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WalMart. Thousands of police calls. You paid the bill.

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posted on May, 13 2016 @ 04:03 AM

So this local paper ran an article recently alluding to a possible concern with the volume of calls for service to the police for Walmart stores. This city, and the surrounding ones have a lot of Walmart. I mean you could even say this is Walmart world, and we're just living in it. But every agency is finding that the WM is the #1 client for service calls across the board, and that's starting to raise a lot of questions like how much tax they pay to the community and why they don't just use their own private security?? Well I think they should utilize more private security and give the police a break, they are starting to worry about the effect it has in their patrol routines for the neighborhoods. Repeat offenders also seem to be an issue with these calls.

Police come to shoo away panhandlers, referee parking disputes and check on foul-mouthed teenagers. They are called to arrest the man who drinks a 98-cent iced tea without paying and capture the customer who joyrides on a motorized shopping cart. The calls eat up hours of officers’ time. They all start at one place: Walmart. Law enforcement logged nearly 16,800 calls in one year to Walmart's in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties, according to a Tampa Bay Times analysis. That’s two calls an hour, every hour, every day.

“They’re a huge problem in terms of the amount of time that’s spent there,” said Tampa police Officer James Smith, who specializes in retail crime. “We are, as a department, at the mercy of what they want to do.” Walmart attracts more foot traffic than other retailers. More customers, Wyatt Jefferies, a Walmart spokesman, said, means more potential for crime, which results in more calls to police. “It almost looks like Walmart is being penalized for following the law in a way,” he said.

A loss prevention associate walked the teenager to a narrow office and called the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. Two deputies spent more than 50 minutes working on the call. The boy cussed and hung his head. He had more than a hundred dollars in his pocket. He said he hadn’t planned to steal anything when he walked into the store.“I could have paid for ... nine of them,” he said.A body camera captured Deputy Jason Logue reflecting on Walmart’s surveillance system and the volume of calls at the supercenter.“Unfortunately, it just seems to be a big revolving door,” said Logue, before leading the teenager to a patrol car. “We do all this work, and then I feel like a month later I’m dealing with the same guy all over again.”

Walmart pays taxes — a lot of taxes — and like any taxpayer is entitled to government services including help from police. The company is a “commercial citizen,” noted Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, that “doesn’t deserve to get ripped off by people.”But other companies, including some of Walmart’s competitors, pay a lot of taxes, too, and they don’t have nearly the same impact on police. The Walmart, in fact, had more police calls than the shopping plaza plus the city’s seven other biggest taxpayers combined. “We always have to plan for a busy day at Walmart,” said Plant City police Sgt. Alfred Van Duyne.

I feel like the best thing is for Walmart to just get private security, or if that is too expensive, just pay a group of off duty cops in rotation if they want to keep sending people to jail over $1 sodas and cheap cables. I don't want people to just get away with theft, but we need to workout a solution that does not effect the patrol routines and may be leave some communities under patrolled and exposed to risk.

+1 more 
posted on May, 13 2016 @ 04:16 AM

I feel like the best thing is for Walmart to just get private security,

Private security has no arrest powers in most cases. At the end of the day the police need to do their jobs and stop complaining. Walmart, like any other large retail chain, are targets of petty theft, robberies, and car jackings. It is what it is. I don't think its right to blame Walmart for what criminals decide to do to victimize the store or its customers.

posted on May, 13 2016 @ 04:19 AM
a reply to: AmericanRealist

Who are they supposed to call?

I don't think the cops want a private security company arresting people for shoplifting. I don't either.

I think the problem lies with the people that shop at Walmart, compared to those that shop at other stores, such as Target. I notice a difference on the shoppers at those two stores. Not a physical difference, a difference in how they interact with other people in public.

posted on May, 13 2016 @ 04:52 AM
a reply to: AmericanRealist

That's kinda their job, isn't it?

Wal-marts are huge targets for pan handlers, thieves of all sorts, and assorted other folks that businesses don't much care to have around.

I don't think I realized just how bad it can be until I started taking my sister to work, and picking her up from our local Wal-mart Supercenter...

99 percent of the shoppers there are going to be normal everyday shoppers, the rest not so much.

