At a national retail conference on Tuesday, Attorney General Curtis Hill shared legal perspectives on issues of law enforcement, loss prevention and store security relating to significant increases in property crimes committed against retailers. He participated in several panel discussions at the 2018 Retail Asset Protection Conference, sponsored by the Retail Industry Leaders Association.
Attorney General Hill focused portions of his remarks on lessons learned in Indiana involving controversy over an anti-shoplifting program developed by Corrective Education Company (CEC) and implemented by Walmart at 36 Indiana locations. At the request of a prosecuting attorney, Attorney General Hill conducted a review that included the cooperation of CEC and Walmart officials. Attorney General Hill determined that the retailer had been offering to forgo contacting the police in exchange for suspects agreeing to enter into their program. This created issues under Indiana law, which is clear on the manner and authority in which retailers may lawfully detain shoplifting suspects and law enforcement’s role in that process. (See the Attorney General’s official opinion on the program.)
At the conference, Attorney General Hill spoke of the need for strong relationships among retailers and law enforcement agencies. Afterward, he reiterated some of those same themes.
“Law enforcement and retail businesses share common ground in these matters,” Attorney General Hill said. “For its part, the retailer wants to minimize financial loss and keep employees engaged in productive tasks other than surveilling and thwarting shoplifters. The police officer, meanwhile, wants to enforce the law, arrest individuals suspected of crimes and generally safeguard the rights and protections of citizens. When businesses and law enforcement speak openly and respectfully with one another, they can establish the kind of trust and collaboration that leads to effective results for all involved.” Attached are several photos from the national conference,