Thornton businesses and residents can get some tips on protecting themselves when the Thornton Police Department addresses the Businesses of Thornton Advisory Commission June 26. “We offered this …
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Thornton businesses and residents can get some tips on protecting themselves when the Thornton Police Department addresses the Businesses of Thornton Advisory Commission June 26.
“We offered this kind of training, but it’s usually on an individual basis,” Thornton Police spokesman Matt Barnes said. “People really haven’t reached out to us to take advantage of this service.”
The department will offer tips on responding to an active shooter situation, avoiding smash-and-grab burglaries and shoplifting at the session, 11:30 a.m June 26 at Thornton City Hall, 9500 Civic Center Dr.
Lunch will be provided and there will be a prize drawing. Registration is available by calling Jenny Leon in the Thornton Economic Development Office at 303 538-7358 or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barnes said the Police Department and the business advisory group sent a survey to Thornton businesses this spring to find out what their biggest concerns were.
“This first seminar, we decided to tackle the top three concerns on their list,” Barnes said.
The department hopes to host a few seminars each year, teaching how to respond to other police matters.
One of the biggest concerns is dealing with an active shooter situation, when an armed individual walks into a business.
“Entry control is going to be the number one priority, obviously,” Barnes said. “Also, natural surveillance is another: Can people see in and can your people see out? And when you are walking to your car, how far ahead can you see? And then there’s regulating the people who can enter your building and where they can go with ease. There are a lot of topics to consider.”
Last summer’s spate of smash-and-grab burglaries across Metro Denver was another top concern.
“Removing the opportunity for the crime to occur is a top strategy,” Barnes said. “This is a crime of opportunity — if I smash a window, can reach in and grab a product. So, basically, you need to remove the expensive products from the window and don’t leave cash in the register at night.”
He noted that many businesses install steel or concrete bollards outside of their entrances to block people from crashing into their business in a stolen car. He also recommended metal shutters that can be swung down to block an entrance or impact-resistant glass.
“We also recommend posting signs,” he said. “`No Cash on Premises’ or something that indicates the area is under video surveillance can help.”
Organized teams of shoplifters are another concern. Instead of lone teenagers stealing a candy bar, today teams of professional shoplifters move around the country. These teams can sweep into a store, splitting up and creating confusion for staff and security personnel.
“We get information of groups that may be coming from California, working their way across the United States,” he said. “Sometimes we get reports of these kinds of crimes in Colorado Springs and then the same group a little later in Denver. These can be local, organized groups or just several individuals who see an opportunity to steal some items.”
Barnes recommended store managers train staff to be aware when people come into a store.
“It’s just basic customer skills, greeting people when they come in the door and making eye contact,” Barnes said. “If they act suspicious or disperse when they come in, you need to keep a closer eye on them.”
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