Sprawl-Busters Newsflash Blog - Anti-Sprawl news since 1998.
Subscribe to Sprawl-Busters Blog Follow Sprawl Busters on Twitter
Occupy Walmart & Order Al's Books Movies Newsflash! The Case Against Sprawl Home Towns Not Home Depot Victories Your Battles About Us Contact Us  

recent news

List articles
by the month:

2018
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2017
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2016
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2015
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2014
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2013
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2012
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2011
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2010
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2009
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2008
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2007
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2006
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2005
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2004
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2003
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2002
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2001
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2000
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

1999
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

1998
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC


Search database by text:

2002-05-20
Port Richey, FL. Crime At Wal-Mart "Overwhelmes" Local Cops.

According to an article in the May 19th. St. Petersburg, Times in Florida, petty crimes at Wal-Mart can add up to a high price tag for local authorities. Wal-Mart has a policy of pressing charges on shoplifting incidents. In nearby Port Richey (population 3,021) the newspaper reports, "That's meant a lot of work for the city's 14 member police force." The newpaper claims that cops in Port Richey take longer to respond to other calls for assistance, have to work overtime schedules, perform less traffic patrols, and may need to hire more officers. Chief of Police William Downs told the paper that his men were often tied up processing shoplifters at Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart calls to report a shoplifting, the cops have to respond. Because 2 officers go out on every call for safety reasons, when someone is busted at Wal-Mart, the city's only police are at the store. "Our response times are, in some cases, slower," the Chief said. "Our calls are backed up now more than ever before." The Times did a study which showed that the monthly averages for not-so-serious citizen incidents climbed after Wal-Mart arrived. In the year before Wal-Mart opened, the cops never took longer than 8 minutes to respond to a drunken pedestrian call. In the year after, they took as long as 51 minutes to respond. Shoplifting cases can tie up police for hours. The incidents at Wal-Mart can include kids left unattended in cars, domestic disputes, trespassing, etc. Sprawl-Busters has also documented serious crimes such as rape and murder in Wal-Mart parking lots. Chief Downs warns other communities: "You might want to consider additional personnel," he said, "otherwise your other areas of services may suffer." The Port Richey Wal-Mart pays the town $75,000 a year in property taxes. The Chief, who has a staff of 13, asked the town for two more cops, and got one. He has also been forced to pay mandatory overtime pay. In the budget year than began last October, Port Richey had allocated $22,180 for police overtime. As of April of this year, with five months left in the fiscal year, the city has already spent $72,275 on overtime. The newspaper's study reveals that nearly one in four people arrested in Port Richey from March through December of last year were arrested at Wal-Mart. From the day it opened until the end of the year, the paper claims that Wal-Mart accounted for one in every 16 calls to the police. In less than 10 months last year, the cops were summoned to Wal-Mart more than 400 times. Because of all this activity, Chief Downs is asking Port Richey for two new cops, which would cost the town nearly $54,000 for salaries alone. But Wal-Mart has had other impacts on finances as well. Cops tied up at Wal-Mart are not able to issue tickets. In a ten month periiod in 2000, the cops wrote 2,069 tickets. But in the 10 months after Wal-Mart opened, they wrote just about half, 1,077. The Times also recorded the following impacts in other communities: In Beloit, Wis., (population 35,775) Wal-Mart gave the police space for a substation inside its store; In North Versailles, Pa. (population 11,125) Wal-Mart sparked development that caused the police force to grow from 10 to 26 officers over the past four years; In Tappahannock, Va., (population 2,068) Wal-Mart "is a strain on services," Police Chief James Barrett said. "If they moved out tomorrow," Barrett said, "it wouldn't upset me." (see the book "Slam Dunking Wal-Mart" for more details about Tappahannock).
The Wal-Mart manager of the Port Richey store "scoffed at" the idea that Wal-Mart should underwrite some of the cost of these added police expenses. "As a citizen and a taxpayer ," the Wal-Mart manager told the paper, "I expect them to take care of my needs."


What you can do: The St. Petersburg Times is hot on the story of crime at Wal-Mart, but you could have read the same accounts three years ago in the book "Slam Dunking Wal-Mart." Call toll free 1-877 Dunk Wal to learn more about big box crime, the use of police substations, and more serious problems than shoplifting.










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

info@sprawl-busters.com
Strategic Planning ~ Field Operations
Voter Campaigns 
21 Grinnell St, Greenfield ~ MA 01301
(413) 772-6289