Westfield targets TPS in aim to curb disruptions

Westfield Franklin Park is hoping to curb any more trouble at the mall by warning Toledo Public Schools students of its zero-tolerance policy.

TPS middle and high school students, who begin their spring break holidays Friday, were sent home this week with letters from mall officials warning of the shopping center's zero-tolerance policy regarding disruptive behavior. The mall says they will work with local law enforcement to ban, arrest, and even prosecute anyone causing trouble on mall property.

The warning comes after more than 100 youth were involved in a fracas at the mall in mid-February. Toledo Police arrested more than a dozen people, no older than 16-years-old and most students at Toledo Public Schools.

Westfield Franklin Park has since increased security and police presence at the mall in hopes of preventing any future disruptions. Mall officials met with Toledo city leaders to review security plans and discuss options. The city of Toledo's Safety Director Shirley Green offered the city's assistance saying, "We will continue to work with Westfield in their goal to provide a safe, welcoming and enjoyable environment for our community. This includes (Toledo Police Department) presence in and around the center, making off duty officers available for project work and ongoing communication with Westfield."

In the letter, dated March 24, Westfield said they will continue to honor the City of Toledo's curfew law, which restricts young people from being out in public after certain hours. The mall also stated that the final movie time at Franklin Park Cinema De Lux is generally around 10:30 p.m., but that children could be in violation of the city's curfew ordinance if the movie ends after curfew. Parents and children are urged to plan accordingly when choosing movie times.