WR presents on retail crime at the Association of Washington Cities Conference 

Jun 27, 2024
Written by WR Communications

WR presented on a panel addressing “Retail Crime: Current Challenges and Strategies to Address the Problem” at the annual Association of Washington Cities (AWC) conference in Vancouver, Washington, last week. 

Leading the panel was Issaquah Mayor Mary Lou Pauly, a leader in the fight against organized retail crime (ORC), retail theft, and increasing public safety. Mayor Pauly shared lessons learned and strategies for bringing together retailers, policymakers, police, prosecutors, and the public. Issaquah has seen a notable decline in ORC and retail theft, serving as a model for other cities. 

Mark Johnson, WR Senior VP for Policy and Government Affairs, followed Mayor Pauly. He described the magnitude of the problem, its importance, ongoing efforts, and what more is needed. Johnson highlighted the federal Combatting Organized Retail Crime Act (CORCA S. 140 and HR 895), poised to pass Congress with broad bipartisan support. He also mentioned the recent approval of funding by the legislature to establish three ORC pilot programs to gather data and best practices for the 2025 Legislative Session. Mark shared the WR “Guide to Navigating Public Safety and Retail Crime” to help small and mid-sized businesses reduce vulnerability to crime, train employees, and provide useful information for law enforcement and prosecutors in case of retail crime. 

The Vancouver Police Department, with two presenters experienced in ORC and retail theft, followed Johnson. They highlighted the cooperation with the Washington State Organized Retail Crime Association (WAORCA) and emphasized the need for collaboration among retailers, law enforcement, prosecutors, elected officials, and the public to address this serious issue affecting not only Vancouver and Washington but the entire country and even worldwide. 

WR thanks Mayor Pauly and the Association of Washington Cities for focusing on this important issue and on solutions and strategies to make our communities safe and welcoming for consumers and employees alike.


Return to newsletter