(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - As a part of its efforts to educate and protect retail customers, merchandise and employees, the National Retail Federation's (NRF) loss prevention team partnered with the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to create emergency response protocols for retailers to react, respond, and recover from active shooter incidents.*
"It is imperative that retailers, regardless of the type of store or size of the company, remain vigilant and aware of dangers," said Joe LaRocca, NRF Vice President Loss Prevention. "Retailers and malls should be planning for life-threatening incidents to occur at their stores, educating employees on how to handle the situation, and working with law enforcement on a consistent approach to quickly address a situation if it arises."
The guide serves to educate companies about active shooters, which have become a serious threat in recent years. Basic guidelines for how to analyze the situation and react accordingly are outlined in a way that serves all types of retailers regardless of size. NRF encourages retailers to use the guidelines as a part of their larger emergency management plan to protect employees and customers.
The emergency response guide is one of many projects that NRF's loss prevention team has tackled this year. The group also worked closely with the Department of Homeland Security during the 2008 hurricane season to create an immediate response plan for retailers who were in the impact zone. By partnering with DHS, NRF was able to provide retailers with a fast and easy way to track storm advances and plan evacuations if necessary. Additionally, NRF's LPinformation website offers specific links to the DHS website where retailers can get updates on where to go for help and local resources.
In addition to partnering with DHS, NRF also partnered with ICSC to produce an organized retail crime training video. Working with organized retail crime experts, who provided content and actual footage of criminal acts, the narrated video includes images of typical organized retail crime ring behavior in addition to descriptions of common methods of operation. The video was distributed to security personnel in malls throughout the country.
The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats. NRF represents an industry with more than 1.6 million U.S. retail establishments, more than 24 million employees - about one in five American workers - and 2007 sales of $4.5 trillion. As the industry umbrella group, NRF also represents more than 100 state, national and international retail associations. www.nrf.com.
*DHS defines active shooters as individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.