2 metro Atlanta-area malls add firearm-sniffing K-9s to security

Two metro Atlanta malls have added an extra layer of security for shoppers. Both Cumberland and Perimeter Malls have added firearm detecting canines to their security plans.

Both malls already have canine units patrolling, but recently, the dogs were sent to learn a new skill to better protect and keep you safe.

"The safety and wellbeing of our guests and employees and everyone who walks through our door is paramount," Cumberland Mall General Manager Chris McCoy said.

Those who shop at Cumberland or Perimeter malls might not think twice about an adorable and fluffy face sniffing through the crowds. While shoppers are busy making purchases, a K-9 unit is making sure all are safe and secure.

"People love our dog. Jax is a great part of the mall," McCoy said.

Both malls have had a canine member on the security team for years but recently sent them to learn a new and useful skill.

"Earlier this year we sent our canine unit Jax to be trained on weapons detection," McCoy said.

Jax is now trained to sniff out firearms.

"It’s an extra safety measure and extra precaution. The dog is trained to detect weapons on the property and Cumberland mall is a no firearms property," McCoy said.

This announcement comes less than two weeks after a shootout in the Cumberland Mall parking lot that injured a man and an eight-year-old boy.

McCoy said this decision was not in response to any recent violence but to be proactive.

"Our security program is continuously evolving at all times and this is a component of it," McCoy said.

This is not the first metro Atlanta mall to enhance security.

In December, management at Lenox Square announced it added K-9 units and metal detectors.

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