The Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce is hosting its Public Safety and Retail Theft Forum tomorrow at the Wenatchee Convention Center. Attorney General Ferguson and Renée Sunde, WR President and CEO, will speak on the timely topic of public safety, retail theft, and organized crime impacting businesses and the community.
“Communities across the state are facing a staggering increase in theft and crime. Safety concerns are growing at a time when the retail industry continues to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, high inflation, retail workforce shortages, and supply chain challenges,” says Sunde. “This requires the response of community leaders and policymakers alike.”
AG Bob Ferguson launched an Organized Retail Crime Task Force last year. Since its inception, the AG and his team have hosted two meetings, each with approximately 125 attending. Participants included WR team members, the Washington Organized Retail Crime Association leadership, local, state, and federal law enforcement, county prosecutors, loss prevention officers, retail crime investigators, and retail business owners.
AG Ferguson is seeking $3 million in biennial funding from the legislature to create an ORC unit within his office to hire prosecutors, investigators and a data analyst to support the unit’s program.
The Organized Retail Crimes Unit will have the capacity to assist with investigations, coordinating cases across multiple jurisdictions, and bring resources where they are most needed. The unit will also prosecute cases referred by county prosecutors.
“Washington law enforcement agencies have limited resources to tackle these sophisticated crimes,” Ferguson said. “A modest investment in a centralized statewide organized retail crimes unit will hold criminals accountable and deter crimes which cause significant economic harm to our state.”
Business owners, loss prevention professionals, law enforcement and elected officials are invited to attend as we discuss a muti-pronged approach to tackle this growing issue.
Register here for tomorrow’s catered luncheon. The $20 charge goes toward covering the venue and catered lunch. Registration is required to attend.