Spring 2023

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Insights Access Task Force Interview Outcomes and Mental Health Don't Forget About Internal Theft Calculating ROI Spring 2023 | V22.3 losspreventionmedia.com Asset Protection | Profit Enhancement | Retail Performance 360 Degree Problem Solving Whole Foods Market Implements an Innovative Community Approach to Asset Protection

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32 Did Internal Theft Get Better, or Did Everything Else Get Worse? By
Contents Spring 2023 Features 12 360 Degree Problem Solving Whole Foods Market Implements an Innovative Community Approach to Asset Protection By Sam Boykin 18 Access Task Force Hardening the Target with a Collaborative, Technology-driven Approach to Retail Crime By Lauren Fritsky 28 When Interview Outcomes Take a Tragic Turn By Deanna Lawton, CFI 38 Calculating Return on Investment Turning Accounting Rules to Management Tools By Walter Palmer 44 What to Look for in a Solution Provider Partner By Jacque Brittain, LPC Spring 2023 | 4 | LossPreventionMedia.com
Courtney Wolfe

Featuring Oscar Arango, Target, and Cheryl Blake, Appriss

69 Ask the Expert The Importance of Technology and Partnerships in Loss Prevention Interview with James Stark, LPC, CFI, Axis

50 Real Experiences of Self-Checkout Supervisors Working on the Front Line of Retail
56 Bringing Together People and Technology LPRC’s Ignite Event
64 Creating a Supply Chain Program from the Ground Floor
Editor’s Letter
Wheel of Change
Board 9 Vendor Advisory Board
Retail Sponsors
a One Size Fits All Approach
The Hamster
By Stefanie
8 Editorial
Interviewer: Not
By David Thompson, CFI
62 Career Center Featuring Heather Hearn By Stefanie Hoover, CFI
68 LPM Excellence LPM Magpie Awards
Flock Safety
Something Good Raising the Bar Coast to Coast 78 Certification Spotlighting Loss Prevention Certified Professionals 82 People on the Move 87 New Product Showcase 92 Solutions Showcase Flock Safety ALTO 97 Advertisers 97 Subscriptions 99 Wrapping Up Embracing Change is All About Attitude By Jacque Brittain
LPC Loss Prevention Magazine | 5 | Spring 2023
70 Retail Trends Artificial Intelligence in Retail By Tom Meehan, CFI 72 LPM Digital Popular Articles on the LPM Digital Channels By Courtney Wolfe 74 Ask the Expert Overcoming Challenges to Effectively Combat Retail Crime
with Robert Parks,

The Hamster Wheel of Change

Spring is in the air, along with the smell of fresh cut grass, the sound of baseballs being smacked at local diamonds, and in our industry—change. We are a tight-knit community and therefore, changes in leadership make the rounds quickly. And it seems like changes are happening quicker than ever, so there’s a lot to keep up with.

The career path at the leadership level in the retail loss prevention field can sometimes feel like a hamster wheel or like the circle of life. When a new leader first starts, everything is shiny and new, every idea is novel, every meeting a success, and he or she is held up on the edge of a rock like Simba in the Lion King. “Look at this new leader, he’s walking on water!” Every idea flows from their mouth like manna to the C-suite’s ears. He can do no wrong. He is given capital and head count. He is the Lion King.

Then as time moves on, the leader gets into the groove of managing the day-to-day business. He excels, builds his team, and feels confident enough to try new things. He may have a mishit here or there, but overall, he continues to add value to the business—and may even get promoted. All is well within the kingdom.

Then the business falters. The CFO needs to make cuts. Shrink hasn’t been great. Maybe it’s time to try some new

Stefanie Hoover, CFI Editor-in-Chief

blood. Just as rapidly as the rise, the leader is quietly asked to leave, and a new leader will be crowned. Business improves and this new leader now has all the best ideas. He has the funniest jokes, the best business plan, builds the best team, and is held up on Pride Rock. He is the new Lion King—until business cycles down again and shrink causes the hamster wheel to spin.

Loss prevention, retail, and business in general can be fickle friends. It’s not personal; it’s the nature of the jungle. Be prepared for changes in the industry at any moment—prepare for the worst and expect the best. My example here is an extreme one, but other changes can happen during these cycles as well. It could be that you are asked to take on a different role in your company or step down from your current position. Either way, be flexible when changes happen. Take care of your mental and physical health during and after the change. Use the change as an opportunity to push yourself to greater heights; there are higher vantage points than Pride Rock.

In this issue of LP Magazine, we continue our focus on giving you tools to help you in your career, at whatever stage you are in. We hope that you find ideas inside that inspire you and help you prepare for whatever change may come.

Powered by The Loss Prevention Foundation

President Caroline Kochman


Vice President, Editor-in-Chief Stefanie Hoover, CFI StefanieH@LPportal.com

Senior Consultant Jack Trlica JackT@LPportal.com

Editorial Director Jacque Brittain, LPC JacB@LPportal.com

Managing Editor Digital Courtney Wolfe CourtneyW@LPportal.com

Assistant Editor Allie Falk allief@lpportal.com

Retail Technology Editor Tom Meehan, CFI TomM@LPportal.com

Contributing Writers

Read Hayes, PhD Cory Lowe, PhD Walter Palmer, CFI, CFE Ben Skidmore David Thompson, CFI Manager Of Digital Operations

John Selevitch JohnS@LPportal.com

Special Projects Justin Kemp, LPQ Kevin McMenimen, LPC Karen Smith

Design & Production SPARK Publications info@SPARKpublications.com

Creative Director Larry Preslar

Advertising Strategist Ben Skidmore 972-587-9064 office, 214-597-8168 mobile BenS@LPportal.com

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Send change of address forms to Loss Prevention Magazine 128 Fast Lane, Suite 202 Mooresville, NC 28117

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Loss Prevention, LP Magazine LP Magazine Europe, LPM, and LossPreventionMedia.com are service marks owned by the publishers and their use is restricted. All editorial content is copyrighted. No article may be reproduced by any means without expressed, written permission from the publisher. Reprints or PDF versions of articles are available by contacting the publisher. Statements of fact or opinion are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the publishers. Advertising in the publication does not imply endorsement by the publishers. The editor reserves the right to accept or reject any article or advertisement.

Fast Lane, Suite 202, Mooresville, NC 28117. Print subscriptions are available free to qualified loss prevention and retail professionals in the U.S. and Canada at LPMsubscription.com. The publisher reserves the right to determine qualification standards. For questions about subscriptions, contact circulation@LPportal.com or call 214-662-9548.. Periodicals postage paid at Mooresville, NC, and additional mailing offices. © 2023 Loss Prevention Foundation
Loss prevention, retail, and business in general can be fickle friends.
Spring 2023 | 6 | LossPreventionMedia.com
It’s not personal; it’s the nature of the jungle.

LPM's Editorial Board is composed of some of the loss prevention and asset protection industry's top executives from a wide range of retail sectors. These senior executives provide guidance to the LPM team on article topics and industry issues that are of current concern and interest to LP professionals. To learn more about the Editorial Board, contact Stefanie Hoover, CFI, at StefanieH@LPportal.com.

Hank Siemers, CFI Vice President, Global Protection Services, Tiffany & Co. Pamela Velose Vice President, Asset Protection, Belk Randy Meadows Senior Vice President, Loss Prevention, Kohl’s Dan Moren Senior Manager, Starbucks Richard Peck, LPC Senior Vice President, Loss Prevention, The TJX Companies Joe Schrauder Vice President, International Operations and Realty, Walmart Stores Tina Sellers, LPC Vice President, Asset Protection, Rite Aid Marty Andrews, CFI Vice President, Loss Prevention, VF Corporation Ray Cloud Group Senior Vice President, Loss Prevention, Ross Stores Scott Draher, LPC Vice President, Asset Protection, Safety, and Operations, Lowe’s Scott Glenn, EDJ, LPC Vice President, Asset Protection, The Home Depot Robert Holm Director, Global Safety & Security, McDonald’s Seth Hughes Divisional Vice President, Asset Protection and Risk Management, REI Co-op Mike Lamb, LPC Vice President, Asset Protection & Safety, Kroger Michael Limauro, LPC Vice President, Global Asset Protection, Whole Foods Market David Lund, LPC Vice President, Loss Prevention, DICK’S Sporting Goods
John Matas, CFE, CFCI Director, Global Fraud, Risk, and Compliance Operations, Etsy
Spring 2023 | 8 | LossPreventionMedia.com

LPM's Vendor Advisory Board is composed of the magazine's strongest solution provider supporters. These executives provide their counsel on how the magazine can better advance and serve the loss prevention and asset protection industry. To learn more about the VAB, contact Ben Skidmore at BenS@LPportal.com.

Keith Aubele, CPP, LPP Chief Security Officer Rhett Asher SVP, Community Relations & Partnerships Bobby Haskins VP, Retail Partnerships James Stark Segment Manager, Retail Rex Gillette VP, Retail Sales Stephen B. Longo VP, Strategic Initiatives Stuart Rosenthal VP, Global Sales Tom Meehan, CFI President Tim Shafer Marketing Manager Scott Thomas National Director for Signature Brands Cita Doyle, LPQ VP, Sales & Marketing Matt Kelley, MBA Head of Retail, Go To Market Ned McCauley Director, Sales Robb Northrup Director, Marketing Communications Tony Sheppard, CFI, LPC Sr. Director, LP Solutions Scott Pethuyne, LPC Sr. Analytics Solution Consultant Jack Ashton VP, Strategic Development Brad Campbell Chief Executive Officer Jordan I. Rivchun Director of Business Development Dave Sandoval President Chris Reene Head of Commercial
Loss Prevention Magazine | 9 | Spring 2023
Alix Arguelles Director of Product
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360 Degree Problem Solving

Whole Foods Market Implements an Innovative Community Approach to Asset Protection

Spring 2023 | 12 | LossPreventionMedia.com

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), since the pandemic began there have been increased reports of retail workers being verbally assaulted, spit on, and physically attacked. At least 400 workplace violence events related to COVID-19 were reported in the media between March 1 and October 31, 2020, according to the CDCP. Twenty-seven percent involved non-physical violence, 27 percent involved physical violence, and 41 percent involved physical and non-physical violence. Most occurred in retail and dining establishments and were perpetrated by a customer or client.

Of the more than 2 million assaults reported to the FBI by law enforcement agencies across the country in 2020, more than 82,000—about 4 percent—were at shopping malls, convenience stores, and similar locations.

It’s a harsh and disturbing trend, adding pressure to retailers that are already dealing with record shrinkage, organized retail crime, cybersecurity, and volatile economic conditions. Nonetheless, retailers are challenged to find ways to make their stores secure and their customers and employees feel safe.

Michael Limauro, LPC, vice president of global asset protection at Whole Foods Market (pictured left), said a big turning point for him occurred after the 2020 murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. After the horrible incident, he watched the news as protestors looted stores and burned down buildings in Minneapolis and across the country. The violence was shocking, and as the person responsible for protecting Whole Foods Market’s assets, Limauro knew he needed to take an innovative approach.

To help develop a strategy, he reached out to Ted Fancher III, LPC, divisional director of asset protection and safety at Whole Foods Market. The two were facing a daunting challenge. Amid the turmoil, many people, including retail workers, called for more armed security guards and police officers. But Limauro and Fancher wanted to go in a different direction.

“We both knew it didn’t make sense to add more cops with guns in an environment where people are already upset about that,” Limauro said. “Things are so different than they were even five years ago, yet many retailers are deploying the same loss prevention strategies. We needed to figure out how to reduce crime and keep team members and customers safe, while also understanding and representing the communities in which we do business.”

The pair connected with We Push for Peace, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit that serves as a resource

and advocate for underprivileged youth. The nonprofit provides employment and job training, along with mental health and substance abuse services. As part of their unique partnership, We Push for Peace, founded by Trahern Pollard, provides Whole Foods with local, independent contractors who help build relationships between the stores and their respective neighborhoods and, in the process, reduce and deter crime and create a sense of community.

The idea is someone who lives in the community can diffuse a potentially dangerous situation or prevent a crime because they often know or have a relationship with the perpetrator. This approach also avoids the built-in tension that can arise when an armed guard or police officer interacts with a suspect.

“If there are unruly folks, we engage with them,” Pollard said. “Our objective is to get them the services they need versus calling 911 because they stole a bag of potato chips. We want to make sure they don’t come back to Whole Foods to steal, but we don’t want them to go anywhere else to steal either.”

Limauro stressed that We Push for Peace employees serve as “peace officers”—not security guards—who greet and interact with customers. If a disturbance arises, their objective is to de-escalate the situation rather than physically intervene or detain the person.

He said this approach was particularly successful during the pandemic’s mask mandate. While there were countless stories about brawls and fights, Limauro said because We Push for Peace’s employees often knew Whole Foods, customers, there was less tension and pushback when customers were reminded to wear masks.

Fancher said this community-based strategy is a powerful alternative that resonates with him personally. He grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he often saw armed guards at school and in neighborhood stores, which he believes can send the wrong message and even alienate the public.

Whole Foods Market’s partnership with We Push for Peace is a “softer, more engaging, and conversational approach,” Fancher said. He added it also helps break the damaging cycle of “placing people in the criminal system hamster wheel,” where young offenders are

Loss Prevention Magazine | 13 | Spring 2023
The retail industry has been particularly vulnerable to increases in violence and crime that have rocked the country amid political and social upheaval, homelessness, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We needed to figure out how to reduce crime and keep team members and customers safe, while also understanding and representing the communities in which we do business.”
– Michael Limauro, LPC
Trahern Pollard

360 Degree Problem Solving

often jailed for minor offenses that can send them down a path of more crime and hopelessness.

He also acknowledged that many retailers might see this approach as controversial as it goes beyond the historical approach. “It takes a very courageous organization to allow us to do this kind of work. We’re excited to try another approach. In the end, we need to get to the root of the problem and stop the repetitive cycle that we’re in.”

A Powerful Partnership Pollard started We Push for Peace about eight years ago while working as a bus driver for the city of Minneapolis. He grew up on the South Side of Chicago around troubled young men and women, the same kind of kids he often encountered while driving a bus.“I started a nonprofit in order to give back in some way,” he said.

We Push for Peace initially focused on gun and gang violence outreach, including intervening before conflicts escalated. During this time, Pollard often heard young people complain about how previous arrests prevented them from getting jobs and turning their lives around.

Pollard launched a work-readiness program through We Push for Peace that helps young people with things like developing a resume, filling out a job application, improving interview skills, and even ensuring they have professional attire. The organization also has a commercial driver’s license program with on-site classrooms and driver training.

We Push for Peace’s focus expanded in 2020 following the George Floyd murder. While Pollard was sickened by the brutality, he also was disturbed by the aftermath. “I felt that it was morally wrong for individuals to be so destructive and trash businesses,” he said. “They were taking jobs away from hardworking people.”

Pollard said he assembled a group of men and women to help protect some of the local businesses, which is how We Push for Peace first connected with Whole Foods in 2021. Since then, the partnership has expanded, with Pollard opening new training centers and using referrals from the young people he works with to recruit other employees.

Fancher said We Push for Peace is now one of Whole Foods’ top security vendors in the Midwest, due largely to the nonprofit’s innovative approach

“It takes a very courageous organization to allow us to do this kind of work.
We’re excited to try another approach. In the end, we need to get to the root of the problem and stop the repetitive cycle that we’re in.”
– Ted Fancher III, LPC
Ted Fancher III, LPC
Spring 2023 | 14 | LossPreventionMedia.com
We Push for Peace and Whole Foods Market hosts a community event.

to connecting Whole Foods to the community. “We’re real proud that store teams and regional leadership think that much of the program,” he said. “Our folks are really connected to it.”

And scaling the partnership is no easy task, as Pollard must go to each new city, where he recruits and trains workers. Pollard often reaches out to organizations like churches, Boys and Girls Clubs, and YMCAs to connect with young people who might be interested in working for the nonprofit. Oftentimes, these are disadvantaged kids with no work experience. We Push for Peace offers them job training and the opportunity to further their financial future.

Today, some eighty We Push for Peace employees are working with Whole Foods locations throughout the Midwest, including cities in Minnesota and Wisconsin as well as Chicago, Detroit, and St. Louis, with plans for expansion. Their work has also been recognized by the White House, and they work to advise the administration on grass roots movements across the country.

“So many people are facing a lack of resources, employment, and food, and they turn to violence and crime,” Pollard said. “We’re able to provide sustainable, livable wage opportunities with the organization and help them give back to their communities.”

Training Future Asset Protection Professionals from the Community

As part of its strategic partnerships, Whole Foods is also helping to train future AP professionals. In early

2022, Limauro partnered with Harlem CoLab, a workforce development service program that teaches technical and digital skills to people of color and other underserved populations. Harlem CoLab also has a new internship program for individuals seeking tech-related training and certification in AP and other disciplines.

As an example, last year, Harlem CoLab connected Whole Foods with Nishi Akter to do a paid internship. Akter was born and raised in Bangladesh, moved with her family to the United States in 2013, and settled in the Bronx. While she struggled with differences in language and culture, she excelled academically and received scholarships and financial aid to attend Fordham University.

Akter completed a 12-week internship at Whole Foods last year, said Dennis Morgan, the founder and president of Harlem CoLab. The internship focused on the technology aspect of AP, including occupational safety reporting, data analytics, and determining where and how loss is happening.

As part of the internship, Morgan said Harlem CoLab helped Akter improve her interview skills and feel more comfortable and confident in professional work settings. The organization also offered social and emotional support, something Morgan said is often overlooked in corporate America. Moreover, Akter had the opportunity to interact with top-level leadership and executives at Whole Foods and get an inside look at how the company operates.

“There’s a great synergy between the Whole Foods AP team and Harlem CoLab, and we’re able to really put people like Akter on a solid career path,” Morgan said. “The experience really opened her mind and gave her the confidence to believe in herself and her capabilities.”

Limauro said he’s excited for Whole Foods to expand its partnership with Harlem CoLab and give more young people like Akter a chance to succeed. “We’re able to bring smart, talented people with diverse backgrounds into our program at Whole Foods, and we’re really proud of that,” he said. “It’s helping communities and at the same time it’s also helping Whole Foods.”

Multiple Layers of Protection

Limauro said Whole Foods’ new approach to asset protection is “ultimately about embedding ourselves into the community and helping create an environment where residents feel a sense of ownership in our stores. People

Loss Prevention Magazine | 15 | Spring 2023
Dennis Morgan Michael Limauro, LPC
“Whole Foods’ new approach to asset protection is ultimately about embedding ourselves into the community and helping create an environment where residents feel a sense of ownership in our stores. People connect on a different level because they’re all from the same geography and have the same understanding.”
– Mike Limauro, LPC

connect on a different level because they’re all from the same geography and have the same understanding.”

He’s also quick to point out that police and security guards are still “layered into our asset protection” strategy in different areas of the country. “I don’t believe in silver bullets,” Limauro said. “I don’t think any one thing works.”

And having multiple layers of protection and security is often necessary, especially as the country continues to wrestle with complex issues, which are often intertwined with drug addiction and mental health.

“We are seeing more problems with disruptive individuals,” Limauro explained. “And the problem is often dropped on the shoulders of retailers. Whole Foods welcomes anybody and everybody into our stores. We don’t just sell groceries, we’re a meeting place, where people have meals together or a glass of wine. But if someone is causing problems or disrupting customers, we have to deal with the situation and remove them from the area.”

To address these challenges, Whole Foods also works with an international organization called ALTO, which specializes in strategic community partnerships to solve disruptive issues affecting retail stores.

“We partner with clients to figure out what is disrupting their business, what is causing their employees and their customers to feel uncomfortable or unsafe, and then we work with stakeholders to mitigate that issue,” said Rhett Asher, ALTO’s vice president of community relations and partnerships.

Recently, Whole Foods partnered with ALTO to deal with a situation in Venice, California, where the grocer is located next to an abandoned commercial building that, for years, attracted criminal activity.

“It was a negative element that was affecting Whole Foods and a lot of other stores in the area,” said Asher. “And unless there was some sort of violence, law enforcement wouldn’t really step in because it was private property. These kinds of situations go unchecked all across the country, especially these days.”

Asher said ALTO connected with the property owner as well as city officials and successfully acquired permits and authorizations to resolve the situation. “Crime started to drop immediately,” Limauro said.

“Whole Foods’ community-guarding approach fits right in with what we do because we don’t look at every issue that’s disrupting business as necessarily intentional criminal activity,” Asher said. “We look at the root cause of the issue as opposed to just the surface level, because oftentimes there are a lot of underlying causes.”

“It may be controversial, and it may be a different approach, but it’s also successful,” Fancher said. “There’s a level of humility and vulnerability to pivot and try something new—to step back and say, ‘The old way of doing things isn’t working, so we’re going to take it in a whole new direction.’ We may make mistakes, and the industry might not applaud us right off the bat, but there’s no arguing that we’re seeing positive results.”

Already known for its superlative asset protection programs, Whole Foods forged partnerships that helped the retailer implement community-based strategies for asset protection. While unorthodox and counter to what many in the retail industry are doing, Whole Foods’ new approach has proven successful, with marked reductions in crime and better connectivity with the people and communities the company serves.

Originally from North Carolina, Sam Boykin is a San Antonio-based writer who has written for a number of regional and national publications, including Men’s Journal, Outside, and USA Today. He previously served as editor-in-chief for the San Antonio Business Journal and managing editor for the Sacramento Business Journal

FEATURE 360 Degree Problem Solving
“If there are unruly folks, we engage with them. Our objective is to get them the services they need versus calling 911 because they stole a bag of potato chips. We want to make sure they don’t come back to Whole Foods to steal, but we don’t want you to go anywhere else to steal either.”
– Trahern Pollard
Rhett Asher
Spring 2023 | 16 | LossPreventionMedia.com
Whole Foods and ALTO team members meeting with Boston PD.
www.checkpointsystems.com June 5-7· Grapevine, Texas · Booth 501 Learn about our innovative solutions that will help retailers sell more & lose less

ACCESS Task Force

Hardening the Target with a Collaborative, Technology-Driven Approach to Retail Crime

The video captures a young man, shirtless and wearing a backward baseball cap, holding an AR-9 pistol next to a car in a retail parking lot.

At least a half-dozen other individuals gather around two other vehicles in the lot. Seconds later, a voice booms over a loudspeaker. “Warning to the individuals on the property,” it says. “Exit the lot immediately. Law enforcement will be contacted. Everybody in the parking lot exit immediately. Law enforcement is nearby and will be contacted if you do not exit.” The individuals hurry into their cars and begin driving away.

The footage is from one of LVT's mobile surveillance units, used by dozens of retailers nationwide to stop crime before it enters their stores. In November, the live video, safety, and surveillance provider joined forces with the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) for a six-month pilot program called the Alliance of Companies and Communities to Enhance Safety and Security (ACCESS) Taskforce. The initiative aims to establish a more collaborative, data-driven relationship between local government, law enforcement, and retailers to deter crime. As such, LVT deployed sixty-five units in the parking lots of retailers such as JCPenney, Lowe’s, Walgreens, and Walmart throughout test cities Opelika, AL, and Paducah, KY, over one month.

Together with the LPRC, LVT will analyze data from the pilot program to understand how technology and greater information-sharing can create a better model to combat retail crime.

Shrinking Violent Retail Crime

Many recent media reports have detailed an apparent nationwide surge in retail crime and additional coverage has investigated the facts behind these claims. The LPRC reports shrink has yet to rise across retailers. However, the number of retailers reporting more problems with violence has increased.

“Some are experiencing customers and other guests who are more ‘on edge,’ which seems to be escalating to violence more often,” said Cory Lowe, PhD, senior research scientist at LPRC. “On the other hand, many other retailers continue to experience more serious and aggressive incidents in which thieves are more willing to use violence during the commission of crimes.”

As evidenced in the video example above, the presence of the LVT mobile surveillance units aims to stop violent and nonviolent crime. This goal ties into the concept of “negligent liability”—knowing you, as a retailer, operated in an unsafe place and didn’t do anything about it.

“There’s a brand protection aspect of it, but then think about it in terms of, ‘Would you want to go someplace that you don’t feel safe?’” said Matt Kelley, MBA, head of retail, go to market, at LVT, and former senior manager, asset protection, innovation, resources and technology, at The Home Depot.

The 1,800-pound LVT units include a mobile trailer with marine-grade batteries, as many as three cameras with pan-tilt-zoom, strobe lights, a twenty-two-foot-high head unit, a two-way speaker, and a floodlight. They charge via solar energy but can connect to cellular backups for locations without a robust solar pool. Designed to be completely autonomous, retailers can trigger responses that sound human while alerting personnel that something is happening in the parking lot.

LVT software manages the video the cameras collect. A promotional video on their website claims the units start operating within thirty minutes with no IT or other technical resources required. Customers buy the units on a subscription basis, but none of the retailers in the ACCESS Taskforce had to pay during the pilot. The solution provider also claims on its website that, outside of the task force, the mobile units have reduced shoplifting events and internal and external shrink by 66 percent and violent crime by 62 percent.

A Tale of Two Cities

LVT and LPRC chose Opelika and Paducah as test locations for the pilot phase of the task force for various reasons. The biggest was identifying communities with a significant concentration of retailers with no mobile units. Both cities are retail hubs for their regions and sit near major highways. Police departments and participating retailers in each city received training on how the units work, what they’re capable of, and how to pull and review video footage, Kelley said.

Opelika, a town of about 31,500 that can reach 80,000 during daytime shopping hours, is just twenty minutes from Auburn University and forty minutes from Fort Benning, GA, and is located between Montgomery, AL, and Atlanta, GA. “Tigertown” is the predominant shopping area for the entire community. The site is increasingly busy in the lead-up to the holiday season, and local law enforcement has historically seen an uptick in retail crimes like shoplifting, car burglaries, loitering, heckling, panhandling, fraud, stolen credit cards, and identity theft. Opelika also sees its share of organized retail crime (ORC).

