LP Magazine

MAY-JUN 2019

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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TOOLS AND TRAINING HELP LP TEAMS PUNCH BACK AGAINST VIOLENCE Workplace Violence Preparedness Activities in the Last Two Years Conducted Employee Training/Education 48% No Additional Steps 19% Increased On-Site Security 11% Other 11% Invested in Communications Technology 7% Invested in Risk/Threat Intelligence Technology 4% (Source: Responses of thirty-seven retail companies to the 2018 Active-Shooter Preparedness Survey, Everbridge/ASIS International) Perception of Retail Company Leaders' Concern for Employee Safety "Executives and leaders in my organization are more concerned about employee safety then they were two years ago." Agree 48% Strongly Agree 19% Neutral 19% Disagree 15% (Source: Responses of thirty-seven retail companies to the 2018 Active-Shooter Preparedness Survey, Everbridge/ASIS International) 26 MAY–JUNE 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM the community as a safe place to go at night, he explained. Networked solutions also facilitate stores sharing information with law enforcement, piping live video to police if a glass break detection sensor alarms, for example. "The capabilities that technology now affords would help mitigate tragedy if they were more readily shared with law enforcement," Bartol added. Technology-based opportunities to prevent violence and crime in retail environments range from very simple to complex, according to Bartol. But he warned, if you don't know that tools like aggression-detection intelligent video are out there, then it's impossible to identify how to best apply technology to a retailer's advantage. "I think retailers, with LP at the lead as the owner of most of the technologies, are at the cusp of great things," said Bartol. "But in a lot of these scenarios, it's a matter of 'we don't know what we don't know.'" Beneficially, networked security technology has taken some of the pressure off LP and should encourage their creativity. "I suggest they think about, 'What would I attempt from an integrated technology standpoint if I could not fail?'" he said. "With consumer expectations for smart and connected stores, there is way more risk these days from doing nothing than in adopting wrong technology, because networks make it far simpler to change technologies today." If security technology and other security measures are to maximize their ability to deter crime and violence, then people need to know it's there, explained Read Hayes. A store guard needs to appear sufficiently capable and alert to intervene. Patrol vehicles need to have a form factor that allows them to be seen over rows of parked cars. Surveillance systems need to announce themselves. "It's not just about the actual capability of countermeasures but also how the 'problem people'—those who create intimidation for customers—view its capability," said Hayes. "You have to increase the visibility of security countermeasures if they are going to make the problem people feel less safe." It's a point that Larry Hartman echoed. He believes the trend of deploying large pubic monitors has violence prevention benefits. "A 360 fish-eye camera provides great coverage, but the public doesn't necessarily appreciate that," said Hartman. "But a fifty-five-inch monitor is an immediate visual deterrent for someone when they walk in." Both technology and training have an important role to play in protecting sales associates from harm, especially with workplaces being perceived as more dangerous. A new survey by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) conducted in March found that one out of every seven US workers say they do not feel safe at work. Additionally, the percentage of organizations reporting incidents of violence is up 36 percent compared to 2012. SHRM's survey report posits the question whether the increase reflects actual violence levels or simply a greater level of awareness, less tolerance, and better reporting of violence. But in a way, suggested several retail security experts we interviewed, it doesn't really matter. Retail employees—those who do the heavy lifting of managing potentially aggressive customers day in and day out—must receive protection from violence as well as feel protected. continued from page 24

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