"Our crime has gone to almost nothing," says Lt. David Watkins, of the Abilene Police. He points out that the mall has become a family friendly place in the last six months, noticing more strollers and families walking around. That image, was the goal of the mall when they put in the "Family Friendly" hours last October.
Steve Majors says in a statement, "We [the mall] are very pleased with the Family Friendly Hour in the Mall of Abilene. We have received numerous comments from customers and merchants telling us they appreciate the program and are now shopping at the mall on Friday and Saturday evenings."
Don Pittman, the JC Penny's store manager, agrees, "The effect of the policy was immediate. Families really appreciate the policy."
So just what effects have happened during these six months?
"We've had zero fights in six months," says Lt. Watkins, "stealing from each other and stealing from the stores, to me that was the three main things."
While the policy has worked, it has caused some trouble for teens under or around the age of 18.
"They'd actually kick you out," says Brian Preston, who is 18, but says he didn't have his ID when the policy first kicked off. "They made me wear a little bracelet because they wouldn't believe I was 18."
Paula Herrera, a 17 year old who works at the mall, says she always gets stopped, as well. "Officers stop me and I have to show them my employee card."
However, when asked about the difference of the policy, both agree it's been a good thing. "At Hollister, we have kids come in and just mess up the store, so I like it," says Herrera.
Some take it further, calling it a big success. "It really has been 100% positive. Business in the store is proceeding as planned," says Pittman. Adding, "Without question. I haven't heard any negative comments."
Lt. Watkins even says, "It's a 100% success," and he doesn't predict that trend will change in the next six months.