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Hy-Vee announced the other day that it is creating what is being called the Hy-Vee Retail Security team, which eventually will see officers deployed in all of its retail stores during operating hours "to ensure the health and safety of both its customers and employees."

According to the announcement, "These officers, many of whom come from a law enforcement background, are specially trained to defuse situations and equipped to protect the safety of both Hy-Vee customers and employees. The officers have been through training designed by Hy-Vee retail security leaders alongside law enforcement partners."

Some stores already have the security officers in place, with remaining stores scheduled to get them as the force gets staffed up.

KC's View:

Other than than the run of the mill security concerns with which every retailer has to concern itself, it seems there are a couple of timely issues that would make the deployment of this force appropriate.  First, there is the growing problem in some markets with smash-and-grab theft, committed by roving bands of criminals.  I've not seen any cases where markets in which Hy-Vee operates have been plagued by the problem in any sort of major way, but it has to be a concern going forward.

Second - and I can practically guarantee that this will be a continuing concern - there is the issue of pandemic-related safety.  If it becomes necessary for stores to require people to wear masks, these folks can be a way to enforce the requirement without putting front line retail workers in the proverbial and - one hopes, metaphorical - line of fire.