These types of crimes decreased this past holiday shopping season significantly, said Opelika Chief of Police Shane Healey. This meant he didn’t need to deploy additional resources to Tigertown,

Cory Lowe, PhD Matt Kelly, MBA
Loss Prevention Magazine | 19 | Spring 2023
In November, LVT joined forces with the LPRC for a six‑month pilot program called the Alliance of Companies and Communities to Enhance Safety and Security (ACCESS) Taskforce.

which enabled his officers to patrol and respond to incidents in other areas.

“The visibility of these camera systems, the flashing lights—everybody knows that this is the police, so to speak,” he said. “I think it really had an impact on what we dealt with through the holiday season.”

His department has also used the units to solve non-retail-related violent crimes, such as domestic incidents and assaults. According to Kelley, Opelika saw a 39 percent decrease in property and violent crime between when they deployed the units in early November of 2022 and January of this year.

Paducah, which has a population of about 27,000 that can reach up to 100,000 in the daytime, is within two hours of St. Louis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Cincinnati. Citizens from rural communities shop, dine, and get medical care in Paducah—something that inflates their crime statistics, according to Chief of Police Brian Laird.

“Our crime based on the daily population is extremely low compared to that 75,000-people benchmark,” he said. “And retail drives our crime statistics.”

Shoplifting is the most significant retail crime Laird and his officers see. Paducah also isn’t immune to ORC, given its location on Interstate 24 between Chicago and Atlanta. But the poverty level in the region is also high, which accounts for the shoplifting statistics as well.

When LVT contacted Laird to participate in the task force, it piqued his interest from a crime prevention perspective. Overall, the city’s crime statistics year to year stay steady, he said. Paducah saw a 33 percent decrease in property and violent crime between the week of Black Friday in 2021 vs. the same time frame in 2022, according to the data LVT is tracking.

The police departments in both cities did not choose where the LVT units went—that was up to retailers. Most units do have a local police department logo on them, however. Law enforcement doesn’t have direct access to the video footage. Instead, they receive it from LVT or individual retailers that ultimately own it and are not bound to share it. Kelley said one of the significant benefits of the task force is retailers that decide to

share footage and information with police can do so in hours, not days.

1,800-pound Sentinel

Forty-three retailers are participating in the task force pilot, and many were already LVT customers. Some retailers have multiple locations in the program, and several have numerous units in each parking lot.

Walmart, an LVT client since 2017, has over 1,000 units nationwide in their most significant risk locations. They now have one Opelika unit and two Paducah units as part of the pilot.

“The number one outcome I recall in talking about (the task force) was to create a safer environment for employees, customers, and community members,” said Jatin Patel, director of asset protection at Walmart. “If I can have something like (the LVT unit) record 24/7, keep an eye on things, let me know if something odd is going on, or for me to be able to program in a script that may turn lights on or create sound or anything at all to discourage whatever activity, then great. It’s hard for an individual in a vehicle or on foot to do that 24/7.”

According to Jackie Chapman, LPC, asset protection senior director II at Walmart, the company has many security measures. Still, the LVT unit is the thing that’s “right there” to complement these other efforts.

“For us, the biggest value is some of the intangibles,” he said. “I see the unit; I know it’s watching. If I’m a bad actor or what have you, I see that and will probably go somewhere else. If I’m a customer, I know I’m being watched, and there’s an extra set of eyes out there.”

Patel said the Walmart locations in both test cities had not seen an increase or decrease in violent incidents. Part of the reason is these stores are in safe areas, he said. However, one of the units did help solve an offsite robbery in Paducah on December 10. Walmart’s video footage showed the suspect vehicle, which enabled Laird’s team to track down and arrest the individual.

Chapman said the task force has enhanced Walmart’s collaboration with other local retailers. “I think that’s one thing we’ve seen with this is a little

ACCESS Task Force
“The visibility of these camera systems, the flashing lights—everybody knows that this is the police, so to speak. I think it really had an impact on what we dealt with through the holiday season.”
—Opelika Chief of Police Shane Healey
Jackie Chapman , LPC Shane Healy Jatin Patel Brian Laird
Spring 2023 | 20 | LossPreventionMedia.com
The presence of LVT mobile surveillance units aims to stop violent and nonviolent crime.

bit better communication at a higher level between retailers.” Chapman notes the working relationship with local police in both cities was strong pre-pilot.

Advance Auto Parts has been an LVT customer for two years. They have units in major cities nationwide and now one each in Paducah and Opelika, which are generally quiet locations for the retail chain, said Pete Kepler, director of security services with the asset protection team. They haven’t had any incidents in either area since installing the units, and the feedback from team members is that they feel safer with them in the parking lots.

“The primary driver behind everything we’re doing is team member and customer safety,” he said. “The LVT devices really fit the mold as a visible deterrent and after hours sentinel. It’s like a human guard, but it’s not human.”

Kepler said he looks at excellent customer service—diligent, aware team members—as his number one line of defense against retail crime. He called the LVT technology “set it and forget it” and shared that he has not had to put extra resources into the task force pilot.

“Seeing the data from the other big-box retailers and what the law enforcement officials are saying is a reduction in criminal activity in general, I think you see a more generalized reduction from the LVT devices,” Kepler said. “It’s evident that this community is serious about reducing crime because they’re there.”

Making ACCESS Accessible

Did the sudden appearance of dozens of mobile surveillance units in Opelika and Paducah alarm retail employees, shoppers, or the wider community?

Quite the opposite. The response has generally been one of curiosity or positivity, according to task force participants. Not only did both cities proactively conduct public education pushes, but there’s also a QR code in participating retailers’ parking lots linking to an ACCESS Taskforce web page with more information.

“With this being two towns that didn’t have our product before—we made sure that we addressed public opinion,” said Derek Boggs, director of marketing and demand generation at LVT. “We provided more and more information. People’s curiosity can get the best of them when they see this ominous, blue flashing camera in a parking lot. We’re not reading people’s faces and sending them to a database.”

Boggs also said their units don’t bark at people as they enter a store. Instead, LVT designed them to be the least disruptive to the customer experience. It’s ultimately up to the retailers to dictate their profile settings—how the units behave and even speak—during different times of day.

Opelika made a concerted effort to share information with the community early during

the task force, turning many citizens into the program’s champions.

“One of the things I didn’t necessarily expect going into this that has been a pleasant surprise is the input from our community,” Healey said. “Just their presence has sparked a lot of conversations that give us an opportunity to talk to our community about what we’re trying to do to keep them safe and how appreciative they are of the different things being done. They love the fact that this program is going on here.”

Healey added that other businesses and organizations not participating in the task force contacted him personally to ask about procuring LVT units for their properties. Partnership with and among retailers has also improved, he said. Opelika plans to start a separate “Safe for Business” program to connect retailers and improve their working relationships with law enforcement.

“Even though it’s been a fantastic crime-fighting tool, it’s also been a tool that has continued to bring us and our community closer together,” he said. “That’s something you can’t quantify.”

Laird said overall communication with LVT has been solid, but he feels the task force could have communicated better with local retailers before the program started. He said most people in Paducah gave positive feedback about the units after they knew more about them.

“We took the position that this is not a police department project because it’s not,” he said. “We really don’t have much skin in the game here. We didn’t pay for any of this stuff. We’re just providing the crime stats as part of the pilot project.”

Letting the Data Do the Talking

All task force participants meet monthly to review anonymized data from the pilot and extrapolate takeaways, observations, and trends. This includes comparing crime statistics from the previous year, though these numbers are skewed due to COVID-19. Kelley said analyzing the data behind the task force is critical to ensuring they can replicate the model in other locations going forward.

“If I can have something like (the LVT unit) record 24/7, keep an eye on things, let me know if something odd is going on, or for me to be able to program in a script that may turn lights on or create sound or anything at all to discourage whatever activity, then great. It’s hard for an individual in a vehicle or on foot to do that 24/7.”
– Jatin Patel
Pete Kepler
Loss Prevention Magazine | 21 | Spring 2023
Derek Boggs

“When I was at Home Depot, it was very difficult to prove out the value without doing some extensive testing,” he said. “I don’t want this model to be about LVT ... the goal is to say, this is the model that could be replicated regardless of the type of technology. Just showing the [asset protection] world that it is doable, that you can have a faster process to test technology if we could all collaborate as a community rather than operating in silos.”

As they were forming the task force, LVT consulted some of its top retail clients to ensure they were correctly thinking about deployment and measurement. To further bolster the quantitative focus of the program in an unbiased way, the solution provider has asked the LPRC to conduct an academic study after the pilot phase ends. As part of this process, the council committed resources to collect and aggregate data from local law enforcement and participating retailers willing to share their numbers.

“The main part is that retailers now have greater information to share about what is happening in their parking lots and around their stores, and it is relatively easy to share this information when needed to help investigate a case,” LPRC’s Lowe said.

Kelley said the task force is analyzing calls and types of service from both police departments to measure the program’s effectiveness. He had no additional data to share from the pilot beyond the statistics shared earlier in this story.

Proving the Pilot

With this pilot phase of the task force due to wrap up in May, LVT is already thinking about version two, Kelley said. This includes potential expansion to test cities with a more significant risk area and more retailers to evaluate the impact. The solution provider has already gotten inquiries from locations interested in participating.

“Our sole responsibility has just been aligning everybody from the retail side, local government, local law enforcement,” LVT’s Boggs said. “They’re all trying to combat the same things and make the impact on the communities in the same way. So

that’s been our goal; let’s facilitate the conversations and collaboration, [and] provide a vehicle in terms of the data and the impact our product can provide.”

Retailers participating in the pilot can purchase the LVT units after May. In Opelika, Captain of Detective Division Johnathan Clifton said he hopes local retailers will want to continue partnering with LVT so they can keep some units in town. His department is also looking to purchase some units to supplement other technology and tools—not just for retail crime but for crowd control during major events or specific neighborhoods experiencing increased incidents.

Laird in Paducah says he doesn’t plan to purchase any units for his department and that it would be up to retailers to buy them after the pilot. He said seeing the program’s impact on shrinkage in the participating retail stores would be interesting.

Walmart’s Patel wants to see the program’s final data before he considers purchasing the units in the two test cities.

“I’m patiently awaiting the analysis from the data scientists,” he said. I want to hear the story from those retailers who participated. Tell me what you’re seeing. The data. And then we can chat about where we go from here.”

Kepler of Advance Auto Parts said he’s open to purchasing the units and commended LVT for its willingness to hear feedback about the program. “It is early, but we are always willing to participate with this type of pilot or proof of concept,” he said. “The more we can work together by leveraging technology and fellow retailers, sharing information, the more likely we are to win this game.”

Lauren Fritsky is a seasoned journalist and content marketer whose work has appeared on CNN, AOL, USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Travel+Leisure, Entrepreneur, Adweek, and many other websites. She’s spent the last eleven years writing about IT, adtech, martech, retail, and e-commerce for global companies. Lauren earned a bachelor’s degree in English from La Salle University in Philadelphia. Contact her at Lauren.fritsky@gmail.com
Spring 2023 | 22 | LossPreventionMedia.com
Johnathan Clifton


Fed up with crime, two American cities have joined forces with LVT and the Loss Prevention Research Council to make their communities a safer place. LVT’s ACCESS Taskforce brings together local government, law enforcement, businesses, and community leaders for a coordinated approach to combat crime. The results speak for themselves:


INCREASE in calls for police assistance


50% FEWER calls for police assistance within 250m of a LVT Unit






We’re looking for more community partners. Visit LVT.com/access to learn more.

Overall, ACCESS participants reported

10% at retailers that chose not to participate in the ACCESS Taskforce and who didn’t have an LVT Unit.

DECREASE in calls for police assistance

46% FEWER calls for police assistance within 500m–250m of a LVT Unit


39% See LVT in action at




Thompson is the president and partner at Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, providing investigative interview and interrogation training to a global audience. He has served as a subject-matter expert in developing curriculum and providing consultation to investigators, attorneys, and the academic community. He can be reached at dthompson@w-z.com.

The Effective Interviewer: Not a One Size Fits All Approach

Although the context may drive the interview strategy, there should still be consistency in the foundation of rapport, open-mindedness of the investigator, and a framework of non-confrontational approaches.

The job tasks of today’s loss prevention professional have greatly expanded from the job description that existed years ago. Apprehending shoplifters, internal theft investigations, and safety concerns still play a role in the industry, but investigators are now tasked with even more complex cases and obstacles in their efforts to protect profits. Investigations now expand beyond basic theft, policy violations, and fraud. Loss prevention professionals are now additionally tasked with cases regarding employee relations issues, e-commerce fraud, data-privacy issues, workplace violence, and countless others. Interviewees are also more complex as some cases involve collusion with organized crime rings, technical expertise for digital fraud, and a greater knowledge of the investigative process.

An increasingly complex investigation or casetype paired with an interviewee that has experience or knowledge of the process require interviewers to be adaptable. Structured interview approaches are important for consistency in an organization, but adaptability is also essential for the organic investigative process. There are a variety of approaches that may be used relative to the type of case, characteristics of the interviewee, and level of evidence. Although the context may drive the interview strategy, there should still be consistency in the foundation of rapport, open- mindedness of the investigator, and a framework of non-confrontational approaches.

In reviewing a “typical” case for the loss prevention investigator, we can see how adaptability is important throughout the life of an investigation. One of the more common obstacles in the retail industry today is the growing issue of organized retail crime (ORC). An all-too-often received phone call by an LP leader may be from a store operator describing an ORC incident in one of their locations.

“Hey, this message is for the LP department. We just had a group of people come into our store, and they stole hundreds of handbags. Julia tried to confront them, but they started yelling at her and then they just took off. Sorry!”


The initial conversation with the store personnel may be a brief fact-gathering interview. These types of interviews require active listening, open- ended questioning, and note-taking. These are also often conducted remotely, leveraging technology to conduct the conversation. As the investigator is asking questions of the store operator, they may pick up on key terms or phrases needing follow-up investigation.

The store personnel may have suggested that Julia “confronted” the shoplifters and that the group “took off.” These subjective terms need further explanation, as assumptions could impact the investigation and may also leave opportunity for issues in the future. “Confronted” could mean a variety of things, prompting the interviewer to ask an echo question as simple as: “confronted ?” Additionally, “took off” needs to be expanded, identifying if the group left in a vehicle, public transportation, or on foot.

Cognitive Interviewing

As the investigation proceeds, the interviewer may want to talk directly to the store associates that were engaged in the incident. In these conversations, it may be helpful to be trained in the cognitive interview strategy. This strategy also relies on the importance of open-ended narratives and active listening but provides additional structure to the interview. An investigator may start the conversation by providing instructions to the

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Spring 2023 | 24 | LossPreventionMedia.com
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interviewee, explaining the importance of minor details, and providing transparency to how the conversation will be conducted. The interviewer should also let the associate know that they can take their time when attempting to recreate the context of the event in their memory, and then allowing for silence as they process through the recollection.

This interview strategy may also include a guided narrative and use other memoryprobing techniques. An investigator using this strategy should also be aware of the potential contamination of a person’s memory by poorly structured questions or other means of factfeeding. This interview is then intended to increase the amount of information recalled by the associate and provide additional details to the investigation.

Trauma Informed

During the cognitive interview with the associate, the interviewer may have identified several inconsistencies in the narrative of the event. It is also possible that upon video review of the incident, the descriptions of the suspects are not accurate, and it appears that the associate was engaging with these customers prior to the theft

taking place. As the investigator explores these contradictions, it may suggest that the associate was involved in the theft or had a prior relationship with the members of this ORC group.

Of course, the above is a possible theory, as every investigation is an ongoing process, and each avenue should be properly explored. However, interviewers should also be aware that in this circumstance it is possible the associate has experienced a traumatic event in their interaction with the shoplifting crew. A trauma informed interview approach would assist both the interviewee and the interviewer. Showing empathy and understanding for the situation can assist the associate in reliving and recalling the experience. The trauma informed interviewer is also aware that memory may be distorted, non-sequential, or even inaccurate.

Participatory Method

During further investigation, it was determined that many of the handbags that were stolen were not properly secured with cabling or other alarm devices. There are two associates responsible for this task and both had left the store prior to the shoplifting incident taking place. An open-source investigation also identifies that one of these associates is friends on social media with some of the known members of this specific ORC ring. These investigative pieces are of a circumstantial nature and do not prove any collusion on their own, however a participatory method strategy may assist in the process.

This interview strategy would rely on strategically withholding evidence and using a structured questioning process to determine potential negligence, ignorance, or intent. The interviewer may want to determine what the normal process is for cabling products and how often it is audited. It’s possible that some locations were given directions by management to ignore security guidelines, or it is also likely that this associate intentionally left the products easily available. This approach takes additional preparation to properly sequence the open-ended questions, allowing the interviewee to provide truthful information with little resistance or hesitation.


In this case, we have seen the implementation of four different interviewing strategies (and we have not even confronted a potential wrongdoer yet). Interviewers should be prepared for the variety of situations they are dealt with and understand that each case and individual may require flexibility in their approach. In your next investigation, ensure that you have contingency plans for the variety of routes the case may take. If we make an assumption about the outcome, we are already defeating the purpose of the investigative interview.

Pressmaster /
Structured interview approaches are important for consistency in an organization, but adaptability is also essential for the organic investigative process. There are a variety of approaches that may be used relative to the type of case, characteristics of the interviewee, and level of evidence.
Pressmaster /
Spring 2023 | 26 | LossPreventionMedia.com
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When Interview Outcomes Take a Tragic Turn

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Interviewing is a process that puts both the interviewer and those being interviewed in a position of stress and conflict regardless of the nature of the matter at hand, the demeanor of those involved, the experience and expertise of the interviewer, or countless other considerations. There are those who have spent a lifetime developing their skill, building rapport, studying behavior, and leading those discussions to successful outcomes. But what we can’t always know or predict is the internal conflict that an individual carries with them. We can’t always know how they might respond to the conversation, the situation they find themselves in, or the factors that might influence their actions or decision making.

Unfortunately, there are times when outcomes can take an unexpected or regrettable turn, even when we take all the right steps, follow our training and experience, and lead the conversation to its appropriate conclusion—whatever that may be. Deanna Lawton, CFI, shares her experience, and how she’s learned and grown from a difficult situation.

Have you ever had that moment? You know, one of those times when as an investigator you get a case, do the work, put all the pieces together, and plan for the interview. The interview goes well, you get an admission, obtain a written statement and a signed promissory note, the case is reviewed, and the employee is terminated. The facts of the investigation were conclusive, and the necessary and appropriate decisions were made as a result. And while the situation itself is always difficult for all involved, you are left feeling pretty good—satisfied with the definitive outcome along with the effort and hard work that went into putting the case together.

That was my Friday many years ago. Unfortunately, when Monday came around, I was asked to see human resources (HR) and my mind was racing and trying to figure out why. As I entered the HR office, I was greeted warmly but met with some tragic news. I was told the employee I interviewed on Friday had committed suicide on Saturday. I was reassured I did nothing wrong, obviously this employee had a lot of problems beyond what happened Friday, and I should not worry about it—the meeting was just an FYI to make me aware of what had happened over the weekend.

I was shocked, to say the least. I left HR thinking about all the things the employee told me during our conversation—about his wife and kids, and how he was having some financial issues—but didn’t see any outward signs that he might hurt himself. At the time, I was sorry it ended the way it did, but honestly didn’t think that much more about it. I felt terrible, but no one else around me seemed bothered.

In that moment, it almost numbed me. I felt the lesson I learned was that these things happen and there was no one to blame. Was this a normal reaction? I just don’t know. At the time I was relatively new to interviewing. If I had to guess, I would say this was one of my first twenty interviews after completing Wicklander-Zulawski (WZ) training. I have never spoken to another individual

in an interviewer’s role who has experienced this type of situation. In all my years, during all the conferences and classes I have attended, I have never asked anyone if they have experienced this, nor have I ever heard anyone talk about even the possibility of self-harm or suicide after an interview.

Present-Day Concerns

Fast forward to current day, and I am assigned a case where a highly disgruntled employee is making comments to other employees about how much he dislikes upper management, can’t stand when they visit, has stalked their social media posts to see what kind of lives they are living, and would take an opportunity to visit their homes if the opportunity presented itself.

There was concern this employee might hurt others. He had a criminal history that included violence (too far back to be considered in the hiring process). After interviewing his peers and managers, I learned they were concerned he may have mental health issues and were anxious about what may happen next.

Upon completing my initial investigation, the decision was made to speak with the employee. In the best interests of all involved, precautions were taken to ensure the safety of our employees. Three members of the corporate security team arrived at the store to provide additional support. A guard service was arranged, and local police were advised of the employee’s history and our concerns.

Sitting with this employee and my witness in a very small office, I quickly surmised, based on his body language—rubbing his arms, both feet turned toward the door, fingers fidgeting, and hand wringing—that he was very uncomfortable, so I did my best to ease the tension and build rapport.

From the beginning, he told me I was “just like the others”—showing up with no warning and expecting him to smile, be friendly, and pretend he’s glad I was there. I told him I was sorry, but I couldn’t let anyone know I was coming because it often starts rumors

There was concern this employee might hurt others. He had a criminal history that included violence (too far back to be considered in the hiring process). After interviewing his peers and managers, I learned they were concerned he may have mental health issues and were anxious about what may happen next.

Loss Prevention Magazine | 29 | Spring 2023

Back then, we didn’t talk about mental health—especially at work. In fact, depending on where you worked, you were encouraged to leave your personal problems at home.

and gossip, and I knew he wouldn’t want that. He agreed, and we continued.

During our conversation, the employee admitted verbally and in writing to many things, including stalking other employees. He shared that he was disgruntled over how much vacation time other employees took and wanted to know what they did with their time off. He claimed he did his own social media investigations when employees called saying they had COVID-19 to determine whether they were truly sick or just abusing the sick pay policy.

But this time, I was able to hear much more. I was able to hear something beyond his words, and more about the message he was trying to share. By listening in a different way, I heard:

“I am anxious.”

“I need to burn off this energy.”

“Am I going to lose my job?”

“I need this job to support myself.”

This time was different, and I heard his attempts to reach out. I empathized with him and continued to remind him that this was a confidential conversation and there was help for him if he chose to accept it. I responded with, “We have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that can help you with what you are feeling.” He declined, but I gave him the information in case he changed his mind. I told him I knew this was a difficult conversation and appreciated his honesty.

The employee left the interview without incident. All information—my investigation and the results of the interview—was turned over to company leadership for appropriate corrective action.

Reflecting on the Conversation

The ride home from that interview was difficult for me because it took me back almost twenty years to that Monday morning with HR. My thoughts reached beyond the sadness and repressed guilt I felt, making me question what I missed back then. What could I have possibly done differently? While searching for the right response, I realized I honestly couldn’t answer the question.

Back then, we didn’t talk about mental health—especially at work. In fact, depending on where you worked, you were encouraged to leave your personal problems at home. When you came to work, you did your job. Issues at home and the stress of everyday life were to be dealt with when the workday was done.

Then I started thinking about my initial training as an interviewer. As I looked back, I realized I was not trained to recognize “red flags” regarding this type of internal conflict in the person I was talking to during the interview or the actions that person may or may not take. But this time was different.

In 2020, an estimated 12.2 million American adults seriously considered suicide, 3.2 million planned a suicide attempt, and 1.2 million attempted suicide, resulting in 45,979 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anyone contemplating suicide or experiencing emotional distress may call or text the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 24 hours a day to speak with a trained counselor who can provide support and connect them to local resources, if necessary.

When Interview Outcomes Take a Tragic Turn
Jorm Sangsorn / shutterstock.com Spring 2023 | 30 | LossPreventionMedia.com

This time, not only did I hear it—I recognized the red flags—but I also addressed it.

I wish I could point to exactly what made me think this interview was different and that the subject may hurt himself. Maybe it was just instinctual. Maybe it was my experience as a parent and learning to better read nonverbal messages. Maybe it is because I have been exposed to more training, whether it relates to active shooters and how many take their own lives, or other related experiences. Likely, it is a combination of many things.

What I can tell you is that every interview I have done since that one, I have intentionally looked and listened for red flags that would indicate a person may harm themselves. I have done subsequent interviews where I have offered EAP to the employee during the conversation based on what I heard and again at the end of the discussion. I feel it is important to share the message that help is available if they want it.

When a person makes certain comments—“I cannot lose this job.” Or, “I can’t live without this job.” Or, “My husband is going to kill me.” Or, “I cannot go to jail.”—while crying, shaking, or stuttering, we must consider what we are seeing and hearing. Are they crying and reacting because they were caught, or are they, in that moment, trying to reconcile how they are going to get through today and maybe tomorrow? The answers can literally change lives.

Looking Forward

I have been so very fortunate to have mentors who have guided me through my LP career, but there is always that one—the one who is your biggest supporter, the one who introduces you to a whole new passion within your career path. In my case, he knows who he is. I remind him every so often how much I appreciate him, along with how old he is getting.

This mentor also happened to be the one who introduced me to WZ interviewing and interrogation training, which changed everything. It helped me put greater focus on why we were saying what we said, how we were saying it, and when we said it. For me, it all made sense. In 2016, I earned my CFI and to this day I immerse myself in continued education, webinars, articles, and book recommendations.

When all these emotions and questions came flooding back following this recent interview, the first person I reached out to was Wayne Hoover, CFI with WZ. While he did not have all the answers, he took the time to listen, walked me through what I heard, how I was feeling, and what changes I wanted to see in interview training, and how I thought it would benefit newer interviewers.

I feel today, and have for a while now, that we as a society talk about mental health in a more open and healthy way. Our employers talk about it, celebrities

share openly, and social media has embraced a culture of sharing without shame. Many companies have programs available, and the month of May is dedicated to mental health awareness.

Still, it feels like we have more questions than answers. How do we prepare the next generation of interviewers to become more aware of what they see and hear during an interview? Are they prepared to address it if they have concerns? Are they aware of the resources available to the employee and how to share that information?

I believe that if we see or hear anything that makes us, as interviewers, feel someone may hurt themselves, we should give that individual appropriate information about the resources offered through the organization.

