In a recent story out of Michigan, Jeremy Hoven, a pharmacist at a Benton Harbor Walgreens, was fired after he shot an armed suspect who attempted to rob the drug store at 4:30 a.m.
Though Hoven has a concealed carry permit and utilized his own gun, Walgreens determined that his actions violated the company's "non-escalation policy."
Do you have a non-escalation policy? An employee robbery policy? Have you ever spoken to your employees about how they should respond to a robbery?
If your answer is no to the above questions, you're doing yourself and your employees a disservice.
In the event of a robbery, your first responsibility is to your employees and customers, as you have a duty to maintain a safe workspace and premises.
While there is no way to guarantee safety, if your business is prone to such events, you are legally bound to take reasonable efforts to deter robberies.
For this reason, it is absolutely essential to institute an employee robbery policy and train your employees to handle theft and robberies so that the situation does not escalate.
If you don't know where to start, consider speaking to local law enforcement about general deterrence measures and the proper way to respond to robberies. They will likely tell you to train your employees to do some of the following:
- Don't argue, fight, or use weapons
- Cooperate, but don't volunteer assistance
- Set off alarms and use bait money
- Be vigilant about the robber's actions and description
- Observe the direction in which the thief left
- Immediately telephone police
- Lock all the doors
A good employee robbery policy will provide the tools and training necessary to end a theft as quickly as possible, keep everyone safe, and ward off negligence lawsuits.