American Dream Mall in N.J. Briefly Evacuated on Black Friday over Bomb Threat

American Dream Mall in N.J. Briefly Evacuated on Black Friday over Bomb Threat

November 28, 2023 : The American Dream mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey, was briefly evacuated on the busy Black Friday shopping day in response to a bomb threat. The mall, one of the largest in North America, was evacuated just as it was filling up with shoppers, causing widespread disruption and confusion.

According to the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, the threat was received shortly after 8:00 a.m. ET. The mall was immediately evacuated, and police and bomb squads were dispatched to the scene. After a thorough search, no explosive devices were found, and the mall was given the all-clear to reopen a short time later.

The incident caused significant disruptions to the mall’s Black Friday sales, typically one of the year’s busiest shopping days. Many shoppers were stranded outside the mall while it was being evacuated, and some stores could not open on time.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our guests,” said a spokesperson for the American Dream mall. “The safety of our guests and employees is our top priority, and we take all threats seriously.”

The Bergen County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the bomb threat and is asking anyone with information to come forward.

The evacuation of the American Dream mall on Black Friday is a reminder of the challenges that businesses and law enforcement face in ensuring public safety during busy shopping periods. With the increasing prevalence of online shopping, physical stores are fighting to attract customers on Black Friday, which can lead to larger crowds and more potential for security threats.

Businesses need clear and effective emergency plans to deal with threats like bomb scares. These plans should include procedures for evacuating the premises, securing the site, and communicating with law enforcement. Businesses should also train their employees on how to respond to such incidents.

Law enforcement agencies must also be prepared to respond quickly and effectively to threats against large public gatherings. This includes having sufficient resources, such as bomb squads and trained personnel, to conduct thorough searches and investigations.

The evacuation of the American Dream mall highlights the importance of taking a proactive approach to public safety in busy shopping areas. By working together, businesses and law enforcement can help to ensure the safety of shoppers and employees during this critical time of year.