Interviewers should also know it’s okay to ask for help following a tough conversation. We spend so many interviews listening to employee problems and how that’s impacted their actions and state of mind, it can be difficult on us. If in some way we, as interviewers, feel we need additional support, we should be willing to seek it out.

I will continue to educate myself on these issues and recommend others do the same. Always keep in mind—there is no shame in asking for help, letting someone in, or having a conversation with a professional when you feel you need to.

Be Prepared and Keep an Open Mind

“Preparation is a critical aspect of every interview,” according to Hoover, who is senior partner at Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates and advisory board chair with the International Association of Interviewers. “You can do everything right, and things can still happen. We do our best to run a game plan in our heads—if this, then what—but we also need to consider the possibility of emotional or despondent individuals and how they may react. After the interview is complete, we should spend some time thinking about its impact on us. If you notice something, speak up. If you feel like you need support yourself, ask for it. Know your company’s options and find a partner. Do you have an EAP, for example? Keep your mind open and always look for the best possible answers.”

Deanna Lawton, CFI is a senior investigator with the Verizon Wireless Corporate Security, Domestic Investigations Team. Lawton earned her CFI in 2016 and has over 25 years’ experience in retail loss prevention and security. She is a wife, mom of three, grandma to four granddaughters, and has two adopted pups. She loves trips to the park and zoo and enjoys woodworking as a hobby. Lawton can be reached at deanna.lawton@verizonwireless.com

If we see or hear anything that makes us, as interviewers, feel someone may hurt themselves, we should give the individual being interviewed appropriate information about the resources offered through the organization.

Wayne Hoover, CFI
Loss Prevention Magazine | 31 | Spring 2023

Did Internal Theft Get Better, or Did Everything Else Get Worse?

As organized retail crime and external theft steal headlines, internal theft has creeped out of LP conversations. Is this a mistake?

dabradzei / shutterstock.com

To say there’s a lot on LP professionals’ minds in 2023 would be an understatement. Organized retail crime (ORC), civil unrest, labor shortages, changing laws, and violence against employees have all become so pressing, you might find yourself daydreaming about when employees stealing cigarettes was your biggest problem.

But as these other, newer issues have taken center stage, old LP problems such as employee theft are still prevalent and may even be growing worse due to an increase in the general havoc of the modern retail store.

In the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2022 National Retail Security Survey, external theft including ORC was cited as the greatest source of shrink (37 percent), but employee and internal theft came in a close second (28.5 percent).

And while threats of violence might demand more attention, 36.2 percent of retailers said they were “somewhat more” concerned about internal theft compared to five years ago, and 20.7 percent said they were “much more” concerned. In addition, 58.6 percent of retailers said there was an increase in employee theft due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PwC’s 2022 Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey backs this up, with 68 percent of companies saying they experienced new fraud and an increased risk of employee misconduct following COVID-19.

“While retailers are entering a post-pandemic era, it unquestionably changed every aspect of employee behavior, and has lasting effects,” said Cheryl Blake, vice president of loss prevention portfolio at Appriss Retail. “This has been caused by staffing shortages, retail employees leaving jobs more frequently, and an increased reliance on seasonal workers. What’s more, omnichannel retailers have more touchpoints where internal theft can take place—including the point-of-sale, return desk, receiving dock, warehouse, and distribution channels. As a result, retailers have seen an increased need to mitigate internal theft and protect profits.”

The NRF’s 2021 National Retail Security Survey provided more details on the cost of internal theft. On

average, retailers reported 361.6 apprehensions and 527.3 terminations due to employee theft in 2020. Each dishonest employee case costs retailers $1,551.66 on average. With inflation, this cost is surely much higher in 2023.

“Internal theft remains a significant source of concern for retailers,” said Scott Pethuyne, LPC, senior analytics solution consultant for Zebra Technologies. “Even though external theft and ORC have taken center stage in the media, the fact still remains that associates interact with retailers’ inventory and points of sale every day and have the potential to cause serious issues that negatively impact profitability.”

Lacking Labor

One of the biggest changes to the retail landscape in recent years is the persistent labor shortage, which has made it difficult to fully staff retail stores, leading to a ripple effect on internal theft.

“There’s a few dynamics going on,” said Dr. Read Hayes, director of the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) and research scientist at the University of Florida. “There are typically fewer employees in stores than before, so some of the exposure has been reduced, but at the same time, employees have such unique access and knowledge, which equates to opportunity. They have access to cash, they can activate gift cards, they can generate refunds, and sometimes they’re alone in stores and have unique information about security protocols so they may feel they can evade them.”

This topic was the center of much discussion at LPM and the Loss Prevention Foundation’s Annual Town Hall Meeting at the end of March.

One attendee pointed out that the lack of available talent has also led to more leniency in hiring, meaning retail employees are not vetted as thoroughly as they once were. “Look at how much has changed in the last few years with prosecuting, background checks, and reference checks,” they said. “I had a conversation last week with someone who closed a case involving an employee who had stolen cash from three previous employers. All of those checks we used to have, we don’t anymore.[Thieves] are getting interviewed and processed, and then just going down the street to work at the next store.”

Cheryl Blake Read Hayes, PhD Scott Pethuyne, LPC
“Environmental factors like lack of adequate staffing and increasing retail violence can lead to a sort of ‘I don’t get paid enough for this’ attitude that can result in an associate feeling they’re owed something additional from their employer.”
Loss Prevention Magazine | 33 | Spring 2023
—Scott Pethuyne, LPC

Employees’ Discontent

This staffing shortage, along with other factors, can also lead to discontent in employees, making them more willing to steal.

“Environmental factors like lack of adequate staffing and increasing retail violence can lead to a sort of ‘I don’t get paid enough for this’ attitude that can result in an associate feeling they’re owed something additional from their employer,” Pethuyne said.

The shocking rise in retail violence is probably the most impactful change in the retail industry—and employees are fed up.

According to LPM’s 2023 Violence in Retail Survey, approximately 90 percent of retailers reported the threat of violence as a result of shoplifting or ORC has increased over the past five years, with 55 percent saying it has significantly increased.

“The aftermath of COVID-19 seems to have incited and emboldened individuals to use verbal threats, weapons display, and physical contact as intimidation in brazen shoplifting events,” said one survey respondent.

This threat of violence to retail employees is certainly leading to an increase in internal theft.

“Internal theft has increased since the start of the pandemic; however, the increase in ORC and retail violence has taken the attention from loss prevention teams away from internal theft,” Blake said. “As a result, the opportunity for internal theft has increased. What’s more, the role of retail employees is more stressful as they must respond to ORC and violence in stores. In addition to current economic hardships, the dissatisfaction can increase the desire to turn to theft.”

Economic factors and a possible impending recession are also making employees more desperate, leading those who might not usually steal to do so.

“At the center of the internal theft is people, and people have been widely affected by changes in the world over the past few years,” Pethuyne said. “Financial issues like inflation and the higher cost of living can motivate otherwise reliable associates to resort to theft in the name of helping their families.”

Blake added that the current economic and retail climate have made the “desire” and “opportunity” aspects of the crime triangle a bigger problem.

Many at LPM’s town hall meeting noted that normalizing external theft has led to more internal theft. “When you look at ORC, if we don’t educate our associates on what we’re doing to address it, we become a target because they see how easy it is,” one attendee said.

This realization has led to other factors contributing to internal theft. “There’s a lot of collusion with internal

theft and ORC suspects going on right now,” said another attendee.

Scott Thomas, national director for signature brands at Genetec, told LPM he agreed. “Our customers indicate that internal theft is a major concern,” Thomas said. “They’re seeing the biggest case increase in collusion at the checkout and external merchandise theft coordination. As employees notice the ORC walkouts not being approached and apprehended, they are telling their friends that the stores they work in are easy targets for theft. New ORC theft rings are sprouting up from this phenomenon.”

The popularity of buy online pickup in-store (BOPIS) has also led to more opportunities for internal theft.

“We had a meeting with a major retailer, and they dragged us to the side and said they’re now fulfilling orders out of stores, so that’s created new dynamics,” Hayes said. “Now you’ve got side or back doors that remain open all day, and areas that weren’t really designed for natural surveillance. So now you may have hidden areas in the store, you have more merchandise in those areas, and some employees take advantage of that.”

Hayes noted that third-party delivery services like Instacart also open the door for items disappearing before they reach the consumer.

“There’s so much focus on external theft right now. You’re not hearing quite as much out there on the street (about internal theft), but you do hear it from retailers,” Hayes added.

Can AI Save the Day?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has long been touted as the miracle solution to all LP woes. And while early solutions may have fallen short of expectations, the technology has evolved to produce margin-saving results.

“Certain kinds of transactions have a higher risk for loss, and we know these types of transactions can be higher risk, so we have software now—even algorithms and AI—being leveraged to determine theft,” Hayes said.

According to a March 2022 report from Fortune Business Insights, companies are funding advanced technologies, with businesses nationwide spending upward of $11 billion on technology to detect fraud in 2022.

“To identify and reduce internal theft, Appriss Retail’s Secure solution uses AI and machine learning to report on all transactions, piecing together discrete events that seem innocent, but when presented together, can identify hidden loss,” Blake explained. “By connecting multiple data sources, statistical models can uncover employee outlier behavior, allowing a retailer to act on

Did Internal Theft Get Better, or Did Everything Else Get Worse?
Scott Thomas
“Internal theft has increased since the start of the pandemic, however, the increase in ORC and retail violence has taken the attention from loss prevention teams away from internal theft.”
on page 36 Spring 2023 | 34 | LossPreventionMedia.com
—Cheryl Blake


continued from page 34

what they don’t already know, improving profits through reduced shrink.”

Exception-based reporting solutions like Genetec’s can also be of use in detecting internal theft.

“For point-of-sale (POS), Genetec offers Transaction Finder, a full featured, exception-based reporting solution fully correlated with video that also provides live POS monitoring and alerts,” Thomas said. “For external merchandise collusion, Genetec is integrated with EAS systems for real-time notification with video.”

Zebra, too, promises to help retailers detect internal theft.

“Zebra gives retailers state-of-the-art visibility into their inventory and transactions,” Pethuyne said. “Whether that involves using RFID technology to know the moment products go missing, self-scan physical inventory counting to ensure accurate inventory levels, or advanced analytics to detect register theft and suspicious inventory movements, Zebra has several hardware and software offerings deployed in some of the world’s largest retailers to help them control their internal theft and shrink.”

With these options for internal theft detection and mitigation, integration will be key.

“As technology continues to evolve, our ability to detect things like internal theft certainly evolves with it, but we all know that dishonest associates’ methods also evolve just as quickly,” Pethuyne added. “I think the key will be efficiently merging all of the different technologies retailers have in play to address the issue, so that investigators and operators can quickly address any problems that pop up.”

Proper training of employees is also crucial in preventing internal theft. Thankfully, technology can help with that as well.

“What looks like internal theft can sometimes be unintentional and can be remedied with individualized training,” Blake said. “As a result, retailers can isolate these incidences from larger cases of ongoing theft. Technology monitoring how well employees conform to policies and procedures can help retailers identify gaps in their processes and improve upon them. Coaching cashiers can improve efficiencies at the POS, reduce front-end turnover, and decrease sale-reducing activities.”

Blake elaborated, “Even as retailers put more controls into place, there are still gaps that lead to opportunities for internal fraud. Retailers are often slashing coverage or reducing training. For retailers without the technology to address and mitigate internal theft, it will continue to become more of a concern. As the world becomes

increasingly omnichannel and shoppers turn to online channels, retailers require an integration of data, systems, and people to create one source of the truth that allows them to reduce the thread of internal theft.”

Culture Makes All the Difference

Advanced technology will of course help mitigate internal theft, but every retailer’s first step should involve taking a good, hard look at their company culture.

Hayes said, “If you have a strong culture, employees know they have a code of conduct and understand very clearly that they will be punished if caught stealing.”

The LPRC has interviewed dishonest employees, and the results were proof that good corporate leaders are not enough to prevent theft in an organization.

“The main actionable findings were that employees tend to identify with their boss rather than the overall organization,” Hayes said. “So the organization may have a very strong culture of honesty and hard work, but if the local leadership doesn’t represent or buy into that—or takes advantage and is dishonest themselves—those are triggers. You’ve got to be very careful as a part of your audits out in the field to make sure the culture in every single location is strong. We also found that retailers who were regularly surveying store-level employees about culture seemed to have fewer problems with internal theft.”

While the technology and processes to detect internal theft continue to improve, Hayes hopes the recent deterioration in employee loyalty doesn’t decline further, as that will be the true determination of whether employee theft grows worse or better.

“Future generations might be changing jobs more and feel less compelled to be loyal to anything, including an employer,” Hayes said. “So that’s going to be a potential dynamic—less commitment. You might continually have fewer employees because fewer people want to work in retail, and those employees that are there might be less committed. So you might have less exposure from the quantity of employees, but the quality may be lesser.”

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

Did Internal Get Better, or Did Everything Else Get Worse?
“As employees notice the ORC walkouts not being approached and apprehended, they are telling their friends that the stores they work in are easy targets for theft. New ORC theft rings are sprouting up from this phenomenon.”
—Scott Thomas
“You’ve got to be very careful as a part of your audits out in the field to make sure the culture in every single location is strong.”
—Read Hayes
Spring 2023 | 36 | LossPreventionMedia.com
Courtney Wolfe is managing editor digital focusing on expanding the magazine’s digital content and reach. She most recently was managing editor for SDM Magazine, a trade publication for security systems integrators. She received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She can be reached at CourtneyW@LPportal.com.


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Calculating Return on Investment Turning

Accounting Rules to Management Tools

AUTHOR’S NOTE: When this article was originally published twenty years ago, there was a growing recognition in the loss prevention community that we needed to better support our proposed expenditures and budget, but the level of financial fluency in our profession was not well-established. Many practitioners had come from a law enforcement or military background and very few came up the ranks on a purely business path. Unlike today, there were few individuals that had a background in operations or finance or analytics. And there was a dearth of available literature that talked about ROI (return on investment) in the context of security and loss prevention.

This article is a primer on three of the most common methods that companies and, especially,

financial executives use to evaluate the viability of proposed expenditures. As is noted in this article, having a basis for evaluating competing budget requests is an absolute necessity as no company has unlimited budgets, even if every single project is positive in terms of ROI. Make no mistake, you are competing for funds against many other worthy projects.

The dollars used in the example look quite small twenty years on, but the mechanics of the calculations have not changed. If you don’t already know how the finance group is going to evaluate your proposed spending, this would be a good starting place to understand the nomenclature and thought process.

ProStockStudio / shutterstock.com

Over the past three decades, ROI, profit center, cost center, and value-added have become significant buzzwords in the loss prevention industry. While not unique to our industry—these concepts are also important in other staff functions, such as information technology and finance—I can’t imagine ROI has gotten any more attention than it has in our industry. Most LP professionals agree this is a step in the continuing evolution toward higher levels of involvement in our organizations, increased professionalism of our industry, and a more business-oriented mindset.

However, based on my observations and discussions, I believe there is a lack of understanding about calculating the ROI of loss prevention solutions. Most people who say “we are a value-added function of the company and make decisions based on ROI” don’t know an NPV from an IRR.

Is it necessary to know the actual mechanics of these financial measures to understand the concept? Absolutely not.

Will it improve our ability to make good capital investment decisions, defend our projects to the CFO during budget approval, and give us greater confidence in the application of the ROI concept? Absolutely.

What Is Capital Budgeting?

The term “capital budgeting” refers to the process of planning expenditures that will generate income (or savings) that is expected to flow into the organization over a multi-year period. In other words, capital budgeting is a way to decide where to spend your money when considering long-term projects. This contrasts with “expense budgeting,” which is deciding on where to spend money for short-term, day-to-day expenses.

There are four steps in capital budgeting:

■ Determining the initial costs of the project,

■ Estimating incremental cash flow,

■ Financial analysis of the project, and

■ Selection of most favorable projects.

Determining Initial Costs

This step is probably the simplest part of your analysis. It includes the invoice price of new items (machinery, equipment, services, etc.), any sales taxes, and the additional expenses associated with the implementation of the project, such as packing, delivery, installation, and inspection. The justification for including all the costs indicated, rather than recording some of them as expenses, is that every one of these costs is an integral part of making the asset usable by the organization.

Once you know how much it costs to implement a project, you can compare the initial investment with future benefits and make a judgment as to whether the project is worth undertaking.

Estimating Incremental Cash Flow

The cash flow statement is a way of systematically estimating the financial benefits of your project over its useful life. In the LP industry, the cash flow is usually in the form of savings through shrinkage reduction or risk avoidance.

Your cash flow projection should only include those estimated cash inflows and outflows that are directly related to the project itself. As a starting point, you can use the cash flow projections that currently exist for your business, simply adding in the changes that you expect the project to bring. Then you can compare your original statement (without the project) to your new statement (with the project), to gauge the likely results of moving forward with your plans.

Once you know how much it costs to implement a project, you can compare the initial investment with future benefits and make a judgment as to whether the project is worth undertaking.

Cost of Asset = $75,000 Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Sales (+2% each Year) $10,000,000 $10,200,000 $10,404,000 $10,612,080 $10,824,322 Baseline Shrink (%) 3.0% 3.0% 3.0% 3.0% 3.0% Baseline Shrink (S) $300,000 $306,000 $312,120 $318,362 $324,730 Shrink Reduction (%) 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% New Shrink (S) $225,000 $229,500 $234,090 $238,772 $243,547 Savings ($ @ retail) $75,000 $76,500 $78,030 $79,591 $81,182 Cost / Retail Ratio 0.57 0.57 0.57 0.57 0.57 Savings ($ @ cost) $42,750 $43,605 $44,477 $45,367 $46,274 Less Expenses $10,000 $10,200 $10,404 $10,612 $10,824 Less Depreciation $15,000 $15,0000 $15,000 $15,000 $15,000 Savings Before Taxes (SBT) $17,750 $18,405 $19,073 $19,755 $20,450 Tax (34%) $6,035 $6,258 $6,485 $6,717 $6,953 Net Savings $11,715 $12,147 $12,588 $13,038 $13,497 Plus Depreciation $15,000 $15,000 $15,000 $15,000 $15,000 Cash Flow $26,715 $27,147 $27,588 $28,038 $28,497
Loss Prevention Magazine | 39 | Spring 2023
Table 1. Sample Cash Flow Statement

Let’s look at an example of a simplified cash flow projection for a sample LP-related project. Let’s say that you are thinking of purchasing new equipment, such as electronic article surveillance tags, that have a useful life of five years. You believe buying and installing this equipment will lower shrinkage significantly. The equipment will cost $75,000 to purchase, install, and bring into use. This is your initial cost.

The next step is to construct a cash flow statement, as illustrated in Tablee 1 on page 39.. We begin with what we know or have planned. The store we are going to use this equipment in currently does $10 million in sales per year and is budgeted to increase sales by 2 percent each year. The store’s historical retail shrinkage performance has consistently been 3.0 percent of sales, and you believe this will continue if you do not purchase this new equipment. Therefore, 3.0 percent will be used as our baseline shrinkage figure.

Next, you project the income or savings you expect if you invest in this project. Based on your knowledge of this equipment or your experience with it when you’ve installed it in similar situations, you are confident it will reduce shrinkage by 25 percent and keep it there. Therefore, the savings from this project will be the difference between what shrinkage would have been over the next five years (baseline) and the estimate of the new shrinkage rate, which is 25 percent lower. Since we look at shrinkage as a cost, we need to convert the savings at retail to cost by multiplying by our cost-to-retail ratio.

To maintain this equipment, certain expenses will be incurred each year. This could be service, maintenance, replacement of components, or upgrades. We need to reduce our projected savings by these expenses. For purposes of this analysis, let’s assume it will take $10,000 in expenses to administer the program, and that number will increase in proportion to sales performance.

The next step is one that many people miss—the impact of taxes. We need to calculate the impact of taxes on our estimated cash flow because, if our

previous projection comes true and we really do increase the bottom line for this store as a result of the project, Uncle Sam will want his fair share of the additional profits. This is usually 34 percent.

But before we calculate the tax amount, we need to factor in the favorable tax impact of depreciation. Depreciation is the allocation, for accounting and tax purposes, of the purchase costs of fixed assets over several years. All costs incurred in acquiring an asset and getting it up and operating are depreciable, including actual price, taxes, broker’s fees, labor, and freight. This allows you to avoid paying taxes on the depreciable figure, thus lowering your tax burden.

Calculation of depreciation can be a topic in its own right as there are a number of different ways that accountants use to determine depreciation, such as accelerated cost recovery system, straight-line, sum of the year’s digits method, and the double declining balance method. For the purposes of our discussion and analysis, I recommend the use of the straight-line depreciation method. This method of depreciation assumes the same amount of expense will be allocated in each year of the asset’s useful life and is calculated by dividing the initial cost of the asset by its useful life, in this case, $15,000 per year over five years.

Finally, once you’ve calculated the tax impact, you add the depreciation figure back in, since it is an accounting device only, that is, you didn’t have to spend an additional $15,000 on the project each year. Figure 1 shows the cash flow statement we just constructed.

One thing to note is that a number of assumptions have been made, such as baseline shrinkage rate, amount of reduction, and sales plan. Don’t let anyone fool you—capital budgeting and financial analysis are not exact sciences. The results you actually achieve will not match your analysis exactly. However, if you make good assumptions, your analysis will be directionally correct.

Now that we’ve created a projected cash flow statement for your project, we can use some financial analysis tools to see whether the project makes sense.

FEATURE Calculating Return on Investment
Having a basis for evaluating competing budget requests is an absolute necessity as no company has unlimited budgets, even if every single project is positive in terms of ROI. Make no mistake, you are competing for funds against many other worthy projects.
Dima Sobko / shutterstock.com
Spring 2023 | 40 | LossPreventionMedia.com
The cash flow statement is a way of systematically estimating the financial benefits of your project over its useful life. In the LP industry, the cash flow is usually in the form of savings through shrinkage reduction or risk avoidance.

Financial Analysis of Implementing LP Solutions

At the simplest level, you’ll want to make sure that the total costs of any major project you undertake are less than the total benefits resulting from the project. You could simply add up the costs, then add up the expected revenue increases and cost savings over the next few years and compare the two. However, if you did that, you’d be ignoring the fact that many of the costs will be incurred at the beginning of the project, while many of the revenues or cost savings will occur later, over a period of months or years.

There are several more formal ways to evaluate the costs or benefits that a major purchase or project will bring to your company. The most used are the payback period, net present value (NPV), and internal rate of return (IRR) methods.

Each of these methods has its advantages and drawbacks, so generally, multiple methods are used for any given project. In addition, no financial formula or combination of formulas should be used to the exclusion of common sense. For example, some loss prevention solutions may “fail” your tests under some or all these methods, but you might decide to go forward with them anyway because of their value as part of your long-range business plan.

Payback Period Analysis

The payback period method is the simplest way of looking at one or more major project ideas. It simply tells you how long it will take to earn back the money you’ll spend on the project. The formula is Cost of Project ÷ Annual Cash Inflow = Payback


Thus, if a project cost $75,000 and was expected to return $20,000 annually, the payback period would be $75,000 ÷ $20,000 = 3.75 years.

If the return from the project is expected to vary from year to year, you can simply add up the expected returns for each succeeding year, until you arrive at the total cost of the project. For example, in our previous cash flow example, the project costs $75,000 and the expected returns are shown in Table 2 above.

The project would be completely paid for in approximately two years and nine months, because $75,000 (cost of project) is equal to all of the first two

years’ revenues, plus $21,138, which is equal to about 76 percent of the third year’s revenues.

Under the payback method of analysis, loss prevention solutions with shorter payback periods rank higher than those with longer paybacks. The theory is that projects with shorter paybacks are more liquid, and thus less risky. They allow you to recoup your investment sooner, so you can reinvest the money elsewhere. Moreover, with any project, there are a lot of variables that grow fuzzy as you look out into the future. With a shorter payback period, there’s less chance that market conditions, interest rates, the economy, or other factors affecting your project will drastically change. Generally, a payback period of three years or less is preferred.

There are a couple of drawbacks to using the payback period method. For one thing, it ignores any benefits that occur after the payback period, so a project that returns $1 million after a six-year payback period is ranked lower than a project that returns $10,000 after a five-year payback. But the major criticism is that a straight payback method ignores the time value of money. To get around this problem, you should also consider the NPV and IRR of the project.

Net Present Value

The NPV method of evaluating a major project allows you to consider the time value of money. Essentially, it helps you find the value in “today’s dollars” of the future cash flows of a project. Then, you can compare that amount with the amount of money needed to implement the project.

If the NPV is greater than zero, the project will be profitable for you (assuming, of course, that your estimated cash flow is reasonably close to reality). If you have more than one project on the table, you can compute the NPV of both, and choose the one with the greatest difference between NPV and cost.

In order to calculate the value of the future cash flows in today’s dollars, you need to know your cost of capital. What is your cost of capital for purposes of analyzing a major purchase decision? In simplest terms, it is the cost of the money you’ll use to make

Some loss prevention solutions may “fail” your tests under some or all these methods, but you might decide to go forward with them anyway because of their value as part of your long-range business plan.

Year Cash Flow 1 $26,715 2 $27,147 3 $27,588 4 $28,038 5 $28,497 Dima Sobko / shutterstock.com
I believe there is a lack of understanding about calculating the ROI of loss prevention solutions. Most people who say “we are a value-added function of the company and make decisions based on ROI” don’t know an NPV from an IRR.
Loss Prevention Magazine | 41 | Spring 2023
Table 2. Annual Returns

your purchase. Where will you get the $75,000 that is needed for your project?

If you are planning to finance the purchase and you know what the interest rate on the loan would be, the answer is simple. The rate charged on the loan can be considered the cost of capital for the project. Therefore, if the loan rate were 10 percent, that would be your cost of capital.

