Securing the Workplace Part 1: Education, Awareness and Planning 

Police have noticed an increase in robberies, especially at pharmacies and banks. Unfortunately, there really is no way to be 100% safe, but there are some steps employers can take to try to prevent robberies from happening, and if they do happen, try to catch the person who did it.When a robber chooses a target, he or she is making anyone there a victim.”We’re all trying to do our jobs and we shouldn’t have to be in fear of who walks through the door,” said Deseree Gilman, President and CEO of KSW Federal Credit Union.But with this increase in the number of robberies, it’s not uncommon for employees at the usual targets to worry their workplace may be next. “It’s very alarming and my concern is that eventually one of these robberies is going to end with someone getting hurt or possibly killed,” said Chief Joe Massey of the Waterville Police Department.Police are trying to work with employers to keep the workplace safe.”It really is all about education and awareness when you are in an industry that is often targeted to be robbed,” said Massey.A lot of that comes with staff training, which is something that has become more frequent at KSW Federal Credit Union because of the increasing amount of robberies.”It used to be that it was kind of on a year basis, we’d just kind of do all of our training, but because of a lot of the increases and what’s happening out there, we’re trying more and more to keep it at the top of everybody’s mindset,” said Gilman.Police say every employer should be aware of the layout of their business, inside and out.Massey said, “I think every business needs to take a good hard look at their business and where they could be victimized and then from there you need to start planning.”That plan often includes alarms and surveillance cameras. But employees with the right training are also an asset in preventing crimes.”Looking out for possible vehicles in the parking lot that just are kind of off to the side or suspicious. People that kind of walk into the credit union and kind of look around and maybe they aren’t coming up to the counter to do business but just kind of hanging in the lobby area,” said Gilman.If they do see anything suspicious, police say business owners shouldn’t hesitate to call them. “They’ve reassured us that anytime we feel uncomfortable with any type of situation to call them and they will come over,” said Gilman.Even if you do all of that, there’s still the chance your place of work could be robbed. Police say what employees do after the robbery could help them find out who did it. “It’s important that everyone tries to remember all of the details that they possibly can. Everyone has their own little duty that they do, whether it’s locking the doors right after, someone that can segregate that section off,” said Gilman.It’s a lot of responsibility for someone who didn’t sign up to be a crime scene investigator, but in today’s world, unfortunately, it’s something that comes with the job. Chief Massey said, “We’re not going to stop it that’s for sure but I think we certainly can help reduce it and if nothing else, the most important is reduce injury to anybody if they happen.”Massey is holding an information session for pharmacies on what to do before, during and after a robbery on Thursday, May 31. Click here for more details and how to register.