Security Experts Provide Ways Jewelers can Reduce Crime

A diverse panel of security specialists discussed ways that retailers can reduce crime at their stores, limit the financial impact, and, most importantly, minimize injury or death, during a panel discussion Tuesday at the JCK Invitational.

John Kennedy, president of the Jewelers Security Alliance, led the discussion held in a ballroom at the Hilton New York. Panelists were: David Sexton vice president of Loss Protection, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company; Michael Chapman, vice president of Operations and Security, Tourneau; Marc Green, vice-chairman, Lux Bond & Green; and Daniel McCaffrey, FBI special agent.

Green talked about the importance of training. “Our training is about protecting people,” he said. One program he recommended is an online course from Jewelers Mutual.

In the store, Green said, alarm buttons that notify law enforcement are in the back of the store and the staff is trained to use them after the robbers leave to limit human injury.

Chapman said that Tourneau employees are trained to offer no resistance during robberies. He added that good salesmanship can prevent robberies from happening (such as handling and storing merchandise properly in the showroom).

Several panelists recommend using bullet resistant glass for display cases, where an acrylic sheet is placed between glass sheets and stays in place after the glass is initially shattered. This makes it more difficult for thieves during “smash-and-glass” robberies, where they need to be in and out of stores quickly.

Green said his company requires that local law enforcement comes into their stores to train staff. Something that he, Kennedy, and FBI agent McCaffrey say that law enforcement enjoys doing and, in many instances, have staff in place to do this kind of training.

“The police are delighted to do this,” Kennedy said.

McCaffrey said that jewelers should be particularly attentive to outside and inside lighting and opening and closing procedures.

When it comes to dealing with UL registered alarm companies, there two types of service certified standards, Sexton said. The best is a system that provides a central station certificate, in which the alarm company has 12 to 24 hours to respond to a system failure. Often, they are required to provide a guard while the system is down.

All of the experts say that guns have no place in the store. McCaffrey noted that FBI agents go through very intense training and chances are no store employee and owner has the same type of training.

“Don’t have them in the store,” McCaffrey said. “The bottom line is the FBI takes them very seriously.”

Kennedy said that in the past ten years, overall store crime is down.