If you are not financing your loss prevention solutions, there are still costs involved in the form of equity cost to your company. This is the basis behind several financial formulas such as weighted average cost of capital (WACC) and accelerated present value (ACP). The good news is that you usually don’t have to determine the cost of capital for yourself. Most companies set a predetermined cost of capital for all capital projects that you can get from the finance department.

How do you compute NPV? The easiest way is to use a good financial calculator (you can find these online). If you don’t want to take the time to learn how to use one, you can use a present value table. Note that whenever you do time value of money calculations to find a present or future value (such as NPV), you’ll need to specify a cost of capital rate, also known as a discount factor (DF). The DF is used to reduce the cash flows from future years into today’s dollars.

Table 3 below takes the cash flows we developed for our $75,000 project and shows the appropriate DF. We have used a 12-percent discount rate or cost of capital. By multiplying the cash flow times the DF, we arrive at the present value (PV) of the future cash flows. This represents the future savings in terms of today’s dollars.

Table 3. Future Savings in Today's Dollars

You can see that the sum of the cash flows is $137,985, but when discounted at 12 percent, it totals only $99,120. By subtracting out our original $75,000 investment, we find the NPV is $24,120. This means that we would add that amount to the company’s bottom line over the course of the next five years by making this purchase.

The IRR Method

The IRR method of analyzing a major purchase or project also allows you to consider the time value of money. Instead of expressing the result in dollars, as the NPV does, it expresses results in terms of a rate. Once you know the rate, you can compare it to the rates you could earn by investing your money in other loss prevention solutions or investments.

If the IRR is less than the cost of capital used to fund your project, the project will clearly be a money loser. However, it’s not uncommon for a business to insist that to be acceptable, a project must be expected to earn an IRR that is several percentage points higher than the cost of capital to compensate the company for its risk, time, and trouble associated with the project.

How do you compute the IRR? You can also use the PV table. One problem with the IRR is that it can be difficult and time-consuming to calculate, especially if the expected cash inflows vary greatly from year to year. But the basic premise is that the IRR is the cost of capital that would make the NPV for the project equal to zero. In the example we have been working with, the IRR is 24 percent. If we were to go back to our NPV analysis and use that figure for the cost of capital, the NPV would equal zero.

The decision rule calls for comparing the IRR from the proposed project to the cost of capital. If IRR exceeds the cost of capital, the project is accepted, while if the IRR is less than the cost of capital, the project is rejected. If capital is scarce, the firm can rank projects based on their IRR (cost of capital) ratio, or if the various projects have similar or identical cost of capital, the firm can simply rank IRR.

Choosing Among Alternative LP Solutions

Of the three methods of analyzing a major purchase, which is the best? While the payback period method is the easiest to compute, most accountants would prefer

FEATURE Calculating Return on Investment
Year Cash Flow DF (12%) PV 1 $26,715 0.8929 $23,854 2 $27,147 0.7972 $21,642 3 $27,588 0.7118 $19,637 4 $28,038 0.6355 $17,818 5 $28,497 0.5674 $16,169 $137,985 $99,120 What is your cost of capital for purposes of analyzing a major purchase decision? In simplest terms, it is the cost of the money you’ll use to make your purchase.
Don’t let anyone fool you—capital budgeting and financial analysis are not exact sciences. The results you actually achieve will not match your analysis exactly. However, if you make good assumptions, your analysis will be directionally correct.
Dima Sobko / shutterstock.com
Spring 2023 | 42 | LossPreventionMedia.com

to look at the net PV and the IRR. These methods take into consideration the greatest number of factors, and in particular, they are designed to allow for the time value of money. If the net PV is negative, or if the IRR is less than the cost of capital, the project should be rejected as not financially feasible (unless the project is one that’s required by law, such as a safety upgrade).

Occasionally, when you’re looking at several loss prevention solutions that are competing for your time and money, the NPV and IRR methods will yield different answers to the question “Which option is best?” The issue is not whether to reject certain solutions when NPV is negative, or IRR is less than the cost of capital. The issue is project selection when capital is scarce, and so the firm must rank alternative loss prevention solutions and select the best. However, these different tools can yield different project rankings. In particular:

■ NPV leads to the highest ranking for large, profitable projects.

■ IRR can overstate the attractiveness of highly profitable projects because the IRR algorithm assumes that excess cash flows are reinvested in the project and yield an IRR return, which may not be plausible. In addition, IRR and NPV can yield ranking

differences for projects that differ substantially in terms of the magnitude and timing of cash flows.

■ Conflicts over ranking differences are usually decided in favor of NPV.

If you find that understanding ROI and capital budgeting is still a bit confusing, don’t worry. There are many subtleties and aspects to the financial concepts presented here. Use this article as a stepping off point for further study. Ask your peers in the finance department about the methods they use when evaluating capital projects, what the organization’s cost of capital is, and what evaluation criteria they use for saying “yes” to a project. As a result, I believe you will find greater success in evaluating and selling your loss prevention solutions and programs to senior management

Walter E. Palmer is executive vice president of CAP Index. He has been an industry insider and advocate for thirty-five years with experience in asset protection, operations, inventory control, and strategic consulting. Palmer works with top retailers, academics, asset protection practitioners, and industry associations in the US and around the world to advance the profession, examine key trends and issues, and support their key goals and objectives. He can be reached at wpalmer@capindex.com.

If you find that understanding ROI and capital budgeting is still a bit confusing, don’t worry. There are many subtleties and aspects to the financial concepts presented here. Use this article as a stepping off point for further study.

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What to Look for in a Solution Provider Partner

FGC / Shutterstock.com

To drive success and remain relevant, loss prevention leadership must embrace innovation and creativity at every level. The process that an individual or organization undertakes to conceptualize new products, processes, and ideas—or to approach existing products, processes, and ideas in new ways—helps keeps our programs relevant, meaningful, and productive.

In the world of retail loss prevention, there are many different types of innovation that might be pursued. Whether tied directly to specific products or services, internal processes or workflows, or operational efficiencies, every possible approach must be considered to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the retail landscape.

While every successful leader understands the need for growth and the ability to adapt, it’s just as important that we take the necessary steps to use the right innovations, as well as a solid understanding of how to go about bringing that innovation to life. This is where our solution provider partners become invaluable. Making decisions that are informed, accurate, and

productive demands subject matter expertise that is knowledgeable, reputable, and trustworthy.

So, when it comes to exploring these partnerships, what qualities and traits should we be looking for?

How do we set the bar for expectations while building meaningful relationships that will most benefit our program and our organization? Beyond a specific product or service, what should we be looking for in our solution provider partners?

To help answer these and other critical questions, we recently sat down with several seasoned and highly respected members of our solution provider community to garner their thoughts and opinions. While each holds a wealth of experience and serves on LP Magazine’s Vendor Advisory Board, each brings a unique but consistent message for both loss prevention leaders and our solution provider partners.

Join us for an enlightening conversation as they share their perspectives on what it takes to be a valued solution provider partner, and what loss prevention leaders should expect from these relationships.

LP Magazine: All of you are considered leaders in our solution provider community. Beyond a reputation or a product, what are the traits or qualities that you feel are most important when identifying a quality solution provider partner?

Hedgie Bartol: I appreciate you having this type of conversation. I think it’s critical for the market. It’s rare to find a solution provider willing to commit the time, money, and resources to support the retail industry. They try to take a “Sales 101” approach to dealing with loss prevention professionals, which is a huge mistake. Those days are over. It takes a very collaborative approach. It’s a partnership. It’s so much more than a sales relationship. I always tell my sales folks, it’s not our job to sell anyone anything in this industry. It’s our job to help them buy what they need—and it might not be what you’re selling. It’s a matter of being able to sit down with someone, have an open conversation, and realize that this individual is responsible for a multi-million-dollar or billion-dollar operation. On top of that, they’re responsible for human beings, the customers as well as their associates. They’re

responsible for their safety. They deal with critical situations daily. Their time is extremely valuable, and you must take the time to build a rapport. They work with those they trust and trust who they know.

You have to be willing to commit to the industry. It’s not just a matter of showing up and having a great solution. It’s a matter of establishing your commitment to the loss prevention community. That’s why you get involved in things like the LP Magazine, the LP Foundation, the LPRC, supporting the ORCAs, and being a part of that community. You’ve got to build trust and let them know you’re here to support the loss prevention community.

LPM: Hedgie, looking at some of the things that you’ve done in your career as a solution provider, you’ve always taken extra steps to help educate practitioners and make them more aware of your products and services—not just what they are, but how they can be best used. Why?

Bartol: Because we truly believe what we have is going to impact society, and it’s going to make a difference.

Hedgie Bartol, LPQ, LPC, Vice President of Business Development, Indyme Solutions Cita Doyle, LPQ, LPC, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, InstaKey Security Systems Tony Sheppard, MSM, CFI, LPC, Senior Director, Loss Prevention Solutions, ThinkLP Robb Northrup, MBA, Director of Marketing and Communications, Siffron
Loss Prevention Magazine | 45 | Spring 2023

Over my career the companies that I’ve represented have been involved in programs and projects that we truly believe can make a difference, not only for the individual retailers, but also as part of society. For example, organized retail crime funds illicit activities such as human trafficking, weapon trafficking, drug activity, terrorism, and other activities that impact our society as a whole. If we believe that we have a tool that can help in that fight, why not be a part of that movement? Providing the product or service and educating our partners on how to best use those solutions is the right thing to do. We are then offering something that can make a difference. Rather than just being seen as a vendor, this defines what it means to be a solution provider partner.

Robb Northrup: I think the key phrase Hedgie used was “partnership.” It’s not just a customer/solution provider relationship, it’s really a partnership. It’s about understanding the entire retail environment. While we’re working with asset protection teams, we must also work beyond that—with the merchants, the merchandizers, and procurement. We must understand the impact that theft and the overall shopping environment have on the everyday customer.

It’s important to take a holistic view of retail and provide total retail solutions, remaining fully aware of the entire retail environment. By working with and listening to our partners, we’ve learned that anything we’re going to implement requires a holistic understanding of the impact on the bottom line. Beyond deterring theft, solutions should help increase sales and create the environment desired for their honest customer. By partnering throughout the retail organization, you can drive a holistic result with buy-in from everyone. This gives you a better chance of success for anything you want to implement. That’s really the goal with all our solutions.

LPM: Robb, you clearly understand what it takes to be a retail partner. You’ve joined our advisory board here at LP Magazine. Why?

Northrup: If we’re going to be that total solution partner, we must be integrated in the key industry groups like the LP Foundation and LP Magazine

It’s important for us to know what our partners are thinking, so that no matter what solution we’re trying to come up with for a customer, we have a well-rounded idea of what’s going on.

We are very purposeful when integrating ourselves into the various communities around different customer segments. That’s why we feel this is a critical partnership for us. It gives us an opportunity to be part of these discussions. The LP community really is a community. There’s a lot of sharing of success stories, to include what works and what doesn’t work. This happens a lot more in LP than almost any other part of retail that I’ve seen.

Tony Sheppard: I was on the retail side for many, many years. I’m new to this side of the business, so I think I have a unique perspective. Retailers may be big businesses, but they have budgets. They’re very critical of every dollar they spend, as they should be. There’s a lot that goes into signing up with a partner. You’ve got other departments involved and depending on what the solution is, it can be a huge commitment. It’s a big decision and a long process.

It’s important to develop long-term partnerships so you can develop long-term solutions. When choosing solution partners, considerations go beyond the product or service. Our practitioner partners want to know if we are innovative. They want to know we are evolving, and willing to tweak whatever solution we offer as things progress.

We all know, in retail, things change often. Sometimes, solution partners underestimate the amount of effort it takes to make that decision. That must be taken into consideration. Our practitioner partners are looking for a long-term solution, and a long-term partnership. There should be a back-and-forth, then you’re solving problems together.

LPM: Looking at your background Tony, you’re a subject matter expert on organized retail crime. Why did your company bring you on board? What do you think was the biggest motivation for them to bring on someone like you as part of their team?

Sheppard: There are advantages to having practitioners on the solution partner side of the business. In my situation, I was brought on board to help develop the product and make the product better for the end user—the retailers. Making the jump to the solution provider side, there is a responsibility to bring your own brand in a way and help establish credibility. Coming from that side of the business, you understand how to have those conversations. Even things like understanding the language can be very important. Trust and credibility are critical to building these relationships. continued on page 48

FEATURE What to Look for in a Solution Provider Partner
It’s important to take a holistic view of retail and provide total retail solutions, remaining fully aware of the entire retail environment.
By working with and listening to our partners, we’ve learned that anything we’re going to implement requires a holistic understanding of the impact on the bottom line.
Spring 2023 | 46 | LossPreventionMedia.com
— Robb Northrup


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LPM: Cita, you’ve always had a passion for what we do and how we do it. You’ve been involved in helping develop the industry certifications. You’ve gotten certified through the LP Foundation. You’ve taken part in countless industry initiatives. You’re on the LP Foundation’s board as well. You have really provided a lot of extra value above and beyond what your company does. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Cita Doyle: Absolutely. A lot of it is about giving back to the industry and really understanding what the industry does. Robb, Hedgie, and Tony nailed it. It’s about partnerships, but it’s also about understanding what their pains are, and where you fit into the scheme of it all. We have to empathize with the challenges retailers are dealing with, and what we can do to help.

Sometimes, it may not be offering what your product or solution is. Sometimes, it’s introducing them to another solution provider that can help with their needs. To do that, you really need to understand what they are dealing with and the different challenges they’re facing.

We wouldn’t be where we are today if we didn’t learn to become an extension of our clients’ teams and understanding what we could do to help. That’s really made a big difference for us, and why we’ve invested so much in certification. It’s why we help their teams become better educated as well by providing certifications to them, helping our colleagues and their employees grow.

LPM: If you had to name a common mistake that solution provider partners make, what might that be?

Bartol: An unwillingness to openly listen. Too often we already have our minds made up, assuming we’ve answered our own questions. With any conversation you have, it’s important to listen and be willing to accept a different way of looking at things, or a different way of thinking. The other thing I would add is the essential need to be open, honest, and willing to have a conversation. I’ve had many folks in the industry that have been very candid and honest with me, leading to some of the best conversations I’ve had. And at the end of the day, we were able to find a resolution. It may not have been the resolution that I would like, but it’s a resolution, and I’m still gratified by having helped get there.

LPM: We’re going to put you on the spot here a little. What do you think is important to look for in a practitioner partner from the solution provider’s perspective?

Sheppard: I think it’s the ability to truly communicate, whether sharing thoughts and ideas or the willingness to actively listen. We as solution partners need to listen to our customers. You’ve got to be receptive. But I think that goes both ways. There’s knowledge, information, and experience on both sides.

It can only add value when retailers are receptive to your suggestions, even if they don’t decide to go in that direction. When they’re willing to listen, we can come up with the best solution that makes the most sense. An unwillingness to consider other options or opinions can be counterproductive, rather than showing the ability to be open to discussions that might ultimately be to their benefit. When we’re talking, we’re not learning. Communication is a two-way street.

Northrup: It’s also about finding the retailer that’s equally engaged in the process. Testing different solutions takes time, and retailers have their own processes and timelines. But those willing to engage in the necessary back-and-forth dialogue, those retailers willing to be open and keep you up to date on the process while keeping their teams engaged in that process as well tends to make for a more successful outcome.

There have been times when a solution is implemented and the follow-through or the communication just isn’t happening. And as a result, the solution isn’t as successful as perhaps it should be. Was it a good solution? Was it not a good solution? In those situations, it can be hard to tell. Finding retailers willing to be equally engaged with you in that process is important and leads to the best possible results.

Doyle: I think that it’s important that practitioners really share what their goals are, what they’re looking to achieve, and what their long-term strategy is. By having those components, they’re going to find a solution provider that is going to listen and really help figure out the best possible outcome. By establishing partners that can provide a longterm ROI and mesh with the overall strategy of their program and what they’re trying to accomplish, we find the best possible solutions for all involved. It’s a big win for everyone.

Jacque Brittain, LPC, is editorial director for LP Magazine Prior to joining the magazine, he was director of learning design and certification for Learn It Solutions, where he helped coordinate and write the online coursework for the Loss Prevention Foundation’s LPC and LPQ certifications. Earlier in his career, Brittain was vice president of operations for one of the largest executive recruiting firms in the LP industry. He can be reached at JacB@LPportal.com.

FEATURE What to Look for in a Solution Provider Partner
I think it’s the ability to truly communicate, whether sharing thoughts and ideas or the willingness to actively listen. We as solution partners need to listen to our customers. You’ve got to be receptive. But I think that goes both ways. There’s knowledge, information, and experience on both sides.
— Tony Sheppard
Spring 2023 | 48 | LossPreventionMedia.com
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Working on the Front Line of Retail

Real Experiences of Self-Checkout Supervisors

501room / Noel V. Baebler / Nopphinan / Shutterstock.com

While self-checkout (SCO) technologies are not a recent development within retailing, in the last ten to fifteen years the pace of development and adoption has quickened considerably, especially in the grocery sector. In addition, there are now far more ways SCO is being realized in a broader range of retail environments. While fixed SCO machines or robots remain the most dominant system in operation, retailers are offering their shoppers alternatives, including:

■ Scan and Go: store devices provided to consumers for scanning items they wish to purchase.

■ Mobile SCO: consumers’ handheld devices that allow them to scan and, in some cases, pay for items.

■ Smart Trollies or Carts: some of which can detect items placed within them.

■ Whole Store SCO Systems: allow shoppers who have registered and scanned themselves into a store to pick up items and leave without further scanning or paying for a purchase.

Growing Concerns

Unquestionably, self-checkout allows retailers to considerably reduce labor costs and provide some consumers with greater convenience and choice in how they can check out. But recent studies have documented how they can also increase retail losses, primarily due to how they generate opportunities for malicious and non-malicious events to occur.

Examples include:

■ Customers accidentally or deliberately not scanning some of the items they wish to purchase.

■ Users misrepresenting one weighted product for another (the grapes for carrots “trick”).

■ Customers using pre-printed barcodes to undervalue more expensive items.

■ Customers carrying out “walk-aways,” where a customer scans all their items but does not pay for some or all of them.

Not only do such incidents generate direct losses for retailers, but they can have a negative effect on in-store stock file accuracy (this often happens without a retailer becoming aware until their next stock audit), which can generate indirect losses through missed sales due to out-of-stocks and increases in product wastage.

A 2018 ECR Retail Loss report estimated that for each percentage of retail sales processed through fixed SCO, a retailer will suffer an increase in an unknown loss of one basis point. This means that if 50 percent of sales value goes through this type of system, then a retailer could see an additional loss of 0.5 percent of their retail sales. With some estimates suggesting that unknown losses (shrinkage) for a grocery retailer might be about 1.5 percent of retail sales per year, this would represent a 30 percent increase in losses. More significantly, estimates for other types of SCO system losses were even more concerning—scan-and-go and mobile rates of losses could be higher, possibly as much as seven to ten basis points of loss for each 1 percent of transaction value.

Despite growing awareness of the scale of losses increasingly associated with SCO, the predominant trend is for retail to introduce more of these systems—bringing them into different retail environments, such as apparel,

and extending the options available, such as mobile SCO. The question is not whether retailers will use SCO but how to better manage and control SCOs to ensure they don’t hinder profitability—especially since they account for a growing proportion of sales.

Responding to the Problem

As other ECR research on SCO has identified, retailers are now experimenting with, installing, and adopting a plethora of interventions to manage the SCO environment. These have largely been focused on key points within the shopper journey: registration, entering the store, selecting product in-aisle, the checkout area, and exiting the store. In addition, they have coalesced around four broad themes: the application of various types of technologies, such as video technologies and weight-based interventions; changes in how guardianship is delivered, such as changes to the selection and training of SCO supervisors; adjustments to store processes, such as closing fixed SCO machines in off peak times; and changes to the design and layout of stores and SCO-specific environments, such as the use of corrals and exit control gates.

The Key Role of SCO Supervisor

Often referred to as SCO supervisors or assistants, staff employed to provide oversight and assistance to customers who are checking out via fixed SCO machines and those using current scan-and-go systems are a critical part of many store teams. Typically, they are responsible for several fixed SCO machines and routinely respond to alerts and problems customers generate and experience (such as age verification and security weight-check issues).

In addition, they are expected to act not only as a form of deterrence to SCO misuse by customers (such as not scanning items) but respond when they become aware of customers engaging in malicious and non-malicious behaviors. As such, there is an expectation that they will be reactive (fix problems as they occur) and proactive (stop theft and errors occurring through their presence and oversight) in this space.

In terms of scan-and-go systems, these staff are primarily required to ensure customer problems with the technology and checkout process are quickly resolved and to perform system-generated audits of a select number of customers. For the most part these are partial audits where an algorithm decides which customer should be checked and how many items in a customer’s cart or basket should be scanned for accuracy.

Loss Prevention Magazine | 51 | Spring 2023
A 2018 ECR Retail Loss report estimated that for each percentage of retail sales processed through fixed SCO, a retailer will suffer an increase in an unknown loss of one basis point.

For instance, the system may require a member of staff to scan five items in a customer transaction supposedly containing thirty items. In many respects, this is a difficult task for staff to perform—not only in terms of deciding which products to scan but managing what can be seen as a “challenging”’ interaction with a customer (in effect, the audit is suggesting the customer may have not scanned all the items, and the customer’s transaction and, by implication, honesty, needs to be checked).

Understanding the SCO Supervisor Experience

Much of the research to date has focused on measuring the impact of SCO on retail profits, or better understanding the approaches and views of retail organizations deploying them. The results presented below seek to broaden this understanding by adding the views and experiences of those tasked to operate these systems and working on the “front line” of SCO.

The research is based on online responses from over 6,000 staff working in nine retail companies—two based in the US, two in Australia, and five in Europe. All were large

retailers and predominantly grocers, with a combined annual turnover of $320 billion, a total of nearly 12,000 stores, and together employing approximately 1.4 million staff. The study focused on gaining insights into their work experiences, including the training they received, what they witnessed, and their views on how the work may be better controlled and managed.

Key Findings

The Self-Checkout Working Environment:

■ Most SCO supervisors usually work on their own (59 percent), with the largest proportion having responsibility for seven or more SCO machines (38 percent).

■ Nearly two-thirds do not believe they can cope with their allocation of SCO machines or can only cope when they are not busy (63 percent). As the allocation of SCO machines increases, staff feel less able to cope.

■ Most respondents believe between one and six machines per member of staff is the optimum ratio (84 percent). While SCO machine ratio is a useful indicator, allocating labor to SCO spaces should also take account of transaction volume and velocity, the alerting context (age-checking requirements), use of control interventions (security weight checking), and the crimerisk rating for any store.

Self-Checkout Training:

■ Most staff had received training prior to working on SCO (74 percent), although those who worked only on SCO when it was busy were more likely to have not received training.

■ Those who had received training were more likely to feel they could cope with their workload.

■ One in three staff receive training for only an hour or so prior to working on SCO (35 percent). Those who received longer periods of training were more likely to say they could cope with their workload and deal with non-scanning misuse.

■ Most staff who receive training find it useful. The length of training was associated with perceived usefulness; the longer the training, the more useful it was viewed.

■ Most training programs include aspects of LP, although one-third stated it did not (36 percent). When staff receive this type of training, they almost unanimously think it is useful (92 percent).

■ Longer courses typically cover more SCO-related topics; The shortest programs (just an hour or so) cover 30 percent fewer topics than those lasting the longest (two days or more). Those who received more topics typically felt better prepared to cope with their SCO environment.

■ Respondents thought training could be improved by including the following: more on LP (greater awareness of, and capabilities to deal with, theft in general); dealing with technical issues when SCO machines had faults or glitches; and customer service issues, including dealing with negative or difficult customers, how to better multitask and be more vigilant, and how to effectively engage with customers.

continued on page 54

Most staff had received training prior to working on SCO (74 percent), although those who worked only on SCO when it was busy were more likely to have not received training.
Experiences of Self-Checkout Supervisors
Spring 2023 | 52 | LossPreventionMedia.com
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For further information about this study and a free copy of the report, visit the ECR Retail Loss website by scanning the QR code:

Continued from page 52

The Self-Checkout Operating Experience:

■ On average, respondents believe 51 percent of all SCO losses are caused by malicious customer behavior.

■ Respondents stated the most frequent process-related issues or alerts they experienced are age-related checks, having to remove security tags, and dealing with security weight alerts—all occurring many times an hour. They also noted bar codes not scanning, problems with loose item looks, and payment issues were also regular events.

a “minimal possible” staff operating model to one more focused on creating an “optimum control’” operating environment.

■ The Importance of Training: Recognizing the value of training and why it matters. Staff are keen to see their training include more on LP-related issues, how to deal with problematic SCO technologies, and improving their customer service skills.

■ Providing Technological Support: Respondents were almost unanimous in expressing frustration with the quality and reliability of SCO technologies. They want more reliable, up-to-date, and better-designed systems. In addition, they are keen to have a range of alerting options that will help them do their work more effectively.

■ When it came to the frequency of customer misuse, non-scanning, scanning but not paying, and misusing the product lookup function were the top three, with at least one-third saying they happen at least hourly. The data points clearly to staff believing SCO misuse by customers is common.

■ One-third of staff (32 percent) stated incidents of violence and verbal abuse occur very often or often in their SCO space (at least weekly). The survey also found a correlation between how frequently violent and verbal abuse incidents were thought to be happening and the number of SCO machines respondents had to supervise. Those with more SCO machines were more likely to say incidents happen more often.

■ Respondents were almost unanimous in their view that having additional staff to supervise the SCO area would be an effective or very effective intervention to deal with SCO problems (96 percent).

■ SCO staff provided recommendations for how their working environment could be improved, particularly in three areas:

F Guardianship: More staff, better trained, and greater management awareness of the issues affecting SCO.

F Technology: More robust, up-to-date, and better-designed SCO machines, combined with alerting to help identify problems; more reliable security weight checking; the ability to monitor and respond remotely; and some form of active exit control.

F Design: More space to enable staff to have easier access and improved lines of sight of SCO machines.

