Police department revamping business safety program
Business Watch’s aim is to help businesses train employees to prevent crime and be safer. (Draper Police Department)
The Draper Police Department is revamping and restarting the Business Watch program. In a cooperation of the police and the Draper Area Chamber of Commerce, Business Watch is a program available to all Draper businesses to help them protect themselves and their establishments from violence and criminal activity. The police have Business Watch program manuals available at the police department.
“We tried to break it all down for you. We know each business is different,” said Crime Prevention Specialist Natalie Thorell. “It’s a way for us to reach out and let you get to know our officers and let us know you so we’re watching out for you and your businesses.”
According to manual, the goal of the Business Watch program is to provide Draper businesses with educational information regarding shoplifting, internal theft, burglary, robbery, fraud and other aspects of crime prevention geared toward specific businesses in Draper.
Business Watch offers a special certification to businesses who complete the four components of the program. The first component is establishing policies and procedures that address crime and threats that pertain to the particular business.
“We want each of your businesses to have policies and procedures in place, whether that comes down from a big corporation or some of you are just small businesses,” Thorell said. “If corporate has policies and procedures, that’s great. If you need help, that’s what we’re here for to help you out.”
In order to qualify for the certification, the company’s policies and procedures need to have 10 core business safety elements. These include policies addressing robbery, burglary, retail theft/shoplifting, vendor theft, internal theft, consumer fraud, credit card fraud, workplace violence, emergency response and underage tobacco and alcohol purchases.
“The procedures and policies that we put in this manual we think are important for businesses to have,” Thorell said.
Within each of those elements, there are mandatory elements to include in the policy, as well as suggested elements. For example, in dealing with robbery, mandatory elements include having employees receive training in robbery prevention and having a policy about limited cash on hand. Suggested elements include never leaving a register open longer than needed to complete the transaction and employees not turning their back on an open register.
The second component of the certification process is for business employees to receive crime prevention training, either by or approved by the crime prevention team. The Draper Police Department offers free crime prevention training that is pertinent to a specific business.
According to the Business Watch manual, crime prevention training will help employees to effectively integrate crime prevention efforts into the work stream while remaining productive, as well as contribute to the safety of the workplace, the employees and the customers.
The third component is a security assessment that is offered free by the police department. During the security assessment, a crime prevention specialist will come to the site of the business and will provide both written and verbal recommendations on how to increase security.
“The way it came about is in working with (Draper Emergency Services Coordinator)
Scott (Chatwin) we went to one of the schools and they wanted us to walk through and make sure that if there was some kind of emergency, what did we as a police department notice that they need to change or do to be safer,” Thorell said. “As we went through, I thought we should do this for our businesses. That’s what we’re offering for you.”
Thorell said some of the areas the crime prevention specialist will look at is the layout of the business, the training of employees on how to handle merchandise and how to prevent burglaries after the business is closed.
The fourth component of the certification process is providing a contact or liaison to the police department.
“We’d like you to have a liaison, a person who can communicate with me and if something does happen, our officers know who to call right away so we can get you help immediately,” Thorell said.
According to the Business Watch manual, police officers often encounter open or unlocked doors after business hours or they encounter suspicious activity near a business. Having a direct contact filed with the police department ensures the quickest resolution to and prevention of problems.
To learn more about Business Watch or to register for the program, visit ut-drapercity.civicplus.com or contact Thorell at 801-576-6342.