Bomb-sniffing dogs, guards at the post-9/11 mall

August 6, 2011 - 3:14 PM

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — At the Mall of America, a 150-officer security force comes equipped with bomb-sniffing dogs, a profiling unit and behavioral training.

The nation's largest shopping center gets 150 calls a month about suspicious, unattended packages.

It's the new normal for the American shopping experience, after the 9/11 attacks and a series of arrests in alleged terror plots against malls in the U.S. and overseas.

Maj. Douglas Reynolds, who heads the Minneapolis-area mall's force, says officers need to strike a balance between securing the public and letting them feel free to shop.

But mall officers monitor 12 closed-circuit televisions for security concerns, and are trained in the official self-defense system of Israeli security forces.