IBJNews

DeLaney calls for action to boost safety at convenience stores

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

An Indiana lawmaker wants to find out whether convenience store operators and state regulators will do enough on their own to increase the safety of store employees before deciding whether he’ll propose legislation forcing the issue.

Rep. Ed DeLaney, an Indianapolis Democrat, said at a Wednesday morning press conference that he has asked the Indiana Department of Labor to convene a forum with police, convenience store operators, Department of Labor officials and other interested parties.

He hopes the forum will occur within weeks. The outcome, he said, may determine whether he decides to propose a bill and what it could contain.

“The problem is very substantial,” DeLaney said, noting that some convenience stores are robbed as much as once a month.

He held the press conference in the parking lot of the Village Pantry at 1415 W. 86th St., where clerk Marcella Birnell was shot in the head during a late night shift on Oct. 21. She’s now going through therapy at an out-of-state rehabilitation hospital.

Flanking DeLaney at the press conference were Perry Tole, Birnell’s brother in law, and the widower and son of Becky Hough, who was fatally shot while working at the 1402 S. Meridian St. Village Pantry in November 2009.

An Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation in the wake of Hough’s death found employees at the South Meridian Street store had been involved in more than 32 robberies involving force since 2000.

This summer, VP’s parent company, North Carolina-based VPS Convenience Store Group, agreed to pay a $7,000 fine to settle allegations the South Meridian Street store failed to establish and maintain “reasonably safe” working conditions.

As part of the settlement, all 134 Indiana Village Pantry stories in Indiana will be under state scrutiny through June 2014. During that time, VPS will have to submit quarterly reports detailing corrective actions to improve safety and security. VPS’ plan includes a host of measures, including installation of advanced digital surveillance equipment and safety-barrier doors at high-risk locations.

State labor Commissioner Lori Torres offered to convene a "working group" on convenience store safety when she met with DeLaney Nov. 29, Department of Labor spokesman Robert Dittmer said late Wednesday morning. He said the first meeting is expected to be in mid-January.

A VPS spokesman said company officials have not yet been invited to participate. But she added the chain "supports a continuous dialogue about employee and customer safety and regulatory efforts aimed at enhancing best practices in the industry.”

Joe Lackey, president of the Indiana Grocery & Convenience Store Association, said: “We will be happy to discuss anything that could possibly lead to furthering the safety of our employees and customers. At the same time, I am not overly optimistic any great revelations are going to come from it.”

He added: “You can certainly tighten things down to the point you do no business at all. Then you close the store. So it becomes a balance, to a degree.”

DeLaney said one step more stores could take would be installing bullet-resistant plastic between customers and clerks. He said higher staffing levels also would be a deterrent. Birnell and Hough were working alone when they were shot.

“I think it is hard to justify having only one person in a store,” he said. “No security device is as effective as a second set of eyes.”

But DeLaney added he was keeping an open mind. “I’m not rigid yet.”
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

  2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

  3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

  4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

  5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

ADVERTISEMENT