WR partners with Challenge Seattle to tackle organized retail crime through newly formed partnership

Jun 20, 2024
Written by WR Communications

We are excited to announce a significant new collaboration between Challenge Seattle Washington Retail Association (WR), Sound Cities Association, Bellevue Chamber and the Seattle Metro Chamber, aimed at addressing the critical issue of Organized Retail Crime (ORC). Under the esteemed leadership of former Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire, CEO of Challenge Seattle, WR President & CEO, Renée Sunde, will co-chair the 18-member steering committee which will include businesses, law enforcement and prosecutors to help formulate the region’s next steps establishing a long-term public-private partnership.

Gregoire brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of leadership. As CEO of Challenge Seattle, an alliance of CEOs from 23 of the region’s largest organizations, Gregoire has been at the forefront of tackling pressing civic challenges such as housing, homelessness, and transportation. As Governor, Gregoire established a well-earned reputation for bringing together the right people, setting aside individual agenda – to get things done.

In recent years, organized retail crime and theft have surged in Washington state and 52% of Police Chiefs in King Country have identified retail theft as one of their top public safety priorities.  Addressing ORC requires a true public-private partnership between retailers and businesses, cities and law enforcement and prosecutors.

To align the roles and ensure the long-term success of the Retail Industry Leadership Association’s (RILA) Vibrant Communities pilot project and new state funding, Challenge Seattle and WR will convene a series of meetings to ensure proper coordination of efforts throughout King County.

Challenge Seattle in partnership with WR, Seattle Metro Chamber of Commerce, Bellevue Chamber and the Sound Cities Association, will host a half-day public safety summit scheduled for October 2 at Microsoft in Redmond. In addition to the named partners the event will include high level officials and decision makers including King Couty Mayors, Police Chiefs, prosecutors’ business organizations and regional business executives.

We believe that we can come together across sectors to ensure accountability and deterrence of one of our more pressing public safety challenges in the region.


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