Improving Retail Self-Checkout

The results from this study have provided valuable insights not only into the working experiences of SCO supervisors but also how these types of programs can be improved. In particular:

■ The Value of Guardianship: The importance of SCO supervision and how retailers need to move from

■ Designing Zones of Control: SCO spaces need sufficient space to allow staff and customers to move freely and easily, encompassing clear and unambiguous ingress and exit controls. Above all, the design of SCO areas needs to ensure it amplifies a sense of risk for the would-be offender and enables staff to effectively play a reactive and proactive role.

■ Keeping Guardians Safe: Retailers have a commitment to protect their staff and ensure they are creating a safe working environment for them. The survey revealed worrying levels of violence and abuse, and respondents believe, in part, this is due to frustrations generated by current staffing levels and inadequate, glitchy, or poorly designed SCO technologies.

■ Better Measuring of the SCO Environment: More needs to be done to better measure factors that affect the management and control of SCO spaces, including the frequency of SCO alerts; average SCO alert wait times; average SCO queue times; the number of voided, abandoned, or walkaway incidents; and the number of incidents of violence and verbal abuse.

Learning From Front-End Teams

This research has provided a wealth of insights into how SCO teams try to manage and control the SCO environment. Above all, the research has highlighted how important people are in this process, but if they are to be successful, they must be given a manageable workload; receive high-quality training; be supported with technologies that help them focus on the customers, transactions, and events important for their role; and operate in a space that is well designed and, above all, enables a zone of control to be maintained.

After graduating from the University of Leicester in 1988, Professor Adrian Beck worked with John Benyon and others to establish the Centre for the Study of Public Order, which became the Scarman Centre in the mid-1990s and subsequently the Department of Criminology in the early 2000s. He was head of the Department of Criminology from 2009 until 2015 and in 2017 became emeritus professor at the University of Leicester. His research sponsored by the Retail Industry Leaders Association led to the development of the Total Retail Loss concept. Beck is currently academic advisor and researcher with the ECR Retail Loss Group (ecrloss.com). He can be reached at beckbrc@gmail.co.uk.

On average, respondents believe 51 percent of all SCO losses are caused by malicious customer behavior.
Spring 2023 | 54 | LossPreventionMedia.com
Real Experiences of Self-Checkout Supervisors
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Bringing Together People and Technology

LPRC’s Integrate Event

Peshkova / Shutterstock.com

n February, the Loss Prevention Research Council conducted its first Integrate event, which focused on analyzing retail theft and robbery, with the aim of identifying opportunities to supplement or modify current practices with various technologies.

For the event, we simulated a robbery at the LPRC, located at the University of Florida Innovate Hub. The LPRC has over 220 LP and security technologies deployed, which allowed us to use actors to simulate retail conditions with relatively high fidelity—this included technologies currently deployed in retail environments, as well as technologies that may play an important role in the industry. Most importantly, we focused on identifying opportunities to technically integrate and incorporate these technologies into retail LP programs.

The Structure of a Retail Incident

We structured the Integrate event around the simulated incident, including events that happened before (“Left of Bang”), during (“At Bang”), and after the incident (“Right of Bang”). Left, at, and right of bang come from the Bang model of retail crime incident analysis; in some ways like the “Bowtie” model.Figure 1 below shows an integrated “Bang and Bowtie” model that includes the journey to and from a crime.

At the LPRC, we often refer to the Five Zones of Influence, which helps us analyze the progression of crime. This was developed by our director, Dr. Read Hayes, and includes:

■ Zone 1: The precise location of a target, such as a person, cash, merchandise, or other asset

■ Zone 2: The general location of a target, such as a department, aisle or counter

■ Zone 3: The overall interior and entry to a location

■ Zone 4: The parking lot entry, parking lot, and store curtilage

■ Zone 5: The broader community in which a store is located as well as the cyber domain

For a crime to occur within a physical store location, the offender travels into and through all five zones of influence, and then travels through the zones of influence when they exit the location. These areas are called the “Zones of Influence” because these are where retailers have some influence—in other words, there are things retailers can do to prevent, prepare for, mitigate, and respond to incidents that happen within store and supply chain locations. Finally, this model can help retailers review the sequence of events before and after incidents and refine their LP programs to address acute (serious individual incidents) and chronic (recurrent) problems. However, there are serious limits with the “Bang and Bowtie” model. The most important limit is that many retail crimes are not “one off” events; in fact, many are linked in one way or another. For example, crimes and loss events may involve the same person or group of offenders, location, modus operandi, target, and time of day. These are a few ways incidents may be linked, but they all have implications for security programs. These common factors suggest key threats or vulnerabilities form a pattern; if we can interrupt these patterns, we may be able to achieve the greatest reductions in crime and loss.

For example, if incidents repeatedly involve a location or subset of locations, we should ask what process is generating this pattern. Are there vulnerabilities that are common across these locations, or are there threats that are common across these locations? Patterns suggest

LPRC Engagement Lab (Mock Store) University of Florida Innovate Hub Figure 1. Integrated “Bang and Bowtie” Model Figure 2. Cyclical Bang and Bowtie Model
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Each offense often precedes the next, and each offense includes information retailers can use to prepare for, prevent, mitigate, and respond to subsequent crimes.

that incidents are not random, and non-random processes can be interrupted.

Furthermore, this cyclical or patterned nature of retail crime is why it is important for retailers to be engaged in the broader LP community. One retailer’s “right of bang” is another retailer’s “left of bang.” In other words, each offense often precedes the next, and each offense includes information retailers can use to prepare for, prevent, mitigate, and respond to subsequent crimes. This is depicted in the image of the “Cyclical Bang and Bowtie” model in Figure 2 on page 57.

process to prepare for, prevent, mitigate, respond to, or investigate the incident.

Left of Bang Session

During the simulated incident, the suspects started at another business where they stole a garbage bag filled with merchandise; after which, the fictional suspects drove to our building.

For the “Left of Bang” session, James Martin and the retailers focused on how retailers can assess risk (developing risk models), gather information about local active offenders (open-source investigations), generate alerts when known offenders enter the premises, and how sensors and other solutions can be deployed before incidents to collect information that will be needed after an incident.

The discussions revealed many of the retailers are taking various approaches to assessing risks around their stores; and the discussions also revealed many of the retailers are working to improve their risk models. Unfortunately, when it comes to retailers’ data about loss and crime, many solely rely on their own data. In other words, the retailers are unable to learn from other retailers’ loss and incident data. The LPRC is recruiting participating retailers for the American Retail Crime Shrink and Security (ARCSS) project, which will allow us to estimate risks across the country using retailers’ data and then share the results with the community. This will allow retailers to understand the risk landscape while maintaining the confidentiality and anonymity of the retailers that contribute data.

The Structure of the Simulated Robbery and Integrate Event

The full day Integrate event was structured around the simulated robbery. An introductory session reviewed the key concepts, video of the simulated incident, and the day’s agenda. Then participants broke up into three smaller groups to ensure everyone could have in-depth discussions. All three groups completed three sessions. These sessions included a video of a segment of the simulated incident (i.e., before, during, or after the incident), and presentations by the LPRC research scientists, including James Martin, M.S.; Justin J. Smith, PhD; and Chasey Atkinson, M.S. These presentations introduced many concepts that would be discussed throughout the session. Finally, most sessions were devoted to longer, retailer-led discussions focused on the sequence of events during the incident, and how retailers could target specific parts of the

Retailers are also utilizing intelligence-building tools to investigate retail crimes (open-source intelligence and signals intelligence tools). However, the presentation and discussion revealed there are many opportunities for retailers to use this information in a more proactive, and less reactive, manner. Unfortunately, unless retailers have a way to detect a known threat quickly and efficiently (such as with license plate and automobile recognition systems, signals intelligence systems to monitor communications, or feature matching), it will be difficult to use a lot of this information for “Left of Bang” or preventive purposes.

Some retailers are using these technologies to identify when offenders (especially violent ones or known threats) are on the premises, but others are only using these technologies for reactive, investigative purposes. Most importantly, many of the retailers indicated they do not use these technologies at all, making it more difficult to detect known offenders, including those who tend to become violent. Since the retail community is so focused on protecting employees and guests from violence, the ability to detect known violent offenders was one of the most attractive features of the technologies among participating retailers.

At Bang Session

Next, the suspects entered our building and our mock store lab, where they began shoplifting; this

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Retailers may need to instruct employees that, when approaching potential offenders, they should not escalate the situation by entering the individual’s personal space or do other things that might lead the individual to become aggressive.

later turned into robbery when the suspects pushed one employee and brandished a (nonfunctional) firearm at another.

During the “At Bang” session, Justin Smith worked with retailers to discuss product protection strategies, policies, and procedures that could deter theft, disrupt offenders, and minimize harm. This included de-escalation and escalation aversion tactics, as well as technologies like self-service locking cases, body-worn cameras to deter offenders, two-way radios and headsets to communicate about threats, and other devices. Furthermore, the group focused on technologies that enable intelligence and information gathering about offenses and offenders during an incident.

One of the most common problems retailers face in the “At Bang” segment of incidents involves technological integration. For example,

shelf sweep. Capturing this kind of video can be useful in later investigations and prosecutions. Similarly, when the retailers saw the video that was captured from the labs, there was discussion about the video and audio that was collected by body-worn cameras. It was clear that many of the retailers lack audio for their incidents, and many were excited to have clear images of offenders’ faces, but they also were intrigued by the prospect of using audio evidence when presenting cases to law enforcement and prosecutors.

Right of Bang

Finally, the suspects exited the store and drove away; however, mobile guardian platforms captured information that was provided to law enforcement, and the suspects were quickly apprehended in a nearby parking lot.

many sensors generate signals; however, these signals should then generate some kind of alert or trigger a specific response—this response may include other technologies, or it may involve personnel. During the discussion, many retailers acknowledged that audible alerts can be used to signal someone might need help or that a crime might be occurring. This gives employees greater situational awareness to help guests; however, it also gives employees a heads up that someone might be engaging in a crime. Retailers may need to instruct employees that, when approaching potential offenders, they should not escalate the situation by entering the individual’s personal space or do other things that might lead the individual to become aggressive. In other words, audible alerts should be used to encourage retail employees to engage guests in an enthusiastic but guarded manner.

Finally, other technologies can be integrated with camera systems—for example, the smart shelves in the labs sent a signal to the video management system to capture video of a

During this session, Chasey Atkinson and the retailers discussed post-incident strategies, for example, this group focused on the role of mass notification; security operation centers (SOCs); intelligence sharing; product identification and GPS tracking; vehicle identification; and other surveillance technologies.

While there are often discussions about the LP industry being too reactive, some of us were surprised by how little many retailers do in response to incidents. At the LPRC labs, we have hundreds of technologies, and many retailers currently use several of these technologies in their stores and other locations. Many of these technologies generate data, information, or intelligence that can be used to respond to and investigate losses and crimes.

Unfortunately, in many cases, the technologies are not integrated so that retailers can build intelligence; furthermore, in the case of serious incidents, many retailers do not have programs to efficiently and effectively manage the response and recovery. For example,

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during the “Right of Bang” session we discussed the role of SOCs in retail. It was clear some retailers are doing amazing things with their SOC, however, many others do not have an SOC. In fact, the 2022 National Retail Security Survey revealed that less than 40 percent of retailers have a security operations center to respond to and recover from critical incidents.

Similarly, intelligence sharing is common, but many of the most widespread practices are incredibly inefficient and involve old technologies such as email. For example, some retailers noted having outdated camera systems which sometimes made it difficult to share imagery. Many law enforcement attendees voiced concerns about retailers’ camera systems and poor image quality. Of course, most of the retailers have serious limits on what information can be shared and how, yet another major barrier to retailer collaboration.

My impression was that some of the participating retailers were not ready to react. This is a major problem because, crimes are often connected, being unable to react may mean retailers can’t be proactive. To be proactive, retailers must capture data about their existing problems so they can analyze it. Only then can they develop a proactive strategy addressing the most common causes of the most common problems.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Post-event, we surveyed participants, and received an incredibly positive review of the event. In fact, among those who completed the debrief survey, 100 percent said they would participate in another event like Integrate. Of course, any time I see 100 percent of survey participants answer in the same way, I worry about the validity of the survey. Nevertheless, we have had formal and informal interviews and discussions with participants about the event, and all of these indicate the event was incredibly informative and helpful.

Of course, there is always room for improvement. The biggest criticism of the event was that we did not have enough time for in-depth discussions during the sessions. Some of the retail participants also noted they would have liked detailed demonstrations of many of the technologies during the event. The LPRC interpreted all of

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To be proactive, retailers must capture data about their existing problems so they can analyze it. Only then can they develop a proactive strategy addressing the most common causes of the most common problems.

this positively, because it meant that despite everything we covered, the participants still wanted more. Finally, our internal review of the event revealed we spent relatively little time discussing the role of people and processes, or how these factors influence the effective use of technology.

There are plenty of possibilities for these types of events, and we are always interested in hearing from our retail members about what they would like to see. However, there are a few directions we might take with future events. On one hand, the LPRC would like to hold additional, smaller events where we work directly with retailers and their solution providers to identify opportunities to integrate technologies. For example, if a retailer uses specific solution providers, then we need to provide a space where they can share what they do and then identify opportunities to integrate their solutions. The LPRC has participated in events like this in the past, and they have been incredibly fruitful.

The LPRC wants to hold future events offering participants the opportunity to focus on one aspect of an incident. For example, it might be helpful to spend a full day on the “Left of Bang” segment, and to focus on specific solution categories, such as the role of intelligence sharing in developing a truly proactive program. Alternatively, it will be helpful to have similar

events that focus solely on the role of people and processes in preparing for, preventing, mitigating, and responding to incidents and losses.

One thing is clear: the LPRC’s first Integrate event was a success, so it is unlikely that it will be the last of its kind. In fact, the LPRC is planning additional events where we will use the simulated robbery and focus on the role of people and processes. Of course, the LPRC would love to hear our members’ feedback and ideas for future events.

Cory Lowe, PhD is a senior research scientist at the Loss Prevention Research Council. He received his doctorate in criminology in 2020 from the University of Florida where he specialized in crime and delinquency prevention, communities and crime, criminological theory, and research methods and data analysis. Lowe has published in peer-reviewed journals and other scholarly publications on the causes of crime, crime and delinquency prevention, and the factors associated with substance use and delinquency. He can be reached at Cory@LPresearch.org.

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Loss Prevention Magazine | 61 | Spring 2023
While there are often discussions about the LP industry being too reactive, some of us were surprised by how little many retailers do in response to incidents.

Featuring Heather Hearn

For this issue’s Career Center, we feature an interview with Heather Hearn, senior security advisor at Wawa. We chose to highlight Heather’s career journey as she has a long and successful tenure with a c-store organization. Heather’s path may sound familiar to some, and, at the same time, we wanted to expose our readers to a dynamic and growing business. For example, Wawa will open its 1000th store this spring and plans significant growth over the next decade. In an era of inflation, layoffs, and uncertainty, c-stores seem like a good career bet.

STEFANIE HOOVER: The first Wawa store opened in 1964 in Pennsylvania and has somewhat of a cult following. Why do you think your customers are so passionate?

HEATHER HEARN: I truly think it’s our associates. The associates that work in our stores create personal connections with our customers, making our customers loyal to us. Each store is such a hometown place, even when we end up in new areas that we’ve never been in—it’s like home. The culture always seems to translate to the associates when they come on board. They become these brand ambassadors where they connect with and love our customers. Our former CEO, Howard Stoeckel, used to say that we were the Cheers of convenience stores, which is so true.

HOOVER: A place where everyone knows your name! Who doesn’t love that?

We pride ourselves on being responsive, collaborative, and a trusted resource. We have open exchanges on conference calls, in emails, or during one-on-one calls, so there is a lot of collaboration.

HEARN: Yes! We have a lot of tenure. People tend to stay because we’re living our values, and it’s awesome to be here. We call it having Goose Blood, since our symbol is the Canada Goose. The goose and geese flying in “V” formation have come to symbolize some of the very best attributes of our culture including teamwork and encouragement.

HOOVER: Makes sense to me, maybe it’s something in the coffee. Tell us about how you got started in your career and what brought you to Wawa.

HEARN: I started at Wawa while I was in college, working at our Central Station, primarily because it fit into my class schedule. My aspirations were originally law enforcement, and I debated between juvenile

CAREER CENTER Lightspring / Shutterstock.com
The associates that work in our stores create personal connections with our customers, making our customers loyal to us. Each store is such a hometown place, even when we end up in new areas that we’ve never been in—it’s like home.
Stefanie Hoover, CFI Hoover is vice president and editor-in-chief at Loss Prevention Magazine. She has over twenty years’ experience in retail loss prevention, worked as a solution provider serving loss prevention professionals in retail, and serves on the ASIS Retail Council, LPRC Board of Advisors, and IAI Midwest Chapter board. She can be reached at StefanieH@LPportal.com.
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Heather Hearn

probation or police work. Then I was like, oh, maybe I’ll be an FBI agent or a Secret Service agent, something like that. I was in that dream realm… But once I got to Wawa, I was hooked and knew I had found where I belonged.

HOOVER: It sounds familiar Heather, most of us had really high expectations in college.

HEARN: When I started at Wawa, I had never heard of this private security industry—didn’t know that it existed—and I was able to come in and learn everything about physical security, camera systems, alarm systems, and how it all worked. We didn’t have a loss prevention department at the time, so I was in on the ground floor. All our security conversations and loss prevention conversations went through what we called the Security Committee. My boss at the time, Karen Genello, and I built our department together. It’s been fun and fulfilling being able to be in on the ground floor, build something, and watch it grow.

HOOVER: It sounds like Karen was your mentor. Can you tell me about her?

HEARN: Yes, she is amazing. Karen and I were connected via another supervisor, and we never disconnected. We were connected at the hip, built a department together, and that was about twenty-five years ago. She saw something in me, and I’m forever indebted to her.

HOOVER: Describe the setup of your program? How is your loss prevention team structured?

HEARN: Our full department is internal audit, asset protection and security, business compliance, and ERM. I report to the asset protection and security manager along with six field asset protection advisors. Directly reporting to me are an e-commerce fraud analyst who investigates e-commerce fraud and a physical security administrator who manages our access control corporately as well as handles all third-party video surveillance requests.

When I started at Wawa I had never heard of this private security industry—didn’t know that it existed—and I was able to come in and learn everything about physical security, camera systems, alarm systems, and how it all worked.

HOOVER: What are some of the biggest challenges your department faces with your unique 24-hour environment?

HEARN: I am not sure that any of our challenges are unique related to crime in the retail industry. We work very hard to ensure we stay current with industry standards and technology related to loss prevention and security.

HOOVER: How are you able to effectively manage such a large store count with this sized team?

HEARN: We are a well- coordinated efficient team; we maximize our resources to support the organization. More importantly, we ensure we have regular and open communication with our business partners. We pride ourselves on being responsive, collaborative, and a trusted resource. We have open exchanges on conference calls, in emails, or during one-on-one calls, so there is a lot of collaboration. As employee owners, we all want Wawa to succeed, so we make sure we stay connected with each other and win as a team.

HOOVER: And you all have that Goose Blood flowing!

HEARN: Absolutely!

HOOVER: Any advice you’d offer to someone who’s interested in a career in c-stores?

HEARN: C-stores are a great, fast-paced environment. Like any industry, there are professional associations to learn more, like the National Association of Convenience Stores. Be curious, seek out leaders, and make connections.

We are a well-coordinated efficient team; we maximize our resources to support the organization. More importantly, we ensure we have regular and open communication with our business partners.

Loss Prevention Magazine | 63 | Spring 2023

Creating a Supply Chain Program from the Ground Floor

Samran wonglakorn / Andrii Yalanskyi / Shutterstock.com

It’s hard to believe I’ve been in the field of LP for twenty-five years. To put things into perspective, I started doing this line of work almost a decade before the first iPhone was introduced to the world. To some of the readers just starting their careers, that may seem ancient, and you would be correct in that assertion. As my career progressed, I have been very fortunate, either through dumb luck, opportunity, or a combination of those factors, to take part in building LP programs from the ground floor. The irony is that I am still at it, now for the fourth time. Surprisingly, as challenging as it is, having a proven blueprint to work from makes each build a little easier.

Before I dive into the details of this long journey, keep in mind that all programs are not created equal. One of the other tidbits of information I left out is that my career also has been in the supply chain, spanning retail, hybrid e-commerce, and now direct fulfillment. I’ve taken part in e-commerce as it progressed from business-to-business to business-to-consumer. This ever-changing environment not only made developing a program challenging but also forced me to be persistently fluid as global business itself was transforming. If all of this was not riveting enough, the field of LP was also undergoing a major change where careers within the supply chain were beginning to grow. Right time, right place was at work.

When a company decides it needs an LP program, typically something has occurred, usually in succession with something that has facilitated that need. It doesn’t matter if the company is a startup or has been around for 100 years; neither does its size, rate of growth, or number of employees. The driving factor is usually progressive loss. This loss may have a significant impact on the company’s profitability, or its customers are pushing for change. Additionally, the company does not employ a subject matter expert who can identify the exposures and create programs to mitigate them.

I’ve seen numerous companies pursue program development without really understanding LP. Often, losses have occurred due to security exposures or theft, and a common mistake is thinking the program should be reactionary. This is where all too many companies go down the road of hiring a retired law enforcement officer to head the program. During my time in the industry, I have met and worked with numerous professionals who came out of law enforcement. Most were talented but had little, if any, experience in the private sector.

The Value of Experience

What the C-suite sometimes fails to recognize is the most obvious rule within any profession—there is no substitute for time and industry experience. An LP professional can’t walk off the street and be expected to run a law enforcement agency as the chief or agent-in-charge. So, why should we assume a former law enforcement professional

can walk into a business and immediately create a department in the private sector? Not to say it’s impossible; however, it is extremely difficult. The learning curve and internal relationship building for any business is normally six months. And when a company is hemorrhaging money, waiting six months to make an impact is not a viable option.

Fundamental Principles

After years of building programs, I’ve found that you must act immediately and focus on the following key areas:

Business Acumen. This is one of the most important attributes many professionals miss and it can set the stage for long-term success—or rapid failure. Regardless of what company I have worked for or what my responsibilities encompassed, during the first ninety days of employment I’ve tried to visit as many locations as possible. And while visiting those locations, I would avoid the nickel-and-dime tour in favor of walking the floor with a member of operations management. I’ve often referred to this approach as ground-up politics, which serves multiple purposes.

■ It provides an operational understanding of the processes and procedures within that facility.

■ It reveals the operational challenges firsthand, which in turn builds a foundation to determine how you can best form an effective LP strategy on the fly.

■ It shows the operators that you truly care about their business and genuinely want to help them. By putting your business hat on first and your LP hat on second, you are then seen as part of the solution to an operator’s problems. Once you’ve accomplished this at enough locations, word will quickly spread of your role as a true business partner.

Help Me Help You. For those of you who have seen the movie Jerry Maguire, this classic line came out of the locker room conversation Tom Cruise, playing a sports agent, was having with his one and only client, Cuba Gooding Jr., who was playing the part of an NFL wide receiver. In that speech, Jerry Maguire profoundly begged his client to “Help me,

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An LP professional can’t walk off the street and be expected to run a law enforcement agency as the chief or agent-in-charge. So, why should we assume a former law enforcement professional can walk into a business and immediately create a department in the private sector?

help you.” This phrase works just as well, if not better, in business.

It’s about human nature. Have you ever met someone who is overwhelmed or asked to serve as the expert in a role or responsibility they’re not qualified to do? In most companies that never had a structured, industry standard LP program, I’ve found that operations, human resources, or a combination of both have been asked to serve as subject matter experts in LP, asset protection, and security. If you offer to take on that role, you will be surprised how many will gladly hand over the responsibility. By using this approach, you will accomplish the task of taking on the work you were hired to do without needing to push internal partners to give it to you.

For an LP professional, it’s easy to lose focus on the importance of developing relationships within the organization. However, the task of selling yourself as the answer to reducing or eliminating loss isn’t enough. If a company has never had an industry standard program, there will be skepticism of what your role is or should be, how you will go about achieving those objectives, and what impact you will have on the person you are supporting—in other words, to sell folks on what they don’t necessarily think they need takes skill. However, overcoming this is not as difficult as it sounds, and can be achieved by developing an effective relationship with the person you are dealing with. Understand what makes that person tick, personally and professionally. Find commonalities, no matter how small. You will quickly realize trust will grow and a partnership will follow. And once that partnership forms, that person will soon become an ally and help spread the word to their peers. It truly is a domino effect, and it works.

Return on Investment (ROI). These are the most important three words in business. Globally, almost every business is held to standards which reflect cost savings, revenue generation, accuracy, and quality. In the field of LP, I’ve often heard how hard it is to justify the department’s worth. How are you supposed to gauge results with a metric that implies spending money on initiatives or head count will save the company money? And when building a program, the ability to achieve and show ROI must be accomplished quickly. That’s why it’s important the department head takes a measured approach that resembles building floors in a skyscraper.

In the first year, most of the time will be spent being tactical verses strategic. At any given time, you will act as the private, sergeant, lieutenant, and general. The major benefit of having to play all these parts is it allows you to identify problems quickly and easily pick the low-hanging fruit. Whether it be theft or erroneous maintenance agreements on equipment that can be canceled, your job is to identify loss, determine the root cause of the exposure, and put measures in place that mitigate the loss and prevent it from recurring. Then take that ROI and use it to start building the team, one person at a time.

Understanding Personalities

Regardless of whether you are hourly, salaried, entry-level, mid-management, or at the executive table, each person has a different personality, both personally and professionally. While the overall company culture might lead the herd in a certain direction and toward a common goal, individualism will always be present.

