Nationwide campaign and TV ads call attention to large volume of police calls for shoplifting and other petty crimes at Walmart stores

Nationwide campaign and TV ads call attention to large volume of police calls for shoplifting and other petty crimes at Walmart stores

First ads to run in four cities: Ads address Walmart offloading security to local police at taxpayer expense

NATIONWIDE CAMPAIGN AND TV ADS CALL ATTENTION TO LARGE VOLUME OF POLICE CALLS FOR SHOPLIFTING AND OTHER PETTY CRIMES AT WALMART STORES
First ads to run in four cities: Ads address Walmart offloading security to local police at taxpayer expense

Washington, DC — Making Change at Walmart (MCAW), the national organization seeking to change Walmart into a more responsible employer, announces the launch of a multi-faceted media campaign that will call attention to the amount of shoplifting and other petty crimes that occur at Walmart stores, and the use of police resources to deal with the crime.

The new ad campaign, which will run first in Tampa, FL; Tulsa, OK; St. Paul, MN; and Dallas, TX; highlights the troubling rate of local police calls, the impact on local police departments and the failure of Walmart to use its $14 billion in profits to address these security issues at its stores.

As part of this new campaign, MCAW and local community partners will be calling on Walmart to disclose its internal crime database and individual store risk scores to provide employees, customers, and their communities the information they need to hold Walmart accountable for security funding decisions.

“Walmart must stop asking local police departments to do their job, and taxpayers to subsidize its security,” said Randy Parraz, campaign director of MCAW. “This is not an issue of whether Walmart can do more, it is about why they are putting profits ahead of the community. The simple solution is for Walmart to do what is right and invest more in under-staffed stores and security.”

Over the past year, there have been a multitude of local and national news stories regarding how much crime happens at Walmart, and the incredible burden it places on communities and local police departments. Among the shocking statistics:

  • Law enforcement logged nearly 16,800 calls in one year to Walmarts in four Florida counties, according to a Tampa Bay Times analysis. That’s two calls an hour, every hour, every day.
  • According to an analysis from Bloomberg News, in one year, police were called to one of Tulsa’s four Walmarts just under 2,000 times. They were called to one of the city’s four Targets around 300 times.
  • In 2015, police responded to two Minneapolis-area Walmarts 1,126 times.
  • Across five Texas cities last year, there was a combined 6,077 calls for police to Walmart.

During the multi-week campaign, MCAW will also be holding press events with local community partners in Tulsa, Tampa, St. Paul and Dallas to call on Walmart to release its internal crime database. A Bloomberg article from August 2016 found that Walmart has a database that tracks crime on its properties. It uses this data to assign each store a risk score, based on the likelihood of different types of crime occurring there. The retailer uses these risk scores to set the levels of security spending for its stores. However, Walmart does not make these databases or scores public.

“If Walmart truly cares about our local communities, the stores’ customers and employees, they would make this database available to the American people,” added Parraz.

As part of an effort to change Walmart for the better, the campaign also included a series of grassroots actions in over 20 cities across the country to distribute an educational flyer.

BACKGROUND:

Watch the Tulsa, OK, version of the PSA-style commercial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbbynNYzFVY&feature=youtu.be

The ad script reads:

Where are our police?

At Walmart. And they’re not shopping.

In Tulsa, law enforcement logged over 16,000 calls in one year alone for shoplifting and other petty crimes.

Two calls an hour, every hour, every day.

Four times as many calls as nearby Targets.

So as Walmart makes billions in profits,

And its CEO makes millions a year,

Walmart is offloading security to the police at taxpayer expense.

So this holiday season, help send Walmart a message:

Our police should protect us, not your profits.