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  • LPGuy
    replied
    Originally posted by SecTrainer
    Elsewhere on this board, the question was asked "Why are we always fighting the last war?" and I think this applies here as well.

    The time was, your average shoplifter was some relatively harmless goofball, and we even called him a "petty thief". The very word "petty" has a legal definition, but in common use "petty" implies that something is "small" or "minor" - so the shoplifter has been thought of as just a "minor" criminal.

    That was the "last war"...today, the picture is very different and sophisticated shoplifting schemes have become the domain of organized crime, gangs and even terrorists. If you don't believe me, I have the latest issue of Loss Prevention magazine right in front of me and the cover story is entitled: "Organized Retail Crime".

    Another issue that doesn't get mentioned much is the increasing prevalence of "three-strike" laws whereby repeat felons can face life in prison. It doesn't take much of a "boost" to add up to a felony these days. Now, do you think this might make someone desperate enough to shoot their way out of a shoplifting bust?

    The LP agent now, more than ever before, has no idea of what he will confront when he goes to work each day. If he had to make an educated guess, however, he would have good reason to believe that he is more likely now than ever before to be dealing with an armed aggressor.

    I wouldn't work unarmed LP in many retail venues today if you tripled the salary.
    You're exactly right. That was a great article in Loss Prevention magazine, by the way. Some retailers have started to recognize this, such as Mervyn's, which has its own organized retail theft task force to combat ORT. But this is a corporate thing, and the awareness has yet to influence how the store-based officers work.

    adam12, that was the position I held. I felt that the company would be held more liable for *inaction* than the rare occurence where action might bring about some liability. As a side note, I was employed in-house, not contract. But there was some common sense to all this, really. If a customer was being robbed at gunpoint, I don't think the company would have minded us calling the police. But if we saw someone trying door handles out in the parking lot, for example, I don't think the company would have approved of us calling in a suspected car prowler. The company would argue that if he was detained by police and they determined he wasn't car prowling, then we're liable for his discomfort because we assumed he was.

    Needless to say, I wasn't held back by such silly policies and worked freely with all law enforcement agencies, especially when they came to me for assistance in identifying or locating suspects.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr. Security
    replied
    Originally posted by SecTrainer
    Elsewhere on this board, the question was asked "Why are we always fighting the last war?" and I think this applies here as well.

    The time was, your average shoplifter was some relatively harmless goofball, and we even called him a "petty thief". The very word "petty" has a legal definition, but in common use "petty" implies that something is "small" or "minor" - so the shoplifter has been thought of as just a "minor" criminal.

    That was the "last war"...today, the picture is very different and sophisticated shoplifting schemes have become the domain of organized crime, gangs and even terrorists. If you don't believe me, I have the latest issue of Loss Prevention magazine right in front of me and the cover story is entitled: "Organized Retail Crime".

    Another issue that doesn't get mentioned much is the increasing prevalence of "three-strike" laws whereby repeat felons can face life in prison. It doesn't take much of a "boost" to add up to a felony these days. Now, do you think this might make someone desperate enough to shoot their way out of a shoplifting bust?

    The LP agent now, more than ever before, has no idea of what he will confront when he goes to work each day. If he had to make an educated guess, however, he would have good reason to believe that he is more likely now than ever before to be dealing with an armed aggressor.

    I wouldn't work unarmed LP in many retail venues today if you tripled the salary.
    I agree. Yesterday I spoke with a LPO at a large shopping chain. He related an incident where a guy was robbing the customer service desk of cash. The LPO confronted the guy and ended up looking down the barrel of a gun. In shock, he blurted out the only thing he could think of, which was: "Can I help you put that in a bag?" The gunman simply yelled at him to get away and quickly exited the store.

    Leave a comment:


  • adam12
    replied
    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
    Remember that in some states, there is no duty to summon law enforcement for the common citizen, nor the security guard. Wisconsin law requires all citizens to summon police for a felony they witness, as soon as safely possible. However, a "licensed as a security, private police, or watch person" is required to report all violations of state law and city/county ordinance as soon as safely possible.
    Entirely true, however it's not necessarily legal duty that one needs to worry about. Public opinion (and the actions of your friendly local PR dept.) often has much further reaching effects. For I would venture to say many companies would have no problem blaming (and of course terminating) security personnel regardless of whether or not they were following procedure in order to save face.

    I've run into more work environments than I care to count. And it's why I always warn people who are new to the industry to be very, very careful about who they work for and who they're contracted out to if they'd like to keep working in Security.

    Leave a comment:


  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Originally posted by adam12
    That actually sounds fairly short-sighted. I can just hear it now...