Communicate Success You are your best advocate, and make sure everyone knows it. I’ve always liked to preempt a formalized goal process by keeping a running log of our accomplishments. This includes measurables such as how many investigations were carried out, how much money or product was recovered, and how much money was saved to operations. Talk it up to management, leadership, and anyone else who will listen. Try, if possible, to provide a year-end “state of the union” for your program to executive leadership. The point

Creating a Supply Chain Program from the Ground Floor
By putting your business hat on first and your LP hat on second, you are then seen as part of the solution to an operator’s problems.
Spring 2023 | 66 | LossPreventionMedia.com
Samran wonglakorn / Andrii Yalanskyi / Shutterstock.com

is, don’t be afraid to talk about the benefits you are creating for the organization. Before you know it, everyone in the company will know who you are and what your program is about.

Keep It Simple. As daunting as building a program can be, your best approach is to keep it simple enough so everyone can understand the mission. I’ve always relied on these basic concepts:

■ Create an environment that emphasizes loss prevention versus loss reaction.

■ Ensure everything being developed aligns with industry standards.

■ Regardless of what our responsibilities are in the company, we must focus on two things: profit and loss. If we’re not all working together to promote profitability, then we’re all impacted by what loss will bring to the organization.

Creating a program is not that difficult if a plan is utilized. There is a fine line between success and failure, and the pendulum can quickly swing in either direction. If done correctly, you will discover that what you are creating will become a critical part of the business and ultimately change company culture. That is the secret of success—from the ground floor to the top of the skyscraper.

Glenn Master is the director of asset protection and security at McLane Company, and president and co-founder of the International Supply Chain Protection Organization. He has more than twenty years of loss prevention and security management experience both domestically and internationally. Master also formerly served as an adjunct professor with Texas Christian University teaching courses in Criminal Justice and was also student liaison for the Loss Prevention Foundation. His educational background includes a BA in Criminal Justice from the University of Texas-Arlington and a MS in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati.

Loss Prevention Magazine | 67 | Spring 2023
Whether it be theft or erroneous maintenance agreements on equipment that can be canceled, your job is to identify loss, determine the root cause of the exposure, and put measures in place that mitigate the loss and prevent it from recurring.

LPM Magpie Awards Celebrate Industry Professionals

Excellence in Leadership

Excellence in Partnerships

The LP Magazine “Magpie” Awards offer a means to celebrate industry accomplishments on an ongoing basis, recognizing the loss prevention professionals, teams, solution providers, law enforcement partners, and others that demonstrate a stellar contribution to the profession. The ability to influence change is a product of drive, creativity, and determination, but it also requires a unique ability to create a shared vision that others will understand, respect, support, and pursue. Each of the following recipients reflect that standard of excellence, representing the quality and spirit of leadership that makes a difference in our lives, our people, and our programs. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of our latest honorees.

“My passion has always been building and developing high performing teams, and I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with and develop some incredibly talented individuals throughout my career,” said Arango. “Over the past few years, my team has navigated unprecedented risk and volatility within our business, all against the backdrop of the challenges of unrest and a pandemic. It is our reaction to these uniquely challenging conditions that I am most proud of.

“A few years ago, we set out to approach the work we do differently—we recognized that people, guests, and team members alike are facing unique challenges every day,” he explained. “We set out to lead with humanity, connecting with our teams and even our most challenging guests in a fundamentally different way. This has led to a movement across our AP teams in stores and supply chain, completely redefining the role we can play to make people’s lives

just a little bit better. By connecting with our team members and the broader community in meaningful, authentic, and inclusive ways and leading with empathy and humility, we not only improve the guest experience, we also help bring Target’s mission to bring joy for all families to life.”

When building a career, Arango emphasizes the importance of not becoming dismayed by the twists and turns that can happen along the way. “Whatever your desired path may be, know that it may come with a fork in the road or with a left turn you didn’t anticipate. Finally, be a good human being—be real and connect with people in authentic ways. Go out of your way to get to know your teams at all levels. If you do this, good things will come your way.”

For more about Arango and Target, see “Attracting and Developing Diverse Talent” in our Winter 2022 edition or on the LPM website.

“Partnerships are not transactional—they are investments in the future,” saids Blake. “When building business partnerships, go into the relationship with the number one goal of serving as a true partner. Listen to what they need to accomplish and then ask additional questions to make sure you understand that specific need. Honesty is a critical part of it—be sure to give options that help meet their goals. If you don’t have the solutions they need, offer other directions they can take.”

Blake planned to join the public sector upon graduating college. However, while waiting for the right opportunity, she answered an ad for store detective, which was the beginning of her journey into loss prevention. Being a totally different experience than expected, she loved the variety and the potential, which led to a life-long venture. She climbed the career ladder holding positions with increasing responsibility before eventually

transitioning to the solution provider side of the business.

“I am at a 50/50 point in my career, with 50 percent spent on the retailer side and 50 percent as a service provider,” she said. “It’s very gratifying to know that I was part of the transition from ‘security’ to ‘loss prevention,’ as well as how we went from ‘vendor’ to ‘service provider’ to ‘business partner.’ The evolution of our industry has been astounding, and I am very proud to be a part of it.

“Service providers often have a depth of experience and can be a great resource, understanding what’s been working well in the industry—and the things that don’t. Many have been practitioners as well and have insights into areas outside of their current company’s offerings. When you have questions, call them up and pick their brains. Nothing makes me feel more like a partner than getting those calls.”

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The Importance of Technology and Partnerships in Loss Prevention

What does the loss prevention retail community mean to you?

The loss prevention retail community is a special place for me. Retail is my industry, and these are my people. It’s a great feeling being able to get out of bed every day excited to support this community—whether collaborating on strategies, discussing policies and procedures, or advising on the latest technology.

Describe your journey with technology throughout your career.

Starting out as an investigator in 1990, I conducted surveillance by walking the retail floor in my Air Jordans and I rarely used cameras. It wasn’t until I got to Nieman Marcus that CCTV was used regularly and that’s where my technology journey began.

Back then, a properly deployed system was used to catch shoplifters and dishonest associates. At the time, we did not understand the limitations of analog video. Then, it quickly became apparent that there was greater opportunity with IP video. Once I reached a leadership role, we started our IP migration path. Shortly thereafter, the rapid advancement and availability of technology presented new opportunities for us at Nieman Marcus. However, it wasn’t just the solution that made the shift worth it, it was the partnerships with carefully chosen solution providers that brought the true value.

It wasn’t long before we learned how well new technologies could reduce costs and address situational challenges. Our personal involvement in the development and piloting process gave us the information required for enterprisewide deployment. Through that formula of partner collaboration and tested solutions, we weren’t afraid to try new things and that proved successful.

Have you used surveillance technology beyond its use in security?

In 2017, I began using surveillance technology for a variety of purposes beyond security. It has helped to improve the customer experience, increase sales, and optimize store operations.

For store operations, we used video analytics to understand customer and employee behavior, track conversions, and identify areas where we could improve the customer experience. Merchandising benefited from the use of video analytics by tracking customer traffic patterns and identifying areas where we could improve product placement. We used video analytics to create a more engaging and visually appealing shopping experience for our customers. Finally, we gave management a more holistic view of the store.

Using your experience, can you predict where surveillance technology will be in 5 years?

Get your Magic 8 Ball out. It’s challenging to predict the future, but we must be forward-thinking. I once had an SVP of stores say, “If you do today what you did yesterday, you’re a day behind.”

That said, with the rapid growth and advancements in the market I don’t think I could give you a completely accurate prediction. However, unless you’ve been avoiding it, you know a lot has transpired with AI and computer vision recently so there’s no doubt they will play an increasingly important role in retail operations and loss prevention.

Ultimately there is no one vision of the future as each organization is different in their approach, ideology, and abilities. Therefore, there is no silver bullet, and now it is the ultimate game of mouse trap with technology and integrated solutions. As loss prevention practitioners, remember to position yourself to take advantage of the ever-changing landscape of new technology. Stay opensource. Stay scalable. Stay flexible. At the end of the day, focus on the long-term and partner with likeminded people you can trust.

Get your Magic 8 Ball out. It’s challenging to predict the future, but we must be forward-thinking.

Interview with James Stark, LPC, CFI Stark is the Segment Development Manager for Retail at Axis Communications. In this capacity, he is responsible for developing strategies and building channel relationships to expand Axis’ presence in the Americas retail market.
James is a subject matter expert with dynamic experience spearheading cross-functional initiatives by leveraging business data analytics, strategic planning, and specialized systems and tools to optimize security measures, risk management, and customer experience. He brings more than 30 years of loss prevention experience within luxury and specialty retail.
8 Loss Prevention Magazine | 69 | Spring 2023

Artificial Intelligence in Retail

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a hot topic these days and we are starting to see many real-world examples of it in action. College students are using AI to write papers for them, it is changing the way we search for things online, and AI-powered devices like smartphones and home devices are providing assistance and convenience in our everyday lives.

Along with these mainstream examples, we have also seen retailers begin to use AI to enhance the customer experience and to gain efficiencies in their day-to-day operations. From one perspective, this technology is exciting as it enables a lot of opportunity with its virtually endless uses cases; however, it can also raise some areas of concern. Let’s take a closer look at what these developments in AI are and what they could mean for individuals and businesses today.

What Is AI?

From one perspective, this technology is exciting as it enables a lot of opportunity with its virtually endless use cases; however, it can also raise some areas of concern.

AI refers to technology that mimics human intelligence and behavior. It includes understanding natural language, recognizing objects or images, making decisions, and learning from experience. AI research aims to create machines that can perform tasks associated with humans, such as understanding speech, recognizing images or objects, making decisions, and learning from experience.

Often you read or hear about AI concerns and the negative implications of this new technology. With innovations that are expected to be big, impactful, and far reaching—it is okay to be cautious. Some concerns related to AI include the following:

■ Job Loss. As AI technology improves, it may lead to job loss as AI-powered machines and systems begin to perform tasks previously done by humans.

■ Bias. AI systems can perpetuate and amplify existing societal biases if trained on biased data.

■ Transparency. AI systems may be challenging to understand, making it difficult to explain how the AI arrived at a particular decision.

AI refers to technology that mimics human intelligence and behavior. It includes understanding natural language, recognizing objects or images, making decisions, and learning from experience

■ Safety. AI systems may be unpredictable and may cause unintended harm if not properly designed and tested.

■ Privacy. AI systems collect and analyze large amounts of data, raising concerns about privacy and security.

■ Control. AI systems may be used for malicious purposes, such as creating autonomous weapons and malware, and there may be difficulty in controlling their actions.

■ Dependence. As AI systems become more integrated into society, we risk becoming too dependent on them and losing our ability to function without them.

■ Singularity. Some experts believe AI could eventually become so advanced that it surpasses human intelligence and capabilities, which could lead to existential risks for humanity.

These are a few examples of concerns related to AI. It’s essential to consider this technology’s ethical and societal implications as it advances.

Although we are beginning to see the mass adoption of AI, it has already been a part of many devices we use every day. Some examples of consumer devices using AI include:

■ Smart speakers, like Amazon Echo and Google Home, use AI to understand and respond to voice commands.

■ Smartphones, such as Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Pixel, use AI to improve

PopTika / shutterStock.com
Meehan is retail technology editor for LP Magazine as well as president of CONTROLTEK. Previously, Meehan was director of technology and investigations with Bloomingdale’s, where he was responsible for physical security, internal investigations, and systems and data analytics. He currently serves as the chair of the Loss Prevention Research Council’s (LPRC) innovations working group. Meehan recently published his first book titled Evolution of Retail Asset Protection: Protecting Your Profit in a Digital Age. He can be reached at TomM@LPportal.com.
Spring 2023 | 70 | LossPreventionMedia.com

camera performance, assist with tasks, and answer questions.

■ Smart home devices, like Nest thermostats and Amazon’s Ring doorbells, among many others, use AI to learn and adapt to user preferences.

■ Personal assistants, such as Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa, use AI to understand natural language and perform tasks.

■ Smart TVs from many brands, use AI to suggest viewing recommendations and connect with other personal devices.

AI in Retail

The potential of AI in retail is massive. With AI, retailers can analyze data and make predictions about customer behavior both in-store and online. It can provide actionable insights into customer shopping habits, enabling retailers to better target their customers with the right products, offers, or campaigns. Examples of this are Facebook and Google digital ads, which use AI and machine learning to deliver the most relevant ads possible. Through their AI-powered algorithms, they automatically analyze data from countless data points to show ads to people who are, for example, making a purchase or visiting a website. AI tools also allow retailers to identify supply chain inefficiencies, reduce costs, and match the inventory with demand. The next logical step is to bring this type of targeting in-store. Retailers already have access to large amount of data points through security cameras, RFID, and smartphone apps. With the right AI-powered system, retailers will be able to leverage that data to provide a more catered shopping experience. AI has many retail use cases, including:

■ Personalization. Customizing the shopping experience, such as by recommending products based on shoppers’ browsing history and purchase history, can be achieved through AI.

■ Inventory Management. AI helps to optimize inventory levels and predict future product demand.

■ Pricing Optimization. AI assists with data analysis and dynamic pricing decisions, such as adjusting prices based on demand and competition.

■ Fraud Detection. AI can detect fraudulent activity, such as identifying unusual patterns in customer behavior or detecting suspicious transactions.

■ Chatbots. AI-powered chatbots are providing customer service, such as answering questions and helping customers find products.

■ Image Recognition. AI-powered image recognition is used in stores to help customers find products or assist with store navigation.

■ Predictive Maintenance. AI could assist in predicting when equipment or machines need maintenance, reducing downtime and improving store operations.

■ Autonomous Robots. Another useful deployment of AI, autonomous robots, can be used for stocking, cleaning, and even delivering product.

■ Sentiment Analysis. AI assists with analyzing customer feedback and sentiment to identify issues, trends, and areas for improvement. On top of providing a better shopping experience, AI will

be a valuable tool for LP professionals, as it can help to identify and prevent theft, fraud, and other losses. Some use cases for AI in LP include:

■ Surveillance. AI-powered surveillance systems automatically identify and track individuals, vehicles, and other objects in real time, helping to identify potential threats and suspicious behavior.

■ Fraud Detection. AI analyzes transaction data and detect patterns of fraud, such as suspicious transactions or unusual spending patterns.

■ Employee Monitoring. AI can monitor employee behavior, such as by analyzing security camera footage, to identify potential thefts or other losses.

■ Inventory Management. AI has been implemented to analyze inventory data and identify patterns of shrinkage, such as missing products or discrepancies in stock levels.

The potential of AI in retail is massive. With AI, retailers can analyze data and make predictions about customer behavior both in-store and online. It can provide actionable insights into customer shopping habits, enabling retailers to better target their customers with the right products, offers, or campaigns.

■ Predictive Analytics. AI can analyze data and make predictions about potential losses, such as identifying areas of the store at high risk of theft.

■ Exception-Based Reporting. AI can be used to analyze point of sale and self-checkout data and make predictions about potential losses, such as refund fraud, cash theft, and gift card fraud.

■ Facial Recognition. AI-powered facial recognition technology can identify and track known shoplifters or individuals with a history of stealing.

■ Automated Alarm Management. AI automates alarm management in stores by identifying and prioritizing alarms and reducing false alarms

Over the next months, we will continue to see more LP use cases, and we will need to weigh the pros and cons. In general, AI can be a powerful tool to assist retailers and LP professionals in making better and faster decisions to reduce the risk of losses.

Loss Prevention Magazine | 71 | Spring 2023
fotogestoeber / shutterStock.com

Courtney Wolfe

Wolfe is LP Magazine’s managing editor digital focusing on the magazine’s digital content and reach. Prior to LPM, she was managing editor for SDM Magazine, a trade publication for security systems integrators. She received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She can be reached at CourtneyW@LPportal.com.

Popular Articles on the LPM Digital Channels

The LP Magazine website and digital channels offer loss prevention and retail professionals a myriad of thought leadership articles from a wide range of industry experts, original articles from LPM writers, webinars with industry experts, podcasts, whitepapers, and much more. There is new content updated to the website daily that is featured in our e-newsletter. To ensure that you don’t miss this important loss prevention information, subscribe to our digital channel at LossPreventionMedia.com/email or scan the QR code on the left.

Violence in Retail: Frustration, Aggression, and Violence Meets Preparation, Planning, and Prevention

How Retail Businesses Can Take a Stand Against Employee Fraud

There is new content updated to the LPM website daily that is featured in our e-newsletter.

In March, we hosted a webinar where we explored workplace violence prevention with two exceptional leaders from Ulta Beauty, discussing how they have invested in their health and safety strategy. Following this dynamic presentation, we also explored the results from LP Magazine’s Violence in Retail industry survey with a panel discussion reviewing results and interpreting cause and effect. Even if you missed this, be sure to register to get access to the webcast and podcasts of these great sessions post-event, and the results from this ground-breaking survey..

The pandemic unquestionably changed every aspect of the retail industry, and employee relations is no exception. Unfortunately, with retail employees leaving jobs more frequently and an increased reliance on seasonal workers, employee fraud is on the rise. Luckily, there are strategies that loss prevention teams can rely on to reduce the risk of internal theft and build stronger workforces.

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Central Florida was the center of the grocery asset protection universe as AP practitioners from across the industry converged in Orlando, Florida for the 2023 Food Industry Association (FMI) Asset Protection and Grocery Resilience Conference. Once again, the agenda was filled with speakers and discussion panels to keep all those in attendance informed, engaged, and recharged as we work our way through the challenges and adventures of another exciting year for the grocery industry.

Tackling Lottery Theft in Retail Stores

loss prevention leaders and solution providers to connect and discuss the most critical issues impacting the industry today.

Amazon Seized Over 6M Counterfeit Products in 2022

Lotteries provide substantial benefits to communities, generating tens of billions of dollars in annual proceeds for public education, parks, and other essential social programs, while also driving foot traffic to retail stores. However, along with these advantages comes a significant challenge for store owners: theft. Employee theft is a notable concern, as it is more prevalent and costly compared to theft committed by external actors. One of the reasons lottery products are such an attractive target for thieves is their high value-to-weight ratio.

LPF and LPM Host 2023 Town Hall Meeting in Charlotte

The Loss Prevention Foundation and Loss Prevention Magazine hosted its 2023 Annual Town Hall Meeting at the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina March 29-30. This annual gathering invites

Amazon released its third annual Brand Protection Report, where the e-commerce giant attempted to show continued progress toward decreasing the number of counterfeit items sold on its site. According to the report, Amazon identified, seized, and disposed of more than 6 million counterfeit products in 2022 before they could reach customers or be sold elsewhere in the global supply chain.

LPM Regional Town Hall Debut a Success

To ensure that you don’t miss any important loss prevention information, subscribe to our digital channel by scanning the QR code above.

Part of the mission of LP Magazine is to provide educational content to help asset protection professionals in their careers. We do this through our digital and print magazine and by building communities. On April 11, LPM went on the road with education and provided networking opportunities as well with its first Regional Town Hall, just outside of Dallas, Texas.

Orlando Hosts the 2023 FMI Asset Protection Conference
Loss Prevention Magazine | 73 | Spring 2023

Overcoming Challenges to Effectively Combat Retail Crime

Considering the increase in violence occurring in retail stores, how can retailers provide better protection to their customers and staff while keeping out would-be offenders?

It’s an unfortunate reality that customers are increasingly finding themselves unwittingly caught up in dangerous situations that stem from shoplifting. This is why it’s crucial for retailers to deter potential violence before it takes place without making a scene or endangering innocent bystanders. Apart from violent incidents, retail store leaders must remain vigilant against a wide variety of other crimes, such as stalking, sexual offenses, and even kidnappings, if offenders make their way into stores. Additionally, thieves may steal items from customers’ cars or even steal the cars themselves, and some may follow customers out of the store with the intention of robbing them.

Retailers have a responsibility to protect their customers not just inside their stores, but also in the surrounding area. It’s essential to take a proactive approach to security to help prevent these types of incidents from occurring. Installing perimeter security measures, such as automated license plate recognition (ALPR) technology, can help extend your awareness to the very moment a known threat enters your parking lot. Heading off wouldbe offenders before they reach the store ensures minimum disruption to customers and employees, and ultimately, is the best-case scenario for your establishment.

Adding smart security technology like IoT sensors, artificial intelligence tools, ALPRs, and other real-time technology provides a set of “electronic eyes” to monitor the site perimeter.

It appears that retail jobs are becoming less attractive due to store violence, resulting in high turnover and labor shortages. What steps can retailers take to protect employees and retain staff?

The prevalence of organized retail crime (ORC) has led to an increase in violence, causing staff to fear for their safety. To address this concern, retailers must prioritize the safety of their employees and implement appropriate tools and training to keep them out of harm’s way.

Leveraging technology alongside training provides an added layer of protection for employees. It’s important to ensure that staff outside of the security team do not interfere with criminal activity, as this can put them in danger. Early alerting of known ORC or violent individuals gives staff enough time to protect themselves and prevent harm. Ultimately, a comprehensive safety strategy that combines training, technology, and early warning systems is crucial to protecting retail staff from violence and ORC.

vectorfusionart / Shutterstock.com
Interview with Robert Parks, LPC, CFI Parks is a commercial solutions consultant for Flock Safety with over fifteen years of experience in global security operations, programs, and technology management. He formerly served as Head of Public Safety at a large healthcare organization and as Manager of Asset Protection at a major international retail chain. Prior to joining the private sector, Parks was a law enforcement officer and worked for the Department of Homeland Security.
Early alerting of known ORC or violent individuals gives staff enough time to protect themselves and prevent harm.
Spring 2023 | 74 | LossPreventionMedia.com

Despite the widespread use of video surveillance, why isn’t this enough to deter shoplifting, particularly when it involves ORC?

While video surveillance can be one tool for deterring shoplifting and other forms of theft, it is not always enough to deter smart and prepared ORC criminals. ORC groups are often highly organized, sophisticated, and take steps to avoid detection by video surveillance systems. For example, they may wear disguises or use other tactics to conceal their identities, or they may use distraction techniques to divert the attention of store personnel and security cameras.

Moreover, even if surveillance footage is captured, identifying perpetrators can be difficult without additional evidence. ORC groups may use stolen or counterfeit identification documents, making it difficult to track them down. Additionally, even when suspects are identified, they are often part of a larger network that is difficult to dismantle. Retailers should consider implementing additional security measures such as proactive perimeter technologies to complement their video surveillance systems and help prevent theft from occurring in the first place.

Why is a multi-layered security strategy crucial, and how can retailers implement technology to make it successful?

Multi-layered security involves using a variety of protection measures to secure the physical premises of the store, as well as the people and assets within it. Technology should be your first line of defense against external theft, including theft linked to ORC. While physical security measures help to create a barrier between a potential threat and retail property, technology-based solutions can provide real-time information about potential threats, help to alert authorities, and prevent unauthorized access.

While video surveillance can be one tool for deterring shoplifting and other forms of theft, it is not always enough to deter smart and prepared ORC criminals. ORC groups are often highly organized, sophisticated, and take steps to avoid detection by video surveillance systems.

Are there any ways in which retailers can strengthen investigations to prevent repeat offenders from returning?

Adding smart security technology like IoT sensors, artificial intelligence tools, ALPRs, and other real-time technology provides a set of “electronic eyes” to monitor the site perimeter. A retailer can create a virtual security perimeter with license plate recognition cameras by positioning them on ingress and egress points. The vehicle data can then be used by LP / AP teams to quickly identify and intercept threats in real-time. Retailers should also stay up to date on the latest security technologies and best practices and be prepared to adapt their security strategies as needed.

To prevent repeat offenders from returning, retailers can take several steps to strengthen their investigations. One approach is to enhance their surveillance capabilities by investing in advanced technologies such as video analytics and ALPR. These tools can help identify known offenders and gather intelligence to reduce future threats. Creating a centralized database of known offenders can also be useful in preventing repeat offenses. Retailers can share this database across stores, making it easier to track the activity of known offenders and prevent them from returning to any of the retailer’s locations.

In addition, retailers should build strategic partnerships with local law enforcement to prevent repeat offenders from returning. This can include sharing information on known offenders and coordinating efforts to track and apprehend them. Retailers should also conduct thorough investigations into all incidents of theft and other criminal activity. Gathering and preserving evidence is crucial in identifying and prosecuting offenders to the fullest extent of the law.

Ground Picture / Shutterstock.com
Early alerting of known ORC or violent individuals gives staff enough time to protect themselves and prevent harm.
Loss Prevention Magazine | 75 | Spring 2023

LP Magazine is recognizing the unsung heroes of the loss prevention and asset protection industry. In an ongoing column, we will highlight those among us who are going above and beyond to help their community and world around them to be a better place. Whether it be an individual or a team, donating time, money, or bringing joy to others—we want to say, “thank you” and let our readers get to know you better.

Raising the Bar Coast-to-Coast

oin LPM as we celebrate the accomplishments of two members of the Rite Aid team and the exceptional impact they are making on opposite coasts in their companies and their communities.

The Difference a Day Makes

In today’s retail environment, external theft and organized retail crime in large cities has become an unprecedented challenge, with New York City and the boroughs of New York enduring their share. Despite many obstacles, Doug Horsting, lead asset protection investigator with Rite Aid, embraced this daunting task and not only found a way to be successful but exceeded expectations.

His efforts began in the stores, where Horsting stressed the importance of training store employees on policies and practices, the need to work safely when facing external theft, and the need to document the activity to help reveal patterns and identify recidivists. He then took things a step further, becoming a law enforcement liaison and championing efforts to work with individual precincts, holding meetings to educate law enforcement partners, and scheduling covert operations with the officers to apprehend suspects. He followed up with the district attorney’s office to ensure a better understanding of the extent of the losses and the risk to the public. He attended community meetings with law enforcement, speaking directly to the public regarding efforts to mitigate these risks and provide a safe shopping experience. He then repeated these efforts in precincts throughout the city.

If you’d like to submit someone or a team to be featured in this column please visit: losspreventionmedia.com/ something-good/

Horsting’s efforts and the partnerships he built have not gone unnoticed, as the Westchester County, New York Board of Legislators recently recognized him and Rite Aid for strategic partnerships with law enforcement, the District Attorney’s Office, elected officials, and community business leaders.

