Security video camera systems are coming to both East Towne and West Towne Malls in Madison, the malls’ owner said Friday.

The announcement comes four days after Genele Laird was arrested at East Towne Mall after she allegedly pulled a knife on a mall worker, an incident that was not recorded on video.

What was recorded, by a bystander outside the mall, was Laird’s forcible arrest by Madison police officers, prompting protests over how the 18-year-old black woman was treated.

CBL & Associates Properties, Inc., owner and manager of the two malls, told the Wisconsin State Journal the installation of security video systems was not because of Laird’s arrest.

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“East Towne and West Towne malls are fully committed to the community we serve,” said Sean Phillips, regional marketing director for CBL. “As part of this commitment, security enhancements are planned for both East Towne and West Towne malls.”

Phillips said CBL had been reviewing camera systems the past few months and selected a system with both on- and off-site monitoring, covering the interior and exterior common areas of each property.

“We will continue to work closely with our security provider and the Madison Police Department to ensure we maintain an inviting, welcoming and vibrant destination to shop, dine and spend time with family and friends,” Phillips said.

Mayor Paul Soglin said Thursday that he and Madison Police Chief Mike Koval had made repeated pleas for mall cameras. Both have said the addition of security cameras to common areas would enhance public safety at the malls.

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