    "Man robbed at gunpoint outside local retailer while security watches, refusing to call 911. Story at 11."

    Anyone working in that sort of situation would be well-advised to find another job ASAP. The first people to be blamed when idiotic company policy results in such events is the Security staff. Many companies employ "security" contractors as a buffer seperating them from various liabilities. The company doesn't care how many "security" contractors they go through, as long as they can keep re-directing lawsuits and blame their own stupid actions on someone else.
    Remember that in some states, there is no duty to summon law enforcement for the common citizen, nor the security guard. Wisconsin law requires all citizens to summon police for a felony they witness, as soon as safely possible. However, a "licensed as a security, private police, or watch person" is required to report all violations of state law and city/county ordinance as soon as safely possible.

    Leave a comment:


  • adam12
    replied
    Originally posted by LPGuy
    What it really comes down to is liability. The retailer takes the position that when the customer is a victim, it is the customer's responsibility to take action. We were told to not even call the police if the customer was a victim of a crime. We could respond and contain the situation, but we weren't to notify the police. The company didn't want to be held responsible for accusing anyone of a crime if the company wasn't victimized in it. That way, the company argued, if someone was falsely accused, it was the victim's fault, not the company's.
    That actually sounds fairly short-sighted. I can just hear it now...

    "Man robbed at gunpoint outside local retailer while security watches, refusing to call 911. Story at 11."

    Anyone working in that sort of situation would be well-advised to find another job ASAP. The first people to be blamed when idiotic company policy results in such events is the Security staff. Many companies employ "security" contractors as a buffer seperating them from various liabilities. The company doesn't care how many "security" contractors they go through, as long as they can keep re-directing lawsuits and blame their own stupid actions on someone else.

    Leave a comment:


  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by LPGuy
    As far as being armed even for just personal protection, I was told that we didn't need to be armed, because we were trained that if the situation was too dangerous, to notify the police. The company said, "We've never told you that you HAVE to apprehend a subject with a weapon." Oh, I'm sorry--I didn't realize that I was expected to be omniscient and know that the subject is carrying a gun or a knife *before* I stop them.

    I enjoyed my time in LP, but these are a couple of reasons why I left.
    Elsewhere on this board, the question was asked "Why are we always fighting the last war?" and I think this applies here as well.

    The time was, your average shoplifter was some relatively harmless goofball, and we even called him a "petty thief". The very word "petty" has a legal definition, but in common use "petty" implies that something is "small" or "minor" - so the shoplifter has been thought of as just a "minor" criminal.

    That was the "last war"...today, the picture is very different and sophisticated shoplifting schemes have become the domain of organized crime, gangs and even terrorists. If you don't believe me, I have the latest issue of Loss Prevention magazine right in front of me and the cover story is entitled: "Organized Retail Crime".

    Another issue that doesn't get mentioned much is the increasing prevalence of "three-strike" laws whereby repeat felons can face life in prison. It doesn't take much of a "boost" to add up to a felony these days. Now, do you think this might make someone desperate enough to shoot their way out of a shoplifting bust?

    The LP agent now, more than ever before, has no idea of what he will confront when he goes to work each day. If he had to make an educated guess, however, he would have good reason to believe that he is more likely now than ever before to be dealing with an armed aggressor.

    I wouldn't work unarmed LP in many retail venues today if you tripled the salary.

    Leave a comment:


  • LPGuy
    replied
    Originally posted by SecTrainer
    This is the basic LP mantra, and one of the chief excuses for the nearly universal failure to provide armed officers in retail establishments - even in many that have a history of armed incidents. Unfortunately, the mantra is wrong. There are actually lots of things in a KMART store that might justify an armed protective response - I'm sure you must have noticed them. They're called PEOPLE, and the retail industry frankly has a deplorable history of being indifferent to the protection of these valuable "items" in their stores. You only have to look at the statistics regarding violent crimes against retail employees and customers, for instance, to witness the results of this indifference.

    It's time - no, it's way past time - for the retail industry to understand once and for all that their security obligations extend far beyond the question of whether their "stuff" gets boosted or whether an employee gives out free french fries to her friends.

    Every day of the week, retail stores contain millions of the most precious "things" in the world - PEOPLE. More than the "right" to find a desirable selection of merchandise at half-off (which is the retailer's Bill of Rights and religious creed all rolled into one) these people have the more fundamental right to be safe (in which right, however, the retailer does not believe or care about for one minute). Let the customer beware, and it's no skin off our nose if she drives around for a half-hour in order to get a parking spot close to the store!

