Hy-Vee creates own armed security team to deter crime – RetailWire


Jan 03, 2022

Hy-Vee announced last week that it was setting up an in-house armed security team to handle theft and in-store disruption.

The Midwestern grocery chain said in a declaration that he has worked for a long time with third party contractors or law enforcement agencies outside of working hours who work in the field of security. The goal of bringing it internally is to “create a cohesive appearance for the security team and a cohesive approach to customer service and security across all areas. [its] stores. “

This decision is also aimed at combating the increase in crime in the retail sector.

“I think across the country we are seeing an increase in thefts and various crimes in retail stores,” said Jamie Sipes, Hy-Vee’s vice president of security. KY3 TV in Missouri.

Uniformed officers, many of whom have training in law enforcement, will be trained in de-escalation techniques and equipped with firearms and tasers. Not all stores in the Eight-State Hy-Vee area will have a security guard.

“We really have a visual deterrent effect on criminal activity and violence,” Sipes said. “And so we are not trying to interrupt the rights of people. We are here to be an extension of our legendary customer service within Hy-Vee to keep our customers and employees safe.

The “2021 Retail Safety Survey”Showed retailers in 2020 with a 57% increase in organized crime and a 50% increase in shoplifting. Reasons for the increase included operational complications caused by COVID-19, changes in policing and sentencing guidelines, and the growth of online markets.

Armed security guards are most often found in city centers to combat high rates of shoplifting, and incidents involving them are often highly publicized. In July, the family of a man killed by a security guard working at a Giant supermarket in northwest Baltimore asked that he be charged. In August, a Kroger store in Memphis cut ties with security firm Allied Universal on a second degree murder charge against a security guard.

In May, a Casey’s convenience store in southern Iowa City “Suspended” his practice to have an armed security guard on site after concerns were raised about racial prejudice and the message having armed guards sent to the local black community.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is increasing the number of armed security guards the solution to the increase in shoplifting and organized crime in the retail sector? Do you see more advantages than disadvantages in having an internal security force rather than an external one?

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“Will consumers feel safer knowing that there is an armed guard watching buyers? Maybe. It depends on the guard and the experience and training that person has received.”

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