS WORK AT THE MALL SOMETIMES - AT THE MALL'S EXPENSE - BUT WEREN'T THERE ON SUNDAY. TWO OFFICERS HAVE BEEN STATIONED AT THE MALL SINCE IT REOPENED ON MONDAY, HE SAID.