    Think about this: If these millions of people passing through their doors were each a shipment of diamonds instead, you can bet there would be armed officers, and a threat to those diamonds WOULD provoke an armed response. But, I guess people just don't matter as much as diamonds to the typical retail executive. Seems perfectly reasonable, doesn't it? I'm not suggesting that KMARTS should become armed camps, but the notion that low-level security is all that is ever justified because "we're only dealing with stuff here" is simply wrong, especially for retail stores where the immediate environment and the history makes it perfectly predictable that there will be violent crimes committed against the people in those stores or in their parking facilities.
    I agree whole-heartedly. You really hit the nail on the head. Having worked in retail loss prevention for the largest national department store retailer, I can verify that this, unfortunately, is the mentality that companies often take.

    What it really comes down to is liability. The retailer takes the position that when the customer is a victim, it is the customer's responsibility to take action. We were told to not even call the police if the customer was a victim of a crime. We could respond and contain the situation, but we weren't to notify the police. The company didn't want to be held responsible for accusing anyone of a crime if the company wasn't victimized in it. That way, the company argued, if someone was falsely accused, it was the victim's fault, not the company's.

    As far as being armed even for just personal protection, I was told that we didn't need to be armed, because we were trained that if the situation was too dangerous, to notify the police. The company said, "We've never told you that you HAVE to apprehend a subject with a weapon." Oh, I'm sorry--I didn't realize that I was expected to be omniscient and know that the subject is carrying a gun or a knife *before* I stop them.

    I enjoyed my time in LP, but these are a couple of reasons why I left.

    Leave a comment:


  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by Security Consultant
    You write, "Let the customer beware, and it's no skin off our nose if she drives around for a half-hour in order to get a parking spot close to the store!" And that has what to do with providing an armed security staff for customer safety? That is a customer service issue. It makes sense to provide parking lot assistance to customers when the times dictate.
    Sorry - I assumed you would understand in the context of this thread that this woman is driving around looking for a nearby parking space for the reason that she's afraid to have to walk very far in the parking lot - not merely as a matter of convenience. In this particular sense, incidentally, you seem to segregate this issue from the security function by calling it a "customer service" issue ("Not my job, man"). However, it's a perfect example of how security people must understand that theirs IS a business and a customer service function.

    And yes, some retailers have finally recognized that they have a need for higher-level response, but they are so few in number that they don't bear talking about. My comments were directed to the majority of the retail industry, not the exceptions that can always be cited whenever any broad principle or widely-prevailing condition is being discussed. Exceptions never disprove anything.

    Finally, I'm not talking about what retailers say in their manuals or declare from their rooftops. I'm talking about what they do, and for most of them it stops with making noble proclamations in the manuals.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 02-19-2007, 11:24 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Curtis Baillie
    replied
    Originally posted by SecTrainer
    This is the basic LP mantra, and one of the chief excuses for the nearly universal failure to provide armed officers in retail establishments - even in many that have a history of armed incidents. Unfortunately, the mantra is wrong. There are actually lots of things in a KMART store that might justify an armed protective response - I'm sure you must have noticed them. They're called PEOPLE, and the retail industry frankly has a deplorable history of being indifferent to the protection of these valuable "items" in their stores. You only have to look at the statistics regarding violent crimes against retail employees and customers, for instance, to witness the results of this indifference.

    It's time - no, it's way past time - for the retail industry to understand once and for all that their security obligations extend far beyond the question of whether their "stuff" gets boosted or whether an employee gives out free french fries to her friends.

    Every day of the week, retail stores contain millions of the most precious "things" in the world - PEOPLE. More than the "right" to find a desirable selection of merchandise at half-off (which is the retailer's Bill of Rights and religious creed all rolled into one) these people have the more fundamental right to be safe (in which right, however, the retailer does not believe or care about for one minute). Let the customer beware, and it's no skin off our nose if she drives around for a half-hour in order to get a parking spot close to the store!

    Think about this: If these millions of people passing through their doors were each a shipment of diamonds instead, you can bet there would be armed officers, and a threat to those diamonds WOULD provoke an armed response. But, I guess people just don't matter as much as diamonds to the typical retail executive. Seems perfectly reasonable, doesn't it? I'm not suggesting that KMARTS should become armed camps, but the notion that low-level security is all that is ever justified because "we're only dealing with stuff here" is simply wrong, especially for retail stores where the immediate environment and the history makes it perfectly predictable that there will be violent crimes committed against the people in those stores or in their parking facilities.
    This thread is titled, "Security Guard stabbed during shoplifting scuffle" Here's my response, Being "proactive" does not mean fighting with suspected theives in a KMART parking lot. That action is reactive. Proactive is using means to deter the theft before it happens. There is nothing in a KMART store worth risking your or others lives for.

