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The National Retail Federation's loss prevention team has collaborated with the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the U.S. Department of Homeland (DHS) Security to develop emergency response protocols for retailers to react, respond, and recover from incidents involving "active shooters," defined by DHS as individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.
The guidelines were distributed at NRF's Loss Prevention Summit in Dallas last week.
"It is imperative that retailers, regardless of the type of store or size of the company, remain vigilant and aware of dangers," noted Joe LaRocca, NRF's v.p. loss prevention. "Retailers and malls should be planning for life-threatening incidents to occur at their stores, educating employees on how to handle the situation, and working with law enforcement on a consistent approach to quickly address a situation if it arises."
The keynote presentation at the Loss Prevention Summit featured three guest speakers who discussed active shooters and the new emergency response guidelines.
In addition to the emergency response guide, NRF's loss prevention team has worked closely with DHS during the 2008 hurricane season to create an immediate response plan for retailers in the impact zone, providing retailers with a fast and easy way to track storm advances and plan evacuations if necessary. NRF's LPinformation Web site also offers specific links to the DHS site where retailers can get updates on where to go for help and local resources.
Further, NRF teamed with ICSC to produce an organized retail crime training video, which was distributed to security personnel in malls across the United States. The video features images of typical organized retail crime ring behavior as well as descriptions of common methods of operation.