Article & photo by:
Ahead of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, business owners got a refresher on simple safety practices they can use for their businesses this holiday season.
Greenwood Police Chief T.J. Chaudoin said these tips can apply year round.
The two most common types of crime this time of year are shoplifting and employee theft. These crimes, along with others such as burglary, robbery, vandalism, and fraud can cost businesses billions of dollars a year.
“In their mind, they think something’s not right, but they don’t call police. With us, that’s the most important thing,” Chaudoin said.
Most of what police respond to are crimes of opportunity, Chaudoin said. And if a business falls victim to a crime of any kind, the effects go beyond losing money. Prices might rise or business hours might change, and the business might move or even close.
He stressed that when in doubt, call the police.
“If you’re going out of town and your business is going to be closed for two weeks, give us a call. We have what is called a property checklist. We will put your business on the checklist from this date to that date. What that does is officers will go out and they have to call out and say they’re doing a check. And say something does happen, we can go back and tell you what cars were there,” Chaudoin said.
The police department can also come out to a business and perform a security survey which offers suggestions on what a business owner should change about their store.
Another resource offered by the police department is the ACE Team. If requested, the team can come to your business and teach employees about topics such as active shooters to how to handle a robbery.
Nickie Murphy, with The Museum and Railroad Historical Center, said they are concerned about panhandlers and those who are homeless.
“We have had a little vandalism at the train. Every now and then we will have people who’ll come in and ask us for money and we don’t give out money. We refer them usually to the soup kitchen or someplace for food,” she said.
She added to say that knowing the ACE Team is available will help them plan for future events where they may need extra security.
“I don’t want to sound hard, but usually if they’re asking for money they’re not going to use that money to buy food and if they need food there are places they can go. If you give out money, you’re encouraging them to come back and ask for more. That’s not healthy for our Uptown businesses,” Murphy said. “We want Uptown to be a place where people feel safe and comfortable coming. Sometimes we unwittingly encourage that behavior when we’re trying to help somebody, but there are so many organizations in Greenwood — we have over 50 nonprofits and organizations that can help if they need it.”
This article can also be found here.