Loss Prevention Officers deal with a lot of violencePosted: Updated:
KENNEWICK, Wash.--Loss Prevention Officers deal with a lot of violence. Most people don't think store security staff face a lot of violent crime, but they do. A string of recent incidents helps to tell the story.
Richland Police Captain Mike Cobb says "many of them are assaulted every year and sometimes they do sustain some injuries." Former Fred Meyer Security Manager Tony Striefel says he's been attacked on several occasions. He says "Kicked, pushed, shoved. I was struck by a car once." In most cases security aren't armed very well with defense weapons and they're often short staffed.
Just last night Kennewick Police helped Macy's security catch two people stealing from the store at Columbia Center Mall. It happened around 7:00 p.m. One of the men stealing had to be tazed before he was stopped. Sgt. Ken Lattin says "when he's about ready to re-enter Columbia Center Mall, and at that moment we had to slow down to open the door, get close enough and apply the tazer."
Sometimes security teams from different stores even work together to warn each other about certain merchandise that's been taken, knowing that thieves may be going from store to store.
Crimestoppers in Kennewick offers classes and certification for Loss Prevention staff and security. The certification allows them to ticket people who steal. They can file reports of theft without having to go through the local police department.