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Securing Us Malls Against Terror a Delicate Balance

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Behind the scenes, however, the mall industry continues exploring new ways to meet the complex challenge it faces: protecting huge areas designed to be accessible to thousands of consumers without scaring them off.

"It's a logistical nightmare," said Micah Carlson, a project manager at the National Security Technology Department of John Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory.

Carlson and his colleagues are working on a project to determine which sensors for biological, chemical and explosive agents can work in large indoor spaces like malls -- especially which sensors may be prone to false alarms.

"There are serious ramifications to pinning grandma down on the floor when she has just taken a nitroglycerin tablet," Carlson said. "It's really not good for business."

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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