Politics and Loss Prevention

Jack Trlica signature

By the time you read this article, the presidential election will be over—thankfully by most people’s comments. This election cycle has been one of the strangest in history, one that I personally hope we don’t repeat any time soon.

But this is not a commentary about national politics. Rather it’s about how the retail loss prevention industry works together for the benefit of our retail companies and the industry as a whole—in stark difference to how politicians seem to go out of their way to not accomplish much these days.

A Different Perspective

In the twenty-five years I’ve been associated with retail loss prevention, one of the more significant observations I’ve noticed is how incredibly well LP professionals work with their retail peers in operations and elsewhere in the enterprise; how individuals even from competing companies offer their insights into problems and solutions that impact each other’s business; and how incredibly generous most people in our profession give of themselves to their friends, families, and communities.

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Like any collection of human beings, our industry has a diverse point of view on the many topics of human endeavor—from Cubs versus White Sox to rock versus opera to religion, race, sexual orientation, and, yes, certainly politics. Even in our work environment, it is often readily apparent that many of our coworkers and outside partners have viewpoints that diverge significantly from our own. Sometimes these differences speak directly to deeply held beliefs that define our personal identities—differences that in another context would likely cause us to shy away from interacting with that person at minimum and possibly totally reject them at worst.

However, rarely, if ever, have I observed individuals or groups in our industry who let such differences get in the way of working together for the good of the store, the team, the company, or the industry. Have you?

Have you experienced loss prevention professionals who refuse to compromise their personal beliefs to the point that they will not work with a colleague, who will not sit on the same committee with someone they dislike? David Shugan said in our interview that even when he has called the police on someone he is interviewing, he wants not just the best for his company, but also the best result for the accused.

You may think that this is simply how everyone performs in the work environment. But I don’t think so. I think there is something about those people attracted to our profession who have a different insight into other people. Or maybe the executives and managers in loss prevention are good at weeding out those who would allow their personal feelings to affect their jobs.

We certainly are not a perfect profession without differing points of view and without struggles with one another. However, I believe we’ve been able to go beyond those issues to work with each other in positive ways to everyone’s benefit.

If only our elected officials could look at the loss prevention industry to see how compromise and mutual respect can contribute to getting positive results for the benefit of everyone.

Thank You

On a totally different subject, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone on the LPM team, our advertising partners, the RILA Asset Protection Leaders Council, the Loss Prevention Foundation, and the many retail supporters who came together in Sanibel, Florida, in late September to help celebrate the magazine’s fifteenth anniversary. Our annual meeting has grown from a handful of editorial board members who sat around a conference table to talk about editorial ideas to one of the most anticipated events each year. We are truly grateful for the ongoing support and look forward to the years ahead.

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