Horsting’s efforts and the partnerships he built have not gone unnoticed, as the Westchester County, New York, Board of Legislators recently recognized him and Rite Aid for strategic partnerships with law enforcement, the District Attorney’s Office, elected officials, and community business leaders. As a result, Horsting and Rite Aid were presented with a proclamation, and the county of Westchester declared October 22, 2022 as “Doug Horsting Day,” underscored by the following statement:

“Because of this partnership, the stores are a safer place to shop, shoplifters are being charged appropriately, and store associates feel empowered and safe.”

Much More than Circumstance

On the other side of the country in the great Northwest, Rite Aid recently celebrated a victory of

file404 / Shutterstock.com Spring 2023 | 76 | LossPreventionMedia.com
Doug Horsting pictured in the center with his proclamation.

another kind due to the swift and decisive actions of Asset Protection Shrink Investigator Randy Grant. Every day, asset protection leaders from across the globe are making differences in the lives of employees and customers alike, and making a positive impact on the communities they serve. While every effort is consequential, none are more important than when those efforts save a life.

As Grant arrived at work recently at a store in Spokane, Washington, he was alerted by someone in the parking lot that there was a suspected overdose. The man, a transient, informed him that a friend had overdosed and collapsed in a “camp” behind the store. Grant immediately jumped into action, approaching the individual while calling 911. Once he confirmed the person was unconscious and clearly in distress, he started CPR compressions under the direction of the 911 operator. With the individual showing no signs of improvement, Grant then instructed a bystander at the scene to continue CPR while he ran inside the Rite Aid location to grab Narcan.

Staff pharmacist Keith Koscielski helped supply Naloxone, so Grant could then return to the unconscious individual and administer the Narcan with

the 911 operator’s guidance. Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan among others, is an FDAapproved medication used to counteract or reduce the effects of opioids. Used to counter decreased breathing in opioid overdoses, the nasal spray is applied into the nostrils and is easy for those without formal training to use.

After administering the Narcan, the individual soon regained consciousness, and Grant continued to stay with him until emergency medical personnel arrived. EMT services confirmed that thanks to Grant’s quick actions, he saved the man’s life.

We spoke to a humble Randy Grant, who simply said he was “thankful for being at the right place at the right time.”

However, we realize there is much more to the story. He had established a relationship within the community, and had gained the trust of the individual that approached him that day to report the incident. He remained calm and decisive throughout the incident. He was educated on the use of Narcan as an opioid treatment and acted accordingly with the support of the pharmacist and emergency responders. These are reasons—not the product of circumstance—and we applaud his efforts.

Please join us in celebrating these leaders and the example they provide for all of us.


Stop shrinkage and threat weapons.

Every day, asset protection leaders from across the globe are making differences in the lives of employees and customers alike, and making a positive impact on the communities they serve.
Randy Grant
Loss Prevention Magazine | 77 | Spring 2023
Uncover the Unseen™

The Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) is a leader in educating and certifying retail loss prevention and asset protection professionals by providing relevant, convenient, and challenging educational resources. The LPF is dedicated to elevating the industry through its accredited LPQualified and LPCertified courses. For more information, visit losspreventionfoundation.org.

Spotlighting Loss Prevention Certified Professionals

“The LPC course material is a very robust, well-crafted program that challenges you to become proficient in all aspects of the loss prevention industry. Even with the years of experience I possess, I found the course material “come to life” during business travels and discussions. I finally stopped making excuses, made time, and prioritized my commitment to my own personal professional development.”

Shelley, LPC Harris Teeter Supermarkets

“I’ve been blown away at how thorough the material is for the LPQ & LPC certifications, truly bridging the gap for new professionals and helping existing ones grow in business acumen. Transitioning from law enforcement into LP has been easier with the knowledge gained from the LPC and the resources available from the LPF. Highly recommend this to anyone looking to shift careers, engage in the industry, and outperform peers.”

Xavier Ruiz, LPC Family Dollar

“The LPC course is something that I have been wanting to take since 2020 to further my personal development. The learnings I gained from this course are invaluable and I’m looking forward to applying the lessons learned to my current role.”

Hector Pearson, LPC Rite Aid Kimberly
Spring 2023 | 78 | LossPreventionMedia.com
“Transitioning from Law Enforcement into LP has been easier with the knowledge gained from the LPC and the resources available from the LPF.” — Kimberly Shelley, LPC

Gregory Jackson, LPC Target

“The LPC course is both challenging and rewarding. The decision to take this course to expand and test my business knowledge was a no brainer! I feel great about the content learned and how I can apply lessons in my current role and beyond. This certification proves expertise and solidifies credibility in the loss prevention industry.”

Nick Mergel, LPC Amazon

I thought the LPC course content did a great job capturing the ever-changing world of LP in the retail environment. The content itself is applicable whether you come from a traditional brick and mortar concept, or work in a fulfillment or distribution setting. The LPC is an excellent developmental opportunity for LP professionals looking to grow in the field, or for those who want to look at the business from a different perspective.”

Jonathan Hickey, LPQ The Home Depot

“The LPQ coursework was relevant and current from beginning to end. It touched on aspects of the retail industry that will help me be a better business partner and stay highly engaged with the teams I interact with. I’m excited to continue learning and utilizing the knowledge this course provided me. The LPQ course will absolutely make me a better professional.”

“I took this certification in tandem with one of my courses at the University of South Carolina, and it greatly summarized some of my previous coursework as well as taught me new information that will be useful for different functional areas of the retail industry.”

Ronald Tolzman, LPQ Festival Foods

“I’m very grateful to have been given the opportunity to expand my knowledge in the LP field. With the knowledge I’ve obtained throughout the course, I feel more confident as an LP professional, a leader, and as a business partner. My heartfelt appreciation goes out to Festival Foods and the amazing leaders surrounding me that inspire and encourage my continuous professional growth and development.”

Benz Dechjirakul, LPQ GateKeeper Systems

“LPQ is a good course for personal and career advancement. Very detailed materials on loss prevention in the retail world. I recommend this to any managers and loss prevention professionals.”

Sydney Daigle, LPQ University of South Carolina

“The LPQ certification provided me with knowledge that will greatly enhance the beginning of my career. I took this certification in tandem with one of my courses at the University of South Carolina, and it greatly summarized some of my previous coursework as well as taught me new information that will be useful for different functional areas of the retail industry.”

Loss Prevention Magazine | 79 | Spring 2023

Newly Certified

The following are individuals who recently earned their certifications.

LPQ Recipients

Deanna Arevalos, LPQ, Associate, Amazon

Cassandra Barbuti, LPQ, AP Manager, American Eagle Outfitters

Kristen Beichey, LPQ, Store Manager, Dicks Sporting Goods

Candace Berdecia, LPQ, Data Analyst, Amazon

Riley Blampied, LPQ, Student, University of South Carolina

Steven Bolt, LPQ, Operations Manager, ALTO

Jose Botello, LPQ, LP Detective, TJX

Jennifer Cairns, LPQ, National Account Manager, Checkpoint

Levi Caley, LPQ, AP Team Leader, Meijer

Alex Camacho, LPQ, AP Shrink Investigator, Rite Aid

Brittney Cerebe, LPQ, Student, University of South Carolina

Daryl Clark, LPQ, LP, TJX

Jareth Clinard, LPQ, AP Safety Manager, Lowe’s

Learn more about obtaining your LPC or LPQ certification today at losspreventionfoundation.org or scan the QR code.

Shawn Culleton, LPQ, LP Lead, Dick’s Sporting Goods

Sydney Daigle, LPQ, Student, University of South Carolina

Connor Daniels, LPQ, Student, University of South Carolina

Shirley Davis, LPQ, District Manager, formerly with Krystal Company

Dusit Dechjirakul, LPQ, Field service engineer, Gatekeeper Systems

Jakon Devlin, LPQ, Student, University of South Carolina

Jason Dhuman, LPQ, LP, TJX

Andy Diaz, LPQ, LP, TJX

John Dietz, LPQ, Digital LP Reviewer, Dick’s Sporting Goods

Grace DiNicolantonio, LPQ, Student, University of South Carolina

Steven Douros, LPQ, LP Lead, Dicks Sporting Goods

Trevor Drury, LPQ, Customer Success Specialist, ALTO

Austin Eichler, LPQ, AP Team Leader, Target

Jonathan Falletti, LPQ, CSS, ALTO

Koby Foster, LPQ, Student, University of South Carolina

Jeff Fox, LPQ, AP Manager, Moose Jaw

Anthony Gossett, LPQ, Customer Success Specialist, ALTO

Jorelle Greta, LPQ, Transportation Associate, Amazon

Celia Hadjin, LPQ, Student, University of South Carolina

Briana Hall, LPQ, LP, TJX

Ariane Harper, LPQ, Customer Success Manager, Solink

Jonathan Hickey, LPQ, AP Specialist, Home Depot

Roy Howell, LPQ, LP

Detective, TJX

Evan Hrycenko, LPQ, AP and Safety Advisor, Norquay Cooperative Association

Josie Inabinet, LPQ, Student, University of South Carolina

Justin Johnson, LPQ, Student, University of South Carolina

Morgan Kennedy, LPQ, LP, TJX

Robert King, LPQ, Student, University of South Carolina

Erika Kusek, LPQ, LP Operations Coordinator, Michaels DC

Jeremy Ledbette , LPQ, Sergeant, US Army

Rose Lied, LPQ, District Manager of LP, Dick’s Sporting Goods

Jaspreet Mann, LPQ, LP Manager, Sobeys

Kieran McGovern, LPQ, Student, University of South Carolina

Marc Mozdian, LPQ, APAuditor, Home Depot

Monika Mulholland, LPQ, LP and Business Risk Specialist, Burger King

Christopher Nelson, LPQ, LP Manager, Dick’s Sporting Goods

Kyle Niederkorn, LPQ, LP, TJX Kennedy Petersen, LPQ, Student, University of South Carolina

Isaac Ramirez, LPQ, Customer Success Specialist, ALTO

James Rankins, LPQ, LP Detective, TJX

Simon Rebello, LPQ, LP Detective, TJX

Jared Rogers, LPQ, AP, Signet Jewelers

Julia Rothman, LPQ, Student, University of South Carolina

Cameron Sager, LPQ, Customer Success Specialist, ALTO

David Schnathorst, LPQ, Customer Success Specialist, ALTO

Lochlan Schofield, LPQ, Student, University of South Carolina

Mario Sepede, LPQ, LP, TJX

Shaohui Shi, LPQ, Student, University of South Carolina

Louis Shi, LPQ, AP Partner, Walgreens

Shana Shires, LPQ, AP Coordinator, Brookshires Grocery

Wesley Sissel, LPQ, LP, TJX

Thomas Slaughter, LPQ, LP Market Manager, Academy Sports + Outdoors

Kelly Stancill, LPQ, LP Detective, TJX

Terrell Sturgis, LPQ, LP, Fit2Run

Anne Sullivan, LPQ, LP Operations Lead, Dick’s Sporting Goods

Timothy Sullivan, LPQ, Sales Operations Administrator, Agilence

Joseph Thomas, LPQ, LP, TJX

Reinaldo Valdes, LPQ, Customer Success Specialist, ALTO

Marco Villanueva, LPQ, Associate, Amazon

Sophie Vota, LPQ, Student, University of South Carolina

Katherine Wagner, LPQ, AP Manager, Walgreens

Philip Weber, LPQ, AP, Meijer

Brett Wilkes, LPQ, ORC Investigator, Retail Business Services

Vincent Wise, LPQ, LP/Safety Supervisor, Navy Exchange Service Command

Emily Woodham, LPQ, Student, University of South Carolina

Brianna Zane, LPQ, AP and Safety Investigator, Navy Exchange Service Command

LPC Recipients

Matthew Baker, LPC, AP Director, Target

Nick Berger, LPC, Sr. AP Specialist, Whole Foods

Chad Borstein, LPC, Regional Investigations Manager, Lowe’s

Malinda Buchmann, LPC, LP, Chico’s

Jaime Camarena, LPC, Regional LP Manager, Amazon

Cathy Campbell, LPC, LPQ, Specialist, Retail Business Services

Kevin Crittenden, LPC, LP Manager, Amazon

John Cudal, CFI LPC, AAPM, Big Lots

Anthony Davis, LPC, AP Supervisor, Home Depot

Bill Diakoumis, LPC, AP Director, Target Cita Doyle, LPC, LPQ, VP of Sales and Marketing, InstaKey Security Systems

Lauren Duggan, LPC, LP Site Lead, Amazon

Brian Egan, LPC, AP Manager, Lowe’s

Stephen Emory, LPC, District LP Manager, Gabe’s

Colin Fieck, LPC, LP Multi-site Lead, Amazon

David Fisher, LPC, President, Vector Security Networks

Nancy Fontanes, LPC, LPM, Rite Aid

Deborah Freeman, LPC, LP, Dick’s Sporting Goods

Jeff Gledhill, LPC, LP, Dick’s Sporting Goods

Andrea Guthrie, LPC, Sr. Manager LP Operations, Dick’s Sporting Goods

Todd Hagedorn, LPC, LP, Lunds and Byerlys

Ryan Harris, LPC, AP and Safety Manager, Lowe’s

Daoud Hassan, LPC, Stocking Coach, Walmart

Raul Herrera, LPC, AP Specialist, Fry’s Foods

Norman Heyl, LPC, LP, Dick’s Sporting Goods

Justin Hill, LPC, Assistant LP Manager, Amazon

Scotlon Hughes, LPC, Assistant Division AP and Safety Manager, Kroger

Gregory Jackson, LPC, AP Business Partner, Target

Daniel Jackson, LPC, Zone Director of LP, Family Dollar

Jerome Jones, LPC, Regional LP Manager, Amazon

Jen Kajzer, LPC, Sr. AP Director, Target

Kiran Khairi, LPC, District AP Leader, CVS Health

Melissa Lauricello, LPC, Sr. Manager AP Investigations, GAP

Daniel Lewis, LPC, LP Manager II, Amazon

Timothy Maldonado, LPC LPQ, Manager, Investigation and Data Analysis, FleetPride

Nick Mergel, LPC, Regional LP Manager, Amazon

Michelle Michael, LPC, Director of Business Development, ThinkLP

Mark Miller, LPC, Regional LP Manager, Amazon

Anjelica Molina, LPC, AP Partner, Walgreens

James Mozel, LPC, SC Safety, Environmental & AP Manager, Lowe’s

Dean Napolitano, LPC, LP Manager, Dick’s Sporting Goods

Andrew Nimmo, LPC, LP

Multi-site Lead, Amazon

Hector Pearson, LPC, Senior Director of AP, Rite Aid

Philip Podhyski, LPC, AP Manager, Home Depot

Brandon Pohlman, LPC, Senior Manager, Physical Security and LP, Shopify

Kirk Rixner, LPC, AP Specialist, Home Depot

Matthew Rosteet, LPC, LPQ, AP Manager, Kroger

Justin Rought, LPC, ORC Investigator, Meijer

Xavier Ruiz, LPC, Regional AP Manager, Family Dollar Stores

Jon Sams, LPC, AP, Albertsons

Jared Schreck, LPC, Director of LP, NAPA Auto Parts

Paul Schwarz, LPC, Area AP Manager, Big Lots

Kimberly Shelley, LPC, LPQ, Regional Safety Manager, Harris Teeter

Eve Sirianni, LPC, LP Analytics and Insight Lead, Sally Beauty

Matthew Swartz, LPC, LP, Gabe’s

Marcus Toussaint, LPC, LPQ, LP Operations Specialist, BCE

Shannon Turner, LPC, LP, Gabe’s

Kris Vece, LPC, LPQ, VP of Client Relations, Protos Security

Paul Wagner, LPC

Mona Wallace, LPC, LP Specialist, Amazon

Anthony White, LPC, District AP Leader, CVS Health

Keith Willes, LPC, Regional Investigations Manager, Walmart Canada

David Wright, LPC, LP, Gabe’s

Spring 2023 | 80 | LossPreventionMedia.com

Our Success Starts with Our Partners





Professional development is key to a fulfilling career.


Educating an industry, one leader at a time.

To stay up-to-date on the latest career moves as they happen, visit the Professional Development page on the LPM website LossPreventionMedia.com. To inform us of a promotion or new hire, email us at peopleonthemove@LPportal.com.

Professionals Advancing Their Careers

Bryant Ramos is now a regional LP analyst at 99 Cents Only.

Abercrombie & Fitch announced the following promotions: Caitlin Blake, CFI to senior manager, investigations and ORC, William Lehman, CFI to senior regional AP manager, and Zach Ryan, LPC to senior district AP manager.

Matthew Irwin was promoted to director of AP at Advance Auto Parts.

Gürhan Yılmaz was promoted to LP and employee protection supervisor at Alshaya Group (Turkey).

ALTO USA announced the following promotions: Rhett Asher to senior VP, partnership development and Mark Sliwa, LPQ to senior operations manager.

Amazon announced the following promotions: Manuel Cabañas, CPP to cluster LP

manager (Spain) and Bryon Kelly to multisite LP site lead. Prashant Singh is now security and LP manager (India).

Claudia Veloso was promoted to regional LP manager at Americanas S.A. (Brazil).

Asda (UK) announced the following promotions: Pete Corbett to total loss manager and Stuart Guest to security investigation manager.

Terry Sullivan is now VP of retail solutions at Auror.

Ryan Keppel is now a regional LP manager at AutoZone.

Jacqueline Innabi was promoted to cyber crime senior fraud analyst assistant VP at Barclay’s.

Juan Lemus is now a regional AP manager, Erik Moreno, CORCI is now a market investigator, West Coast, and Carlos Oviedo, LPC, CFI is now a regional AP manager at Bath and Body Works.

Joshua Rodriguez, LPQ is now senior LP manager at Blink Fitness.

Shaun Vanderwerf, CFI was promoted to divisional VP of corporate and logistics LP, and Derek Knight is now a district LP manager at Beall’s.

Dave Cheema, CFE, LPC was promoted to director of AP, and Marco Addesa was promoted to senior AP manager at Best Buy Canada.

Pat Gallo is now national AP leader, Joshua Rhodes was promoted to regional AP manager, and Salvatore Lupo, LPC is now an area AP manager at Big Lots.

Julie Bartelt, LPC is now a district LP manager at Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

Lindsey Miller, CFI, LPC was promoted to AP and safety manager at Brookshire Grocery Company.

James Drinkwater was promoted to physical security and investigations manager at Bunnings (New Zealand).

Rebecca Drahos was promoted to AP operations analyst, and Jerome Smith is now a field investigator at Burlington Stores.

Spring 2023 | 82 | LossPreventionMedia.com

Josh Hamilton, CFE, CFI was promoted to senior manager of investigations at Carters.

Mike Gobble was promoted to director of LP at the Cato Corporation.

Stuart Forsyth was promoted to national security manager at Coles Supermarkets (Australia).

Brian Maxwell is now a regional LP manager at Columbia Sportswear.

Levy Thao is now a security investigator III at Comcast.

CVS Health announced the following promotions:

Landy Dunham to associate VP AP; Freddy Torres and Shad Agel to executive director, AP; Brendan “Ben” Dugan, CFI to executive director, central investigations; Matt Johnson to executive director, AP strategy and profitability; Raymond Sosa, MBA, LPC, CFI to executive director, AP/GMLE; Andrew Zumbrum, LPC, Chuck Agathangelou, LPC, and Tim Judy to lead directors, AP; Shannon Hammond and Richard Yaws to divisional diversion manager; Josiah Leite, LPC to division AP analyst, New England; Jason Lotts, CFI, LPC to senior regional AP managers; Robert Alberta to manager, asset analytics and investigations; Ken Marasco and Lindsay Evans to regional AP managers; Tim Foley, LPC is now a regional AP manager, and Maria Del Toro is now a district AP leader.

Kadir Kurtak was promoted to LP manager at Derimod (Turkey).

Segundo Rafael Robles was promoted to loss control advisor at DIA (Argentina).

Madeline Hawley is now a regional AP manager at Dollar General.

Jennifer Signorelli was promoted to fraud and major crimes analyst at Dollar Tree Stores.

Kristen Perram is now an internal investigator at Domino’s.

Érika Barillari Ribeiro was promoted to property security and national electronic security coordinator at Grupo DPSP (Brazil).

Tim Mottershead was promoted to senior manager of field AP at DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse.

Sébastien Lebon was promoted to profit protection manager, EMEA at Dyson (France).

Ingrid Lara Guerra was promoted to risk prevention coordinator at Easy S.A. (Chile).

Sardar Bhaginder Singh is now chief manager of LP at Ecom Express Limited (India).

Ricci Cahoy is now a regional manager of AP at EssilorLuxottica North America.

Jennifer Kunde is now an LP analyst at EVEREVE.

Ginger Bair is now a multi-area AP manager at, Evergreen Goodwill of Northwest Washington.

Scott Manley, LPC is now an LP investigator at EXPRESS.

Jean-Marc Corazza is now risk prevention manager at Extime Duty Free (France).

Ruben Negron and David Branum CFI, LPC are now regional AP managers at Family Dollar.

Amit Kumar Bit was promoted to business risk manager II at Flipkart (India).

Latisha Pharr, LPC was promoted to regional AP manager and Randy Sparks is now an area AP manager at Gap.

Alex Browning, CISSP, CPP was promoted to senior director, AP at GardaWorld.

Anthony Munford II is now manager of security, West Coast at GEODIS.

Tim Orabone, CFI, LPC is now a district LP manager at Giant Eagle.

Tobias Plota is now a retail audit and LP coordinator at Globetrotter Ausrüstung (Germany).

Tomas Marquez Montoya was promoted to LP national coordinator at Grupo Éxito (Colombia).

Carlos Henrique Sousa was promoted to regional manager of LP and property management at Grupo Mateus (Brazil).

Simone Lima was promoted to regional inventory control and LP coordinator at Grupo SC Medicine Distributors (Brazil).

Lisa Capstick is now a multiarea security manager at H&M (Canada).

Jordan Rivchun was promoted to director of vertical business development at Hanwha Vision.

Andrew Doherty, CFI, Doug Billiot, CFI, Jennifer Grant, CFI, and Aaron Pitts CFI are now AP investigators at Hibbett Sports.

Marie-Joyeuse Ineza is now an LP coordinator at Holt Renfrew (Canada).

The Home Depot announced the following promotions: James Spargo to corporate LP manager; Tom Hare to corporate investigator, ORC; Dave Henderson, LPC, CFI and Leonard Tetteh to regional AP managers. Nick Merckling and Travis Carter are now multi-store AP managers.

Nicholas Priest, CFI was promoted to risk and compliance manager at IKEA.

Loss Prevention Magazine | 83 | Spring 2023

Keith King was promoted to VP of retail partnerships at Industrial Security Solutions.

Hedgie Bartol, LPQ, LPC is now VP of business development at Indyme Solutions.

Ari Caglar, CFI is now head of profit and AP, Northern Europe (Germany), and Raj Parmar is now head of LP (Canada) at JD Sports Fashion.

Britt Powell is now a regional LP manager at La Maison Simons (Canada).

Christopher Milan is now a regional LP manager, and Patrick Thorne is now a regional LP investigator at Lids.

Delana Bennett was promoted to senior manager, AP operations and risk at LL Flooring.

Marie-Audrée Pepin was promoted to senior compliance supervisor, supply chain at Loblaw (Canada).

Caroline Kochman is now president at the Loss Prevention Foundation.

Christopher Sanjurjo CLSS, MA was promoted to internal control, AP and fraud manager, and David Chevalot, CPP is now a regional security manager (France) at Louis Vuitton.

Nick Hoskins, CFI is now a market ORC manager, and Saiyed Hussain was promoted to multi-store AP and safety manager (Canada) at Lowe’s.

Brian Farrar is now LP manager, northern market at MadRag.

Christopher Breton, CFI and Jordan Levasseur, LPC were promoted to district LP managers at Marshalls.

Carlos Henrique Sousa was promoted to regional manager of LP and property management at Grupo Mateus (Brazil).

Eduardo Luarte Vega was promoted to regional LP setup and process manager at Mercado Libre (Chile). Raissa Hickmann Corbellini and Chrystiano Calheiros were promoted to LP supervisors at Mercado Livre (Brazil).

Jameson Lawrence is now a profit protection business partner at Merlin Entertainment.

Mary Jesse is now chairman of the board, and Allen Auchenpaugh was promoted to CEO at Mobile Technologies Inc. (MTI).

Ben Bradley was promoted to global executive protection leader, Frank Dara was promoted to marketplace investigations manager, Eastern US, and Damian Kawka is now LP manager, Central Europe (Poland) at Nike.

Jason Curnow, CFI is now an area LP manager at Nordstrom.

Anderson Santos is now internal controls analyst at Novo Mix Supermarkets (Brazil).

Joshua Harris is now a district AP manager at Ocean State Job Lot.

Brian Connelly, CFI is now a district LP manager at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet.

Terry Parker is now global supply chain risk and security manager at Olympus Corporation (UK).

Lorraine Byrne was promoted to LP investigator at Paddy Power Betair (Ireland).

Gregory Bleakley, CFI, LPC was promoted to regional AP director at Party City.

Scott Kirsch was promoted to director of LP at Penske Logistics.

Alex Koski is now a district LP manager at NAPA Auto Parts.

Clarence “Tuck” Tucker was promoted to corporate AP safety manager, total loss / OMNI at Navy Exchange Service Command.

Renan Alcântara was promoted to Midwest LP coordinator at Grupo Pereira (Brazil).

Stephen Dubeck, CFI, LPC is now manager of corporate security and e-commerce fraud prevention at Petco.

Josh Bruckshaw was promoted to profit protection lead at Pets at Home (UK).

David Mozden is now head of LP at PFS.

Spring 2023 | 84 | LossPreventionMedia.com

Jefferson Cordeiro was promoted to LP supervisor at Prático Supermarkets (Brazil).Matt Hall was promoted to profit protection manager North Europe at PVH (UK).

Matt Sack is now CEO, global retail business at Prosegur Security.

