Raley’s Supermarkets of West Sacramento, Calif., opened a police post on Aug. 27 inside its Folsom Boulevard store in Sacramento as the country still reels in the wake of recent tragedies such as the shootings at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart that left 22 dead earlier this month.
According to a CBS Sacramento news report, Raley’s “Stop Over” police post was created in response to safety concerns from customers and employees.
Once a storage closet, the Stop Over space now offers local police officers a place to meet with community members, take a break or write reports.
“Having an officer there gives a lot of people peace of mind,” Sacramento Vice Mayor Eric Guerra was quoted as saying in the news report. Guerra, who helped coordinate the effort, says the police post could serve as a model for other council districts.
This summer has been a violent one, with reports of shootings in grocery stores and supermarket/supercenter parking lots across the country. In the past two months, shootings have been reported in a Grocery Advantage store in Pensacola, Fla., a Kroger-owned King Soopers in Castle Rock, Colo., a Costco in Corona, Calif., and numerous other grocery stores and grocery parking lots.
As WGB has previously reported, the threat of gun violence in public places, such as malls and retail stores, is increasingly common, prompting the National Retail Federation (NRF) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) to host an annual Protect conference and publish active-shooter incident guidelines for retailers. The guidelines recommend that retailers create an emergency plan of critical policies and procedures across multiple disciplines in their organizations, including human resources, facilities, loss prevention, operations and training.
“A shooting incident is not what retailers, customers and employees expect when reporting to work or enjoying a leisurely afternoon of shopping,” reads the NRF emergency response protocol’s published guidelines. “However, history has shown us that it is critical to think about these situations and prepare. By training and teaching employees some of the basics, they will have that to fall back on during these crisis situations, when seconds matter."
“Active-shooting situations may not be preventable,” it says. “However, the amount of damage and injury can be minimized.”