    When approaching a shoplifter outside the store and confronted with a weapon - I stand by my statement. What have they stolen that is worth your life?

    As to other points in your post - I draw on my experience and that of my peers in the retail loss prevention/security industry. I worked for a retailer that required all of their LP to carry firearms while working in their stores. The customers in the stores never knew it. I have very often hired armed Security Officers and off duty Police Officers to work in stores. This is where the history, crime rate and business needs dictates such an action. I have hired armed personnel for the protection of employees and customers in threatened stores.

    Retailers recognize their duty to protect their customers. Every P&P manual I have ever written or reviewed has included a section that carefully outlines a response to violence on company premises.

    You write, "Let the customer beware, and it's no skin off our nose if she drives around for a half-hour in order to get a parking spot close to the store!" And that has what to do with providing an armed security staff for customer safety? That is a customer service issue. It makes sense to provide parking lot assistance to customers when the times dictate.

    Leave a comment:


  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by Security Consultant
    There is nothing in a KMART store worth risking your or others lives for.
    This is the basic LP mantra, and one of the chief excuses for the nearly universal failure to provide armed officers in retail establishments - even in many that have a history of armed incidents. Unfortunately, the mantra is wrong. There are actually lots of things in a KMART store that might justify an armed protective response - I'm sure you must have noticed them. They're called PEOPLE, and the retail industry frankly has a deplorable history of being indifferent to the protection of these valuable "items" in their stores. You only have to look at the statistics regarding violent crimes against retail employees and customers, for instance, to witness the results of this indifference.

    It's time - no, it's way past time - for the retail industry to understand once and for all that their security obligations extend far beyond the question of whether their "stuff" gets boosted or whether an employee gives out free french fries to her friends.

    Every day of the week, retail stores contain millions of the most precious "things" in the world - PEOPLE. More than the "right" to find a desirable selection of merchandise at half-off (which is the retailer's Bill of Rights and religious creed all rolled into one) these people have the more fundamental right to be safe (in which right, however, the retailer does not believe or care about for one minute). Let the customer beware, and it's no skin off our nose if she drives around for a half-hour in order to get a parking spot close to the store!

    Think about this: If these millions of people passing through their doors were each a shipment of diamonds instead, you can bet there would be armed officers, and a threat to those diamonds WOULD provoke an armed response. But, I guess people just don't matter as much as diamonds to the typical retail executive. Seems perfectly reasonable, doesn't it? I'm not suggesting that KMARTS should become armed camps, but the notion that low-level security is all that is ever justified because "we're only dealing with stuff here" is simply wrong, especially for retail stores where the immediate environment and the history makes it perfectly predictable that there will be violent crimes committed against the people in those stores or in their parking facilities.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 02-19-2007, 04:19 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • theconstipated1
    replied
    This is why I`d never work unarmed. I gotta have my SIG next to me

    Leave a comment:


  • Black Caesar
    replied
    Originally posted by Chucky
    Yes dude I will share a donut anytime with you. Blazer wearers just don't get it.
    Deadly force begets Deadly response.
    every...freaking...time lol.

    I agree whole-heartedly with what Security Consultant said of course. I think there is a time and place for everything. If the employer isn't going to give me the proper tools to do a job, I'll do the job the equip me to do. If I'm unarmed it's observe and report city for me.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chucky
    replied
    Originally posted by Hospital Security Dude
    Had security been armed, two rounds center mass would have been an appropriate response.
    Yes dude I will share a donut anytime with you. Blazer wearers just don't get it.
    Deadly force begets Deadly response.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hospital Security Dude
    replied
    Had security been armed, two rounds center mass would have been an appropriate response.

    Leave a comment:


  • Curtis Baillie
    replied
    Originally posted by UtahProtectionForce
    http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.d...NEWS/612170326



    i guess our job can be dangerous if you want to be proactive.. in this case the people were outside would you have just "observed and reported" or decide to be proactive and try to "fight" ?
    Being "proactive" does not mean fighting with suspected theives in a KMART parking lot. That action is reactive. Proactive is using means to deter the theft before it happens. There is nothing in a KMART store worth risking your or others lives for.

    At the end of the article it talks about a LP person who was reaching in a car window to try and stop a shoplifter and was dragged by a car. I have terminated loss prevention staff for doing this.

    In answer to your question - observe and report.

    Leave a comment:

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