C-store chains Circle K and Village Pantry team with organizations to help set standards for ensuring the safety of night shift workers.
The alliance is known as the Late Night Retail Working Group and includes representatives from the state’s police force; Department of Labor; Association of Beverage Retailers; Grocery and Convenience Store Association; and Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, as well as safety and operations administrators from convenience-store chains Circle K and Village Pantry. Rep. Ed Delaney, D-Indianapolis, also joined in the conversation.
Since 2006, six people have been killed and 27 people have been seriously injured in violent crimes at late-night stores in Indiana.
On Thursday, Feb. 16, a three-hour public forum was held to discuss how to make gas stations, liquor stores and other late-night retail outlets safer for employees.
The group was initially formed to include a five-person advisory committee with state and trade association representatives to develop a plan to protect late-night retail workers’ safety. But family members of former victims of late-night retail violence protested during the meeting, arguing for a chance to be heard. The group then welcomed Indianapolis resident Theresia Whitfield, a friend of a convenience store shooting victim, to the committee, according to the Daily Reporter.
The group is working to create a formal alliance between their programs and the state’s INSafe program. They plan to have the alliance document signed in March and to follow it with a final report that would include recommendations on late night store safety best practices; self-regulation, and standard safety audits.
State Labor Commissioner Lori Torres noted the committee’s proposal must be issued in April or May.