Activists Demand More Security At Tulsa Walmart To Relieve Police, Taxpayers
TULSA, Oklahoma - Several activists met at the Walmart on Admiral and Memorial Thursday, demanding the store hire more security.
They say the store is too dangerous, and the corporation should take responsibility.
"Walmart needs to do the right thing by its workers,” said Dennis Hall of the Northeastern Oklahoma Labor Council.
Doing right means hiring more security officers, according to local union leaders and an activist group called Making Change At Walmart.
"We believe that with the proper security and more workers, right, hiring more workers, that we would have a safer environment,” said Making Change At Walmart’s Jenny Divish.
In August, a Bloomberg Businessweek article drew national attention to Tulsa police officer Darrell Ross and his frequent responses to calls at this Walmart location.
Another sergeant called it “ridiculous,” saying it burdened his department and taxpayers.
News On 6 interviewed Ross shortly after.
He told us then he believed Walmart could use more security.
“They could have more people there, so that's one way to help handle things,” Ross stated.
A Walmart spokesperson tells News On 6 things have changed since then.
The corporation says it now has off-duty police officers working at night at the three Tulsa locations that get the highest number of calls.
It says this store got a number of upgrades to discourage theft, like eye-level cameras, and cosmetic thefts dropped 86-percent year to year.
Walmart's statement says in part:
Walmart's full statement to News On 6 reads as follows:
“No retailer is immune to the challenge of crime, and we’re investing in people and technology to support our stores. We’re encouraged by a 35% reduction in calls to law enforcement agencies nationwide, on average, since we began implementing crime deterrence programs like Restorative Justice and More at the Door. We’ll continue our outreach to law enforcement in Tulsa and across the country as part of our ongoing commitment to meet our customers’ and associates’ expectations of a safe and enjoyable shopping experience.”
The corporation also sent the following information as examples of theft and crime prevention in its locations nationwide:
· Through our “More at the Door” program, we’ve placed customer hosts in about a third of our U.S. Supercenters.
· In recent months, we’ve added 9,000 new customer hosts across our Supercenter fleet.
· We’ve increased training for our Asset Protection associates, both at store level and through our training academies (the training academy program is part of our recent $2.7 billion investment in increased training, education and higher wages for our associates).
· Restorative Justice has been deployed in more than 1,500 stores.
· We work with two different Restorative Justice Providers -- The Corrective Education Company and Turning Point Justice, who in turn partner with NASP (National Association for Shoplifting Prevention).
· The recidivism rate (percentage of people who relapse into criminal behavior after an intervention) for Restorative Justice is just 2% to 3%, depending on the provider.
Hope this helps."