Everytime I'm there, the local PD is there arresting someone for something...usually shoplifting, or they're rousting panhandlers.

Store employees can't because of the risk of law suits, and insurance concerns, nor should they...having had first hand experience at dealing with folks who don't appreciate being asked to move along. The cops are paid much better than minimum wage wally-world employees.

posted on May, 13 2016 @ 05:07 AM
a reply to: projectvxn

Oh contriere mofrier, Security can have the same powers as any police force by law IF the company employing them wants to pay for the insurance to do so. Most security companies suck balls because the mother ship doesn't want to fork out the extra cash to train and give them real authority. I know of a mall where they are trained like a police force, and if this security has to chase you, they're bringing an ass beating with em.If you whip out a gun, they will drop you with an excessive amount of rounds and reload..just like the good ole NYPD

As a private company their security can enforce what ever silly rule they want as long as they have the dollars to pay for liability. In which case security has the potential to hold more authority than the police do. Each state has a state license where you can be registered as armed or unarmed.

Most companies though are fast food types of security and provide minimal service if any at all. Just because they don't want to pick up the expensive insurance to cover a guards actions.

Walmart should replace their door greeters with angry old Asian women, you ever draw the ire of these women? You'd be better off getting beaten by the police.

posted on May, 13 2016 @ 05:13 AM
a reply to: seagull

At one Walmart i saw a group of teens smoking by the propane tanks, a drunk in McDonalds cussing loudly and being escorted to the door, a dude getting instructions on how to use condoms from a store employee...

Heck one year a guy in a wheel chair shot a manager over his service dog.....oh yea....Walmart is where the stupid collide almost like some sort of beacon that attracts the very best society has to offer.

Not mention the way most dress while in there....I am more than happy to pay a little more to shop at target and have a pleasant check out experience with someone I'm sure of as being a woman, and knows how much change to give back without having to call over a coworker.

posted on May, 13 2016 @ 05:28 AM
a reply to: AmericanRealist

I wonder if that's why last time I had to call 911 I was on hold for around 4 minutes before an operator answered.

posted on May, 13 2016 @ 06:11 AM
Don't cops get paid the same if they are sitting eating donuts in their car or actually working?

posted on May, 13 2016 @ 06:17 AM
How about for thefts under $50 they work out an exclusion scheme.
They make the thief sign a 2-5 year exclusion from the store and if they reenter in that time call the cops and get em for trespassing as well as the 1st theft.

As for the nuisance type non physical violent stuff surely a store that busy and with that many issues should have some kind of security on hand capable of dealing with it?

Ive never been in or seen a Wal-Mart, as far as i know they are an exclusively American phenomena.
From what i have seen and heard about them i know that if i ever do end up in the States I wont be going near one...... Or if I do it will be with the same mindest id visit a red light district in Bangkok, i know i shouldnt be there and feel dirty about it but its a unique experience and to be surrounded by such depravity and base humanity at its worst will usually result in at least a entertaining story or 2

posted on May, 13 2016 @ 06:25 AM
a reply to: AmericanRealist

This is looking in the wrong place for the problem.
The problem is not that the Police are required to do their jobs, the problem is that corporations like WalMart funnel money out of communities, meaning less tax income and less ability to cover the cost of services.

I've brought this up a lot, but most people still don't seem to get how corporations have such a massive impact on small local economies. Companies like WalMart funnel their profits OUT of the city, the state and potentially even the country to avoid paying the taxes that the 50 small businesses they put out when they opened would have been paying.

The community gains far less tax income from corporations like WalMart than it would from the many local businesses it replaced, and from the pay those smaller businesses gave their employees, and from the local suppliers those local businesses would have been using...

All across the chain of business tax has been lost, and these services have to be paid for.

The only solution is to prevent that money from being funnelled out of the community, to force corporations to use local suppliers, local banks, local services - and to pay their damned taxes!

posted on May, 13 2016 @ 06:31 AM

originally posted by: BooCrackers
Oh contriere mofrier, Security can have the same powers as any police force by law IF the company employing them wants to pay for the insurance to do so.

Incorrect, it has nothing to do with insurance:

Powers of Arrest

An “arrest” includes the actual restraint of a person. But the restraint must be reasonable. But who can make arrests? Well, any police officer or person may arrest another person by restraining them, but only under certain circumstances.