Kierren Darke, CFE was promoted to team head, LP retail Europe at Puma Group (Germany).

Col Rajiv Mehta, VSM was promoted to head of security and loss prevention, and Gurucharan Singh and Ashutosh Upadhyay are now area LP officers at Reliance Retail (India).

Elizabeth Porter is now director, inventory and quality assurance at Rexall Pharmacy (Canada).

Bill Lane is now director of security/advisor at Richline Jewelry.

Anthony Quintero was promoted to senior leader of investigations, and Abel Alvidrez, LPC is now a regional AP leader at Rite Aid.

Stephen Ellul is now manager of corporate security at RONA (Canada).

David Siemering was promoted to VP, global head of national security governance at SAP Government Security (Germany).

John Norman, LPC, MBA was promoted to VP of operations at The Save Mart Companies

Dustin Wells, CFI was promoted to senior regional LP manager at Savers | Value Village.

Ross Stores announced the following promotions: Jamie Campbell to VP, global crisis and communications, security operations center (GSOC) and organizational safety and security; Arnold Milliken to director of corporate security; and Mike Reilly, LPC, Jami Lacoste, CPI, and Robert Smith to regional LP directors. Meghan Fechko and Beth Bognar are now area LP managers.

Ricardo Gómez Prieto is now internal audit processes, LP at Rossmann Drogueria Espana (Spain).Ron Foss, CFI, LPC was promoted to director of AP, Northern California Division at Safeway.

Cem Colpan, LPC was promoted to senior manager, security and LP, Americas at Saint Laurent.

Saks Off 5th announced the following promotions:

Khristopher Hamlin to senior VP AP, inventorycontrol, and logistics; Patrick McEvoy to VP, risk, fraud, and AP; Julio Valladares Belleza to director of inventory control, corporate; Erik Ruiz, CFI to senior manager of national investigations, corporate; John Evans to regional director, AP East Coast; AP training and communications; AP systems and technology, corporate; and Sean Tireman to regional director, AP West Coast and Canada; national investigations/ ORC/fraud; global security operations center, corporate.

David Siemering was promoted to VP, global head of national security governance at SAP Government Security (Germany).

John Norman, LPC, MBA was promoted to VP of operations at The Save Mart Companies

Dustin Wells, CFI was promoted to senior regional LP manager at Savers | Value Village.

Joshua Dykstra was promoted to senior director of risk management operations, and Raymond Skinner was promoted to senior manager, DC inventory control at Sephora.

Jon Teague is now director of risk management and LP at Shoe Show.

Glenn Skinner, LPC is now a district LP manager at Sierra.

Alex Williams was promoted to regional security manager at Sleep Number Corporation.

Cynthia Ferguson-Villa was promoted to senior manager, global security operations at Snap Inc.

Mike Ellsworth is now senior director of security at Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits.

Dominique De Santis is now director of LP at SSENSE (Canada).

Kevin Gorman is now a field LP manager at Staples.

Cesar Ortiz was promoted to manager of shrink strategy at Stop & Shop.

Miguel Salveron is now LP manager, Australia and New Zealand at Strandbags.

Julie Lawson was promoted to director of account management at ThinkLP.

Loss Prevention Magazine | 85 | Spring 2023

Kevin Thomas, CFE, CFI, CBCP is now senior director, head of physical security and AP, and Benjamin Lockhart, CFE, CFI is now global security and AP resiliency and risk mitigation leader at Sysco.

Samantha Rodriguez was promoted to AP director, and Brad Fiala was promoted to lead business partner, shortage prevention strategies at Target.

Bex Hammett is now senior stock control and compliance manager at TFG Brands London (UK).

TJX Companies announced the following promotions:

Julia Ringham to manager of European central LP (UK); Adrianna Longo to LP security monitoring operator; Adam Schloegel and Christopher Kellogg to district LP managers; Matthew Christman, CFI Legacy to field investigations manager; Charles (Butch) Rivet to ORC investigator, national

task force; and Jamil Wesley to market LP manager. Richard Plata is now a national task force ORC investigator; David Dreyer is now a regional ORC investigator (Canada); Jennifer Plant and Joshua Smith, LPC are now district LP managers; Nicole Garcea, CFI is now a market LP manager; Angelina Goldstein is now a district LP supervisor; and Wayne Fowler is now store investigations supervisor (Canada).

Eric Williams is now manager of supply chain LP at Tractor Supply Company.

Rigoberto Hernandez, CFI is now a regional LP manager at Ulta Beauty.

Marty Maberry was promoted to senior regional LP manager at Variety Wholesalers.

Rich DiBenedetto was promoted to assistant VP of client enablement and learning at Verisk.

Ed Jean-Baptiste and Bill


Russyk are now regional AP managers at Victoria’s Secret.

Corey Sanders is now a regional LP manager at Visionworks of America.

Jay Mealing is now senior director of AP; and Even Zhang (China), Jeff Meyer, and Mike Howard CPP, CFI, LPC are now global investigator, III at Walmart.

Veronica Harden LPC, CFI is now a district AP manager at Weis Markets.

Filiberto Arroyo is now a regional AP leader at Wild Fork.

Evan Walde is now a regional sales leader at Zenitel.

Pranav Borale, CFE is now director of security and LP at Zepto (India).

Frederick Brewster, Sr. is now director of AP and corporate security at Zips Car Wash.

Plus, original content from industry experts. Loss Prevention Magazine is the information resource for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management. From technology to management skills to investigations, we equip you with the best practices from the store level to the executive suite.

Subscribe today and stay on top of what’s new in retail.

PREVENTION MAGAZINE Spring 2023 | 86 | LossPreventionMedia.com

Product Spotlight

New Solutions from Leading LP Suppliers

This New Product Spotlight section provides readers with information on new products and services from leading retail asset protection solution providers. If your company is looking for new technology or solutions, please check with these vendors as well as the other advertisers throughout the magazine. Visit the magazine website for more information about these new offerings.

Total Situational Awareness

The AXIS M5000-G PTZ is ideal for a wide variety of indoor applications. This 15MP indoor camera features three 5MP sensors and one PTZ camera with 10X optical zoom for total situational awareness and wireless I/O connectivity with Z-Wave Plus® devices. bit.ly/Axis-M5000

Axon Body 3

Axon Body 3 isn’t just a camera: it’s a communications beacon frontand-center on every call. Featuring enhanced low-light performance, reduced motion blur and an LTE connection that enables real-time features like live streaming, Body 3 empowers retail security teams with more real-time support.



Axon’s Evidence.com is the hub of the Axon ecosystem with AI integrations that allow for seamless evidence sharing with law enforcement agencies and district attorneys. Plus, retail security leaders can utilize footage to create a repository of real-world videos for training and best practices.


Loss Prevention Magazine | 87 | Spring 2023

Updated Census Data Provides for a More Precise Analysis

Our 2023 US Crime Risk Database is now available. This year, we had over 20,000 additional block groups to analyze which provided for a “recalibrated” analysis of social disorganization, and therefore, a more consistent crime risk analysis. Over 68% of the nearly 5 million businesses we analyzed experienced a change in their CAP Index Risk Category. bit.ly/capindex-risk-database

Create, Connect, Protect, with SFERO

SFERO, our new modular RFID as EAS solution, protects a wide opening (up to 32 feet across your store entrance) providing an increased detection range. This is one the major benefits that enables SFERO’s pioneering RFID as EAS technology, as well as the inventory control capabilities of RFID technology. bit.ly/chkpt-SFERO

The NEW CIS v32 4-Way Counterfeit Bill Detector

Verify your cash with accuracy. The CIS v32 counterfeit bill detector verifies on 4 levels: MG, IR, UV, and paper. Its optional rechargeable backup battery holds a charge for up to 8 hours, making it portable. Backed with a 3-year replacement warranty. For more information email info@cisssinc.com. bit.ly/cis-counterfeit-detection

Sneak Detection Where You Need It

Dependable Detex hardware is designed for any area where unauthorized entry must be controlled and where authorized entry must be easy, quick, and reliable. The Detex tailgate detection system is compatible with most access control technologies and can be customized for your needs.


Spring 2023 | 88 | LossPreventionMedia.com

Paragon Walkthrough Metal Detector

Paragon is a state-of-the-art 66-zone security metal detector with unique loss prevention capabilities. Double your security efficiency with Paragon’s unique directional programs feature, allowing you to simultaneously catch threat weapons on ingress and product theft on egress. Protect lives and prevent theft with Garrett. Shipping June 2023.


AutoVu Cloudrunner™ Vehicle-centric Investigation System

AutoVu Cloudrunner™, is a cloud-based vehicle-centric investigation system (VCIS) that detects, analyzes, and securely stores highly accurate vehicle identification data to support public safety investigations.

Cloudrunner enhances community-led policing initiatives and provides law enforcement agencies, community associations, and retail security teams with a reliable way to identify vehicles connected to crimes, day and night, and in any weather condition.


License Plates Reduce Crime Rates

Insight LPR’s Matrix suite of advanced license plate recognition technology provides a cost-effective, proven line of defense against organized retail crime. With an industry-leading 24/7 capture rate and 96% accuracy, Insight LPR’s fixed and mobile cameras offer real-time, actionable evidence that eliminates the threat to safety, operations, and your bottom line.


Spur Tag: Damage-Free Boot Protection

The Spur Tag’s innovative design wrangles boot shrink without damaging the product. The solution allows the customer to try on the boot free of obstruction. The 3-Alarm design utilizes a ratcheting cable and proximity sensor for security that is just as tough as the boots being protected. bit.ly/contact-ISS

Loss Prevention Magazine | 89 | Spring 2023

Loss Prevention Starts in the Parking Lot

Add an LVT mobile surveillance unit to your parking lot and decrease in-store high-risk incidents by 62% and grab-and-go theft by 69%. With a robust Zone 4 defense that automatically uses deterrence techniques, you can stop bad actors from ever entering your store. bit.ly/LVT-mobile-surveillance

Nedap iD Cloud Loss Prevention

See the future of Loss Prevention at NRF Protect with Nedap iD Cloud LP’s RFID technology to detect, quantify, and prevent losses. Hear Kohl’s VP David Ruffing on using real-time data and law enforcement collaboration to protect assets. Visit Booth #809 for more.


Ultimate Commercial Exit-Door Protection

QMI’s High-Security Door System is an industry first, turnkey exit-door solution providing nearly impenetrable protection. Patent pending anti-cut technology prevents saw attacks. Integrated antidrill plates defend against drill breaches. An interlocking astragal protects the exterior door edges from pry attacks, and a continuous hinge is through-bolted for extra strength and ease of installation. bit.ly/QMI-security-door

Unbreakable Storefront Glass Systems for Retailers

Riot Glass, LLC is launching their new ArmorPlast® Gen II unbreakable storefront glazing system that acts as an invisible board-up. Standard security glass may stop forced entry, but the glass still breaks. ArmorPlast® stops this vicious cycle of emergency board ups and glass replacement. Available for many different storefront styles and colors. bit.ly/Riot-Glass-unbreakable-storefront

Spring 2023 | 90 | LossPreventionMedia.com

Auto-Bolt Max-Award Winning Multi-Point Locking

Securitech, the leader in multi‐point locking door hardware, has answered the call for instant deadbolt projection on high‐traffic door openings. With up to five locking points, Auto-Bolt Max provides maximum protection against break-ins each time the door closes. Single action release from the inside retracts all bolts simultaneously and meets life-safety, accessibility, and fire codes.


Scare Off Intruders From Anywhere with a CloudManaged Talk Down Speaker

Nothing scares off intruders quite like a human voice. No matter where you are, talk down to potential criminals through a powerful horn speaker with a single click from a web browser or mobile app. Professional monitoring agents can also talk down the minute your alarm system detects a threat.


Detect Thefts, Automatically, In Real Time, and Reduce Shrinkage Up to 60%

Veesion detects theft gestures in real time and automatically in any type of superstore worldwide. To achieve this, Veesion relies on the latest advances in Deep Learning, and it is implemented on existing surveillance cameras. Veesion doesn”t take breaks or vacations and is available 24/7 to detect suspicious actions in your store. Our solution is also capable of detecting simultaneous gestures on several different cameras, and thus allows you to optimize your security expenses.


This New Product Spotlight section runs twice annually in LP Magazine. To add your product or service, contact Ben Skidmore at BenS@LPportal.com. Loss Prevention Magazine | 91 | Spring 2023

How Retailers Can Enhance Perimeter Security With License Plate Reader Technology

Enhancing perimeter security is critical for retailers to proactively protect their physical assets, employees, and customers from potential threats. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2022 Retail Security Survey, retailers attributed their greatest portion of shrink—a whopping 37 percent—to external theft. In addition, retailers saw a 26.5 percent increase in Organized Retail Crime (ORC) incidents over the past year, representing $94.5 billion in losses.

To overcome these challenges, retailers must strategically adopt new solutions that help prevent crimes and violent acts before they occur. That prevention begins as far out as your parking lot, because effective deterrence begins the moment a would-be thief arrives at the perimeter of your property. One way to do this is by implementing security technologies, such as Flock Safety Automated License Plate Reading (ALPR) cameras which can extend awareness to the very moment a known threat reaches your premises.

Secure Your Perimeter With ALPR

A secure perimeter is your first line of defense against external theft, including theft linked to ORC. ORC groups use various tactics, such as theft and fraud, to steal merchandise, often in large quantities. These groups can be difficult to identify and catch, making it challenging for retailers to prevent these crimes. However, the Flock Safety ALPR

Spring 2023 | 92 | LossPreventionMedia.com
A secure perimeter is your first line of defense against external theft.

system offers a unique solution to help retailers secure their perimeter against these threats.

Flock Safety ALPR cameras are specifically calibrated to detect and recognize license plates—the most useful piece of actionable evidence needed to solve and prevent crime, as 7 in 10 crimes are committed with a vehicle.

Unlike traditional video security cameras, the Flock Safety ALPR system makes license plate reader evidence easily accessible and quickly searchable allowing you to pare down an entire parking lot of shopper vehicles to a single suspect vehicle in minutes. With Flock’s Vehicle Fingerprint™ technology, if a crime occurs, even without a full plate number, security personnel can narrow down footage based on the timeframe, vehicle color, type, make, or other descriptors, such as alterations and damage. Authorities can then use this investigative evidence to quickly solve cases and gather intelligence to reduce future threats.

Proactively Stop Threats

Flock Safety ALPR cameras are installed at entry and exit points around businesses to create a virtual perimeter that detects and deters crime before it occurs. The cameras send real-time alerts to security personnel or law enforcement if previously identified at-risk vehicles enter the premises, such as those belonging to repeat offenders, forbidden guests, violent terminated employees, or groups known to engage in ORC. Police and security can then take appropriate measures to deter additional crimes before they take place.

Strengthen Investigations So Repeat Offenders Don’t Return

Vehicle evidence and license plate data also serve as valuable investigative

tools for retail security teams and law enforcement if a crime has occurred.

The Flock ALPR system offers advanced search features that can help identify vehicles linked to multiple crimes, aiding in the recovery of stolen merchandise, and preventing repeat offenses. Additionally, loss prevention and asset protection teams can use the system to identify accomplice vehicles frequently traveling together, which can aid in the identification of criminals involved in ORC.

Another important benefit of the Flock Safety ALPR system is the shared network it supports between connected retailers. For retailers that have multiple storefronts, the system allows for a shared database that breaks down silos between stores and security teams. For example, imagine a multi-time offender is known to one store’s security personnel, who enters their license plate in the system. If that same offender approaches a different location a few weeks later, the team in that store will

also be proactively flagged to be aware of this vehicle.

Partner With Flock

Flock Safety ALPR cameras offer retailers a powerful tool to enhance perimeter security and combat crimes such as ORC. With this technology, retailers can better protect their assets, employees, and customers from potential threats, and ensure a safer shopping experience for everyone. To learn more about partnering with Flock to protect your bottom line and improve the safety of your employees and experience of your customers, visit flocksafety.com/solutions/business

Loss Prevention Magazine | 93 | Spring 2023
Another important benefit of the Flock Safety ALPR system is the shared network it supports between connected retailers. For retailers that have multiple storefronts, the system allows for a shared database that breaks down silos between stores and security teams.

Innovative Solutions for Safer Retail Spaces

A Different Approach to Retail Safety and Asset Protection

The increase in retail crime, including shoplifting, vandalism, and unsafe conditions due to aggressive misconduct, has become a major concern for retailers. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), eight out of ten retailers report that the violence and aggression associated with ORC incidents increased in the past year. These incidents not only impact a store’s bottom line but also create an unsafe environment for both customers and associates. As a result, there is a growing need for innovative solutions to create safer stores that can deter criminal activity and protect both people and profits.

Addressing the root causes of retail crime requires a multifaceted approach that goes beyond just adding security measures. It involves identifying incidents by capturing in-store data, analyzing

them to determine the source of crime, establishing relationships with local law enforcement and other community partners, such as community support services and organizers, and creating short action plans. By taking a collaborative approach and addressing the underlying issues that contribute to retail crime, retailers can create safer and more inclusive environments for both their customers and associates.

Spring 2023 | 94 | LossPreventionMedia.com
ALTO is a tech-enabled, people-first, and community-focused company.

ALTO is a tech-enabled, people-first, and community-focused company that helps reduce crime, risks, and other business disruptions to the retail environment, making employees and members of the community feel safer working and shopping in their local stores. ALTO’s key performance indicators include its ability to reduce retail crime and minimize business disruptions, establish strong relationships with law enforcement and other community partners, and provide clients with the tools and resources they need to keep their stores safe.

ALTO offers an innovative solution to help retailers create a safer store that includes the following:

■ Incident Reporting Technology: ALTO’s incident reporting technology allows retailers to easily capture incidents in real-time without leaving the sales floor.

■ Community Support Services: ALTO partners with community support

services to help retailers identify and address the root causes of retail crime, including the unhoused population, addiction, and mental health issues.

■ Law Enforcement Partnerships: ALTO works closely with local law enforcement agencies to develop effective strategies for preventing and responding to retail crime. By building strong relationships with law enforcement, ALTO helps retailers reduce crime and improve safety in their stores.

■ In-the-field Local Expertise: ALTO’s Customer Success Specialists provide support in stores by listening to concerns, building trust and relationships, and providing client-approved resources, training, and incident reporting technology to store employees and managers.

■ In-house Staff Attorneys: ALTO has local in-house legal teams that advocate for retailers, sharing information, and fueling accountability between stores;

easing the burden of court appearances on in-store staff, and ensuring retailers’ voices are heard throughout the legal process.

As safety is a growing concern for retailers, and the need for innovative solutions to create safer stores has never been greater, ALTO helps retailers create safer and more inclusive environments for both their customers and associates by taking a collaborative approach and addressing the root causes of retail crime. If you want to learn more about how ALTO can help increase safety in your store, visit www.alto.us

ALTO team members organize community events to bring people together and make connections.
Loss Prevention Magazine | 95 | Spring 2023
The ALTO team is passionate about bridging the gap with law enforcement. Pictured here are retail store team members, local law enforcement, and ALTO during a “Coffee with a Cop” event.

Are Your Investigative Interviews a Game of Chance... or an ?EFFECTIVE STRATEGY

Are you curious about how your current interviewing skillsets compare to WZ’s latest investigative interview methods? Find out when you SCAN THE QR CODE to access our reference guide or if you’re attending NRF PROTECT visit us at booth #1508.

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LossPreventionMedia.com/events Advertisers Axis ............................................................................. 3 axis.com Axon ......................................................................... 55 axon.com/loss-prevention Checkpoint............................................................ 17 checkpointsystems.com CIS Security Solutions 7 cisssinc.com CONTROLTEK .................................................... 100 controltekusa.com/controlspan Freeing Returns................................................... 25 freeingreturns.com Garrett..................................................................... 77 garrett.com/security InstaKey 27 instakey.com ISS ............................................................................. 67 isscorpus.com Loss Prevention Foundation .......................... 99 losspreventionfoundation.org LVT ............................................................................ 23 lvt.com NRF Protect 53 nrfprotect.com/lpm Pinkerton................................................................ 37 pinkerton.com QMI ........................................................................... 49 qmiusa.com Riot Glass ................................................................. 2 riotglass.com Securitech 35 securitech.com/lossprevention siffron ...................................................................... 47 siffron.com ThinkLP ................................................................... 43 thinklp.com W-Z ...........................................................................96 w-z.com ? Loss Prevention Magazine | 97 | Spring 2023

Embracing Change Is All About Attitude

F or most of us, especially those that have been a part of this industry for any length of time, there is a universal understanding that the only constant is change. We continuously face changes of every shape and size, both in our personal and professional lives, impacting the way we live, work, and think. And while some are more profound than others, it’s not always the magnitude of the change that creates the greatest angst or concern—but the way we deal with it.

If you were to take a snapshot of your life today and compare it to ten years ago, it’s hard to grasp just how much has transformed. From the everyday adjustments to our lives, the evolution of the world around us, and the growth and maturity of our professional lifecycle, we learn to deal with the ups and downs of change and move forward the best way we can.

those changes become a step forward or a step back. We’re constantly modifying what we think we want, the way we look at the world around us, and the way we live our lives. How we react to change and the way we use new situations and new information to define the way we face the opportunities of the day will help determine how we approach the prospects that tomorrow may bring—and whether our decisions will lead us forward or hold us back.

Change can make your heart beat faster. Anyone that says that they are not in some way anxious about change, life-altering or otherwise, is either a liar—or a fool. But change is how we grow.

Unfortunately, we’ve also been faced with more profound changes over the past several years, dramatically impacting the way we operate, the interactions we have with our customers, and our overall approach to the business in general. These types of changes require all of us to react and respond with a greater sense of urgency to keep our stores productive and our customers and employees safe. Creativity and innovation must be held at a premium in these situations to find viable, realistic solutions.

As individuals we all enjoy growth and opportunity and work through obstacles and challenges. Professionally, we navigate similar celebrations and setbacks. And in those moments when we’re faced with significant changes, whether it’s a new job, a new promotion, a new company, a new boss, a new city, a new career, or a new approach to what we do, it’s important that we see it as just another step.

So why is this important? Because no matter what we do, it’s never going to stop. Recognizing the need for a new or different perspective is what gets us through life’s challenges and ultimately determines whether

As leaders, it’s critically important that we not only consider these issues on a personal level, but also from a more global perspective. How do these issues impact our company? How do they impact our teams? What about the customers? What steps can we take to make this evolution take place as smoothly as possible and have the most positive impact for all concerned? How can we help our team members work their way through the many modifications that must be made along the way? What more can we do to spark innovation and creativity to approach the multitude of changes that we deal with on a regular and consistent basis?

Change can make your heart beat faster. Anyone that says that they are not in some way anxious about change, life-altering or otherwise, is either a liar—or a fool. But change is how we grow. It helps define who you are as a leader. Perhaps not surprisingly, the most significant and important solutions we find are typically made when we need them the most.

So, the next time you are faced with the latest wrinkle in your life, whether it is a challenge at work, a life-altering event, or a line on your face, remember that it’s just another step. We’re introducing something new and different and evaluating how it will impact who we are and what we do. The sooner we are able to embrace the inevitability of change and accept the most positive and productive ways to move forward, the greater the opportunity to ensure the most acceptable outcome.

WRAPPING UP komkrit Preechachanwate / Belight / ShutterStock.com
Spring 2023 | 98 | LossPreventionMedia.com

You work hard to reduce preventable losses. We know it’s not an easy task. That’s where LPF comes in.

We are the international leader in educating and certifying retail loss prevention professionals who’s mission and passion is to advance the retail loss prevention and asset protection profession by providing relevant, convenient and challenging educational resources.

By becoming a Member of The Loss Prevention Foundation, our community will help you advance your career with access to an elite network of fellow industry professionals, development tools tailored specifically to our industry, exclusive discounts and access to resources and international networking, and more.




We don’t limit our clients to a single technology for EAS solutions. Instead, we take an agnostic approach and collaborate closely with our clients to identify the best solution that fits their specific requirements. Whether it’s AM, RF, RFID, or a combination of these technologies, we have the knowledge and experience to provide the ideal solution. Furthermore, with our extensive collection of EAS tags, you can be confident that all your products are safeguarded. CONTROLTEK will always deliver cost-effective solutions without compromising on quality or effectiveness.


Scan the QR code to visit us at CONTROLTEKUSA.COM Every retailer has
challenges. We’re here to help you solve

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Articles inside

Embracing Change Is All About Attitude

pages 98-99

Sign up for a Free Subscription for You and Your Team

pages 97-98

Innovative Solutions for Safer Retail Spaces

pages 94-95

How Retailers Can Enhance Perimeter Security With License Plate Reader Technology

pages 92-93

Product Spotlight

pages 87-91


page 86

Professionals Advancing Their Careers

pages 82-86

Spotlighting Loss Prevention Certified Professionals

pages 78-80

Raising the Bar Coast-to-Coast

pages 76-78

Overcoming Challenges to Effectively Combat Retail Crime

pages 74-76

Popular Articles on the LPM Digital Channels

pages 72-73

Artificial Intelligence in Retail

pages 70-72

The Importance of Technology and Partnerships in Loss Prevention

pages 69-70

LPM Magpie Awards Celebrate Industry Professionals

page 68

Creating a Supply Chain Program from the Ground Floor

pages 64-67

Featuring Heather Hearn

pages 62-63

Bringing Together People and Technology

pages 56-61

Real Experiences of Self-Checkout Supervisors

pages 50-55


pages 47-50

What to Look for in a Solution Provider Partner

pages 44-46

Calculating Return on Investment Turning

pages 38-43

Pinkerton Crime Index

page 37

Did Internal Theft Get Better, or Did Everything Else Get Worse?

pages 32-37

When Interview Outcomes Take a Tragic Turn

pages 28-31

The Effective Interviewer: Not a One Size Fits All Approach

pages 24-27

ACCESS Task Force

pages 18-23

360 Degree Problem Solving

pages 12-17

The Hamster Wheel of Change

pages 6-11

Uninterrupted surveillance.

pages 3-5
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