Hayward Long commands one of the newest and smallest police forces in the area.
As director of security of Fair Oaks Mall, which is scheduled to open later this month, Long will be responsible for security operations in the Washington area's largest enclosed retail shopping center.
Since Long resigned from the Metropolitan Police Department on May 31 after 20 years of service, he has been busy putting together the Fair Oaks security force. Two vehicles to patrol the parking area had to be purchased, uniforms and to be designed and personnel recruited and properly trained.
"Setting up security in a mall like this is similar to setting up a small police force," Long said.
Long wants a highly visible force. It initially will be comprised of 18 to 20 uniformed security officers patrolling the 1.4 million square foot facility on foot. More manpower may be required depending on the time of year and the needs of the mall, Long said. Fair Oaks houses six major department stores and 165 smaller shops on two levels.
"We shouldn't have any problems at all," said Long, who joined the metropolitan Police Department as a patrolman in 1960 and retired at age 43 as an inspector. "There is very little difference between patrolling high business areas downtown and patrolling a mall."
Security personnel, most of whom are local residents, are given a two-to three-week training course and ongoing, on-the-job training. They are taught fire detection, use of fire extinguishers, cardio-plumonary resuscitation, first aid and patrol techniques. They also must know how to handle a disorderly drunk or what to do with a lost child. Nabbing shoplifters will be the responsibility of the individual stores, Long said.