A police officer may arrest a person when the police officer has reasonable cause to believe the person has committed a public offense or when he has an arrest warrant. If the public offense is a felony, the police need not have seen the offense occur to make an arrest. But if the offense is not a felony, the police officer must have seen the offense to make the arrest. It becomes much more complicated for the police officer in the case of domestic violence.

A security guard is merely a private person even though he wears a uniform. The security guard may arrest a person when that person has committed a felony, but only if a felony has actually been committed. If the offense is not a felony it must be committed or at least attempted in the presence of the security guard before a citizen’s arrest can be made. Whereas, the requirement is not so demanding for a police officer who can arrest a person for a felony as long as the officer has probable cause to believe the person committed the felony, whether or not the felony occurred. Source

posted on May, 13 2016 @ 06:39 AM
a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Actually insurance is part of it.

If I, as a store employee chase a shop lifter out the door and into the parking lot, and I get hit by a car, I am not covered by the insurance if my job isn't store security/loss prevention.

Now that may vary from place to place, or even employer to employer, I don't know.

But mostly it's the law suits, again someone who isn't actually employed as a security/loss prevention "causes" an injury, a jury could, and probably would, find against not only the store, but the employee, as well.

Always best to call the cops, or have 'em cruise by. They're the ones who should be doing this.

posted on May, 13 2016 @ 06:41 AM
a reply to: projectvxn

Private security has no arrest powers in most cases.

Yeah, they do.

When I was a LPI it was no big big deal to chase/tackle/cuff. Then they got weird about going off property. We still did it (liability but legal), we'll be in court anyway. Then they got weird about taking someone to the ground. We still did it. Then they got weird about handcuffs, so we took the class, and we still did it.

AP can do whatever is legal and what the company allows. When I was doing it the restraints were on the company, not on he the law.

posted on May, 13 2016 @ 06:42 AM

originally posted by: Bluntone22
Don't cops get paid the same if they are sitting eating donuts in their car or actually working?

That's what I thought when I read this story. They are on salary I believe. I'd rather them spend their time stopping petty crimes rather than sitting in their cars on Facebook handing out pointless seatbelt tickets.

posted on May, 13 2016 @ 06:43 AM
a reply to: seagull

Understood, this is about the ability to arrest a private citizen. A security guard and a law enforcement officer do not have the same capabilities.

posted on May, 13 2016 @ 06:46 AM
a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

All that aside, considering how batcrap crazy Walmart loss prevention is, that's exactly what we want: armed Walmart loss prevention. I don't know how it is in every state, but the two states I've worked in, private security only has arrest powers if they are armed. Unarmed does not, and in fact is not even authorized to, do anything other than "observe and report."

Calls for service are just that: calls for service. Unless the calls are unjustifiable, they need to be answered.

As to whomever suggested arresting people for trespassing instead of filing charges: that's liability territory. Most retailers prosecute for theft over a certain dollar amount AND trespass the shoplifter. But that comes down to liability more than anything else.

posted on May, 13 2016 @ 06:47 AM
a reply to: Domo1

That has to be their job though.

A bag boy in a supermarket can not do that. That's always been my understanding.

Way back in the day, it wasn't, anyone could, and did. But now with million dollar law suits, things are different.

posted on May, 13 2016 @ 07:00 AM
a reply to: Shamrock6

All that aside, considering how batcrap crazy Walmart loss prevention is

They are. And it's random. It's was always bad, and some places are worse.

I really want to brag on my old boss and me. We made a big number of people go bye bye after catching an exploit.


Don't mess with department stores. All I'm saying. Don't mess with other stores. We share, and we see A LOT.

posted on May, 13 2016 @ 07:12 AM
a reply to: seagull

Not legally, which is the point I think is being made.

A loss prevention agent has no more legal authority to detain somebody than the bag boy does. Their "authority" is given to them by the merchant, not any certification agency. As far as the company is concerned, there's a difference between LP and bagger boy.

As far as the law is concerned, there isn't much difference at all. Both are considered "agents of the merchant."

posted on May, 13 2016 @ 07:12 AM
Meh. You're right.
edit on 1320160520161 by Domo1 because: (no reason given)

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