RILA Panel Discussion Takes on Added Significance in Wake of New CEC Lawsuit;

Indiana Attorney General Agrees to Being Panelist in Two Sessions

Statement from the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention 

We write in response to the suit filed against CEC and its participating retailers yesterday that seizes on the California Superior Court’s earlier finding of extortion based on CA state law.

Without regard to or comment on the guilt or innocence of any party, the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) views this lawsuit as yet another challenge to retailers’ efforts to address a community-wide burden that they are, by and large, left to shoulder on their own in jurisdictions around the country and especially in California post-Prop 47.

 

Moreover, as an organization whose mission and focus is offender accountability and education, NASP is particularly troubled to note that, once again, this suit discounts (and thus excuses) any role or responsibility on the part of the alleged offenders. The suit misleadingly refers to alleged offenders as “Extortion Targets” in another example of the role reversal that paints retailers as villains rather than victims.

It is essential as an industry, that we continually bring the focus back to the community-wide value of retail/criminal justice collaboration to address the proliferation of retail theft holistically and cooperatively. The lack of resources available to address shoplifting and retail theft in the criminal justice system coupled with the continually increasing felony thresholds around the country has resulted in an alarming de-facto decriminalization of shoplifting. This not only encourages offenders to continue to shoplift but also empowers them to move on to greater and often more violent levels of retail theft.

The nature of this suit brings into specific relief the value of the upcoming panel discussion and subsequent breakout session at the RILA AP Conference in Orlando on Tuesday morning May 1. Beginning with a General Session at 9:30 followed by a 10:45 breakout, retail, criminal justice, academic, and community experts will discuss retail AP challenges and share their legal opinions, expertise and experience in using, challenging and defending programs that seek to use education to address shoplifter recidivism while preserving police and public resources for communities. Panelists will examine the value of non-traditional and civil alternatives to holistically address retail crime inflation and begin to fill the gaps left by fixed and shrinking public resources. The ultimate goal is to identify model program policies and practices that, when carefully and collaboratively vetted and executed, will meet the needs of all parties involved – from offenders to retailers to criminal justice and community.

Shoplifters, ORC, Shrinking Justice & Opioids: What’s a Retailer To Do?

 

In Retail Asset Protection’s recent vilification and trial by press, critics and articles universally fail to mention the role of increasing felony thresholds and the growing limitations of the criminal justice system in the proliferation of retail theft and fraud. Also absent in the dialogue is the value of non-traditional and civil alternatives that holistically address retail crime inflation and fill the gaps left by fixed and shrinking public resources. This session brings together retail, criminal justice, academic, and community experts to discuss retail AP challenges especially in light of the growing ripple effect of shoplifting and its alleged link to the opioid issue.

Moderator:    Walter Palmer, President, PCG Solutions

  Paul Jaeckle, Vice President, Asset Protection, Meijer, Inc.

  Attorney General Curtis Hill, State of Indiana

  Kevin Kolbye, Assistant Police Chief, Arlington Police Department

  Honorable David Larson, Presiding Judge, Federal Way Municipal Court

  John Rappaport, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Chicago

 

From 40,000 ft. View to Practical Application    

 

This moderated follow-up to the morning’s general session will engage panelists and attendees in a deeper dive into the potential structure of non-traditional collaborative

programs to handle retail theft offenders and potentially stem the tide of violence that the industry is experiencing. Topics on the table include crafting policies and programs to address retail fraud’s co-morbidity with addiction and mental health, realigning traditional community and stakeholder roles to re-focus shrinking resources and creating standards, regulations, and/or legislation to ensure proper execution.

 

Moderator:   Walter Palmer, President, PCG Solutions

            George Kelemen, President & Chief Executive Officer, Texas Retailers Association

 Attorney General Curtis Hill, State of Indiana

 Kevin Kolbye, Assistant Police Chief, Arlington Police Department

 Honorable David Larson, Presiding Judge, Federal Way Municipal Court

 John Rappaport, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Chicago

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