Last week WR participated in a virtual safety and retail theft summit convened by Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell.
The summit was in response to increasingly violent retail theft crimes. Almost 100 individuals attended, including police, prosecutors, elected officials, retail loss prevention and asset protection specialists, the state chamber of commerce, and local business owners. The summit’s goal was to hear ideas on improving our partnership and utilizing resources to fight retail theft and ensure public safety.
Solutions to the challenges included hiring more police officers, creating a bicycle and electric motorcycle unit, deterrence in retailer’s parking lots by having police cars and officers stationed there, and better coordination on response. Federal Way Police also shared they were conducting several retail theft sting operations.
The two bills highlighted were HB 1614 and its companion SB 5533, concerning online marketplace retail theft and product safety act, and HB 1656, adding the term concealment to the definition of theft. Both of these will serve as tools for law enforcement, prosecutors, and retailers to crack down on ORC.
The group Safe Cities also highlighted their efforts, which include the use of theft cameras in parking lots.
The attendees agreed to continue the conversations and cooperation. ORC and public safety need to be worked on from a national and local perspective.