Photos and article by Roger Lanse
Silver City Walmart’s Asset Protection Manager Alvaro Chavez led a discussion between store personnel and representatives of local law enforcement agencies Friday morning, Dec. 8. Chavez stated that every quarter the store tries to do an outreach program such as this.
“The Silver City Police Department, of course, is who we turn to most of the time, but we seek help from the Grant County Sheriff’s Department also, and we appreciate the help they give us,” Chavez stated. “We are committed to partnering with all Silver City’s law enforcement.”
Chavez continued, “We at our local Silver City Walmart, consider our responsibility to make a positive impact in the community we serve. A valuable and effective way for our Walmart management to engage its community and work toward common goals is by creating working relationships with community leaders, including law enforcement. We understand law enforcement agencies also continually strive to develop and sustain trust between their organization and the community they serve.”
Chavez displayed some of the devices used in the store to prevent and discourage shoplifting. Personnel receive training, he said, not only for how to handle suspected shoplifters, but also for more serious crimes, including an active shooter situation. Employees are warned “Don’t put your life in jeopardy” when confronting a suspected shoplifter. One technique is to ask a shopper who has just put something in their backpack, if they would like a shopping cart to carry their purchases.
“Safety is Number 1 for our customers, employees, and even the shoplifters,” Chavez said.
GCSD Sheriff Raul Villanueva asked if the store employs lockdown in the event of a serious incident. Store Manager Sandy Gonzales said, “Every situation is different, doors may be closed but customers can leave. Even the weather outside plays a part on the decision.