LP Magazine

JUL-AUG 2014

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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EDITOR'S NOTE: Read Hayes, Ph.D., CPP, is the director of the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) and coordinator of the Loss Prevention Research Team at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Hayes started his LP career with Robinsons of Florida before joining J. Byron's, which later became Ross Stores. He left his LP role to start a training and consulting firm called Loss Prevention Specialists before obtaining his doctorate degree and moving into academic research full time. Hayes holds an undergraduate degree in criminology from the University of Florida and a doctorate in criminology from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. He is an ongoing contributor to LP Magazine writing the Evidence-Based LP column. EDITOR: You have been a longtime supporter and editorial contributor to the magazine, which we appreciate. Today, we want to flip the coin and have everyone get to know more about Read Hayes. Let's start by telling us how you got started in loss prevention. HAYES: As a freshman in college I needed a part-time job. I was interested in law enforcement, maybe becoming a game warden. There was an ad pinned to a bulletin board at the college for a store detective at a whopping $2.85 an hour with Robinsons of Florida; at that time part of Associated Dry Goods Corporation. My first apprehension I watched three subjects, two males and a female, concealing apparel. The apprehension was wild. My favorite shirt was torn off my back. It ended up involving over ten police officers. I had never had more fun in my life, so I was hooked. EDITOR: Where did you go from there? HAYES: I was also a sworn deputy sheriff briefly, working undercover for nine months in a high school that had a crystal meth problem. When I graduated college, I did another two-year undercover stint in a drug taskforce. I then became a district LP manager for J. Byron's. At one point I went off to army training and ultimately did ten years as a reserve U.S. Army infantry officer. When I returned from my initial army training, my district was being reopened as Ross Stores. I did that for several more years, but I really wanted to do LP research and consulting, so I started a company called Loss Prevention Specialists. There were several major retailers who purchased and implemented the training since it was very interactive and based on real-world scenarios. EDITOR: You have always been driven by two things—your own personal education and research in the industry. Tell us how those came together for you. HAYES: When I was young, whenever we'd drive around with my physician father, he would listen to these horrifically boring, sometimes grotesque professional-improvement tapes about various diseases or medical techniques. I didn't go into medicine as a third-generation physician probably because I was too squeamish. But I understood the purpose for the research, clinical trials, and so forth. I knew research helped guide what they were doing, how they were doing it, and why they were doing it. That was so different than what was going on in loss prevention. In LP we were making the best decisions we could, but it wasn't based on evidence or science, it was largely based on intuition and what others were doing. That led me to think about what we were doing and why, and how it really needed to be much more science and research-based like medicine. Billions in theft, and daily life-safety issues demanded it. We needed to understand what we were doing based on rigorous studies and trials to build a better industry. That became my passion. EDITOR: Successful people often have those who have offered a helping hand over the years. Who are some of those who have been helpful to getting to where you are today? HAYES: Mr. David Whitney, my first mentor in loss prevention, always encouraged me to follow my passion. He would tell me, "This DLPM job ultimately isn't you. You're stuck in the mud. You've got to get out of here and make a difference. And I'll support you." He was the first guy to do that. UF's Dr. [Richard] Hollinger and his counterpart in the U.K., Prof. [Joshua] Bamfield, really helped me pursue my education, which was a tremendous commitment. Also, Dr. Bart Weiss at the University of Florida helped me and Dick Hollinger construct the first National Retail Security Survey. He helped guide my doctoral research as part of my committee, and he's one of the most dynamic people I've ever met. They saw that I was driven by this need to do research, and worked with me to balance education, work, and family. They all In LP we were making the best decisions we could, but it wasn't based on evidence or science, it was largely based on intuition and what others were doing. That led me to think about what we were doing and why, and how it really needed to be much more science and research-based like medicine. Billions in theft, and daily life-safety issues demanded it. We needed to understand what we were doing based on rigorous studies and trials to build a better industry. That became my passion. 28 JULY - AUGUST 2014 | LPPORTAL.COM INTERVIEW

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