Safety/Security Analysis of AH-SP

A comprehensive review was conducted by security experts regarding the 9212 Report. It was revealed in the report that there was no emphasis or concerns addressed regarding criminal activity or compromised emergency responses from first responders in the community, but rather “glazed over” as to reflect that there would be no impact to the community of Carlsbad. This response is not only misleading, but highly suspect.

It is anticipated 12 million visitors, annually, will visit the Agua Hedionda 85/15 Mall. This will, according to security experts, unquestionably will create a significant impact on law enforcements response to the surrounding Carlsbad community, hence, compromising the safety and security of surrounding residents. Additionally there will be an anticipated increase in criminal activity both at the mall and to the surrounding community.

Per Gary Barberio, Assistant City Manager, memo, dated July 20, 2015, a Police Department review of 9212 Draft Report states: “The Police Department has reviewed the 9212 Initiate Draft Report and supporting environmental documentation with regard to public safety. The department has no outstanding issues to present or highlight, and has found the information presented to align with city standards.”

The Assistant City Manager’s memo clearly suggests a low city standard. There appears to be no concern for what the impact of the mega-mall will have on the community, nor has he considered the consequences or impact of the safety and security of its citizens, nor does his memo express concern for ensuring first responders are adequately supported to successfully and, as best able, safely respond to calls for service while policing in a pro-active manner.

The 9212 report provides no evidence nor does it recommend a security plan, a security assessment or anticipate an increased deployment of first responders.

The report does not address or respond to the increase in criminal activity, traffic incidents/collisions, and life safety issues the mall will create.

The report does not provide any recommendations for proactive or preventive measures, or worse, raise any concerns for the target rich environment the mall will create in relation to increased safety and security concerns. Police and Fire will be expected, with no increased deployment or support, to ensure an on-going level of safety/security and emergency response to the surrounding community, in addition to responding to the quality of life issues, criminal activity, and life-saving emergency responses at the mall.

Fire Services

The 9212 Report, per page 31, does not provide, nor does it recommend, any enhanced plan or sufficient response by Fire for an exigent circumstances incident. Given anticipated growth and the increase of both traffic and pedestrians to the mall, on a daily basis, deems a five minute response will likely be longer by Fire Station #4 and future Fire Station #3 as not satisfactory. The response time will significantly increase during peak business hours and during Holiday Season and/or during special events. The report fails to identify or provide any contingency plans, including specialized traffic control measures, at a cost. It does not address or identify any special ingress/egress to manage an acceptable response to ensure a swift response to a medical, environmental or law enforcement emergency.

The demand for serves will increase with the anticipated, daily visitors, at the mall.

Police Services

The 9212 Report, per page 51, indicates that Carlsbad Police Department’s response to priority-one emergency call is six-minutes. The platinum standard which has been set and utilized by the premier law enforcement agencies in the nation is three-minutes. The model utilized by Carlsbad Police Department, as indicated in the report, is based upon actual workload measures, but does not factor in the anticipated growth of traffic and visitors, daily, to the mall. When life is in the balance and a dynamic event is occurring, a six minutes response time is unacceptable, whether it be at the mall or to the surrounding community.

Pro-Active/Reactive Safety/Security Measures

The 9212 Report does not indicate any pro-active measures to prevent or respond the anticipated increase in crime that the mall will invite. There is no plan or recommendation to increase law enforcement deployment. The current deployment model utilized by the Police Department does not anticipate the depletion of police resources for calls for service at the mall. This failure will compromise the quality of service and increase response times for emergent and non-emergency calls for services to the community.

Active Shooter Considerations

The mall is a target rich environment for criminal activity as evidenced by supporting crime statistic provided from similar Southern California malls.

In 2014, the Federal Bureau of Investigation initiated a study of active shooter incidents. The study provided a comprehensive and detail facts relating to locations and response times. Between, 2000-2013, of 160 active shooter incidents, 46% occurred in the commercial/commerce areas which included malls.

The study reflects in 64 active shooter incidents where the duration of the incident could be ascertained, 44 (69.0 %) of 64 incidents ended in 5 minutes or less, with 23 ending in 2 minutes or less. The study clearly supports the need for an increased law enforcement deployment with an improved response time to the three-minute standard for priority-one emergency calls.

Carlsbad Police Department stated that it concurs, after reviewing the AH-SP Initiative and the EA, regarding public safety, that the mall would “not cause a substantial increase in demand for police protection facilities.” This is either highly suspect or a lack of knowledge by the department to properly understand the impact the mall will have on the community. There is a clear nexus to criminal activity and first responder’s calls for service.


Security experts anticipate both mall related crime and traffic control/accidents will deplete current fire/police resources that have previously be dedicated to the surrounding community. Both Carlsbad Fire and Police have not recommended any additional resources to address the anticipated growth and the host of issues that will dramatically impact the community as the result of the mall. 

Additionally law enforcement support services, including criminal analysis/lab, traffic investigations, detective services, just to name a few, will be impacted by an increased workload.

The citizens of Carlsbad will, assuredly, feel the impact in diminished police and fire services as the result of no foresight by community leaders.

Citizens for North County, No on Measure A With Major Funding by Westfield, LLC * ID# 1380112. 

Citizens for North County