A recent spike in criminal activity at Walmart stores across the nation has left many police departments stretched thin. Since 2015, police in several cities in Florida, Massachusetts, and Colorado have responded to a total of more than 7,000 phone calls.
In 2015 alone, police departments in Jacksonville, Florida answered 5,298 calls involving 15 Walmart stores. Separately, police in Chicopee, Massachusetts had to reposition patrol cars in the city in order to accommodate the 1,294 calls they received last year. Chicopee Officer Mike Wilk told Inside Edition that on average, police are at a Walmart once or twice a day.
“There are days when I run out of handcuffs”
In Westminster, Colorado, four Walmart stores accounted for 2,140 calls made to police. Just seven miles away, in Lakeside, Colorado, a small town with a police force consisting of only 12 officers, police have responded to 1,270 calls. “There are days when I run out of handcuffs,” one Lakeside police officer said.
In light of this recent increase in criminal activity, Walmart says customer safety and reducing crime is a top priority. In a company statement, Walmart said: “we’ve made additional investments in people and technology to support our stores, as well as increased our outreach to law enforcement across the country. We are pleased with the early results in many communities and are seeing firsthand reduction in calls for police service.”
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