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Survey Highlights Increased Attention for Retail as US Gun Violence Escalates

The results of a Public Safety and Retail Security survey revealed that 55 percent of retail security executives are concerned or very concerned about gunfire at their store locations and 88 percent say it is very important that retailers partner with law enforcement.

The survey of 195 retail security executives, law enforcement officials, and government agencies was conducted during an April 2021 conference, Public Safety and the Impact on Retail Security, jointly sponsored by the Loss Prevention Foundation and ShotSpotter.

Key findings from the survey include:

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  • 26 percent report being very concerned about gunfire in their store location, while 29 percent are concerned, 36 percent are somewhat concerned, and 9 percent are not concerned.
  • 88 percent say it is very important that retailers partner with law enforcement, while 12 percent say is it important, and zero respondents said it was not important.
  • Only five percent feel their security personnel and associates are very prepared to respond to a violent incident on site, while 36 percent say they are prepared, 46 percent are somewhat prepared, and 13 percent are not prepared.
  • 24 percent rate their security team partnering with law enforcement as extremely successful, while 69 percent say they are somewhat successful, and six percent say they are not successful.
William J. Bratton
William J. Bratton

William J. Bratton, the main speaker and former NYPD commissioner and executive chairman of Risk Advisory, Teneo, said as part of his remarks at the webinar, “In the retail industry, security cannot have all the responsibility for security, and the police cannot have all the responsibility. What we need is to engage in a partnership that can focus on the various problems that have been emerging or escalating, whether it is mass shootings or violent crime.”

Paul Mascari
Paul Mascari

“With the sharp rise in gun violence across the country, it is essential for the retail industry to work more closely with local law enforcement and seek out new technologies so they can be better prepared to respond quickly if an incident arises,” said Paul Mascari, director of security solutions at ShotSpotter. “Our SiteSecure solution alerts security personnel within seconds of a shooting incident around stores and parking lots, protecting shoppers and associates by enabling faster response by security, law enforcement, and medical personnel.”

In 2020, gun violence killed nearly 20,000 Americans—more than any other year in at least two decades—according to data from the Gun Violence Archive. This makes the topic of public safety in retail stores and surrounding parking lot areas an important issue for both security teams and local law enforcement agencies.

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SiteSecure for Retail is a new program from ShotSpotter that provides US-based retailers with dedicated security experts to build custom tailored solutions for enhanced perimeter security. A key highlight of SiteSecure for Retail is seamless integration into existing video surveillance, access controls, and other security technologies. It complements similar programs for corporate facilities, government buildings, and college campuses.

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