Reduce the Opportunity

Alfredo Arias, Executive VP, FlashFog Security

Editor’s Note: NCPA invited our Protect Your Pharmacy Now! partners at FlashFog Security to share tips on retail security. FlashFog Security offers a discount to NCPA members on its theft deterrent products. This blog is part of a weeklong series on pharmacy safety and security during Protect Your Pharmacy Week, April 16-20, 2012. For more information on how to receive the NCPA discount, please contact Valerie Briggs at

Criminals act based on perceived opportunity. This is great news as it gives you a single point of attack in your security investment strategy. Your job is to make it look as though you care about not being robbed or burglarized. Showing you care reduces the opportunity.

Here are good ways to show you care:

  1. Talk to the criminal. Signs that reference security add to an overall sense of care. If your safe has a timer on it, mention it. If you have hidden cameras, mention that too. This should create a “theme” to the crook casing you.
  2. Similarly, just the act of saying hello to every single patron not only helps with your sales but jolts potential criminals. Have a bell that announces every time a person walks in. Place signs on restricted areas.
  3. Try to get police to visit you. Donut shops are famous for giving police free donuts. Can you think of a similar incentive?
  4. Invest in unorthodox security. Security fog, criminal-tagging DNA sprays, face recognition, video analytics and other cutting edge technologies further reinforce the better-go-somewhere-else theme. Again the key here is to advertise that you are prepared to go the extra mile. The less they have heard of it, the more they will be afraid of it.
  5. Do not let your security look decrepit. If your alarm decals look worn out, make your alarm company send you new ones. Make sure they go everywhere, including ladders leading to the ceiling, the outside of customer bathrooms doors, etc. If your cameras look like a museum piece, get new ones. Note in some jurisdictions dummy cameras can expose you to liability with a false sense of security. So check local laws before deploying dummy cameras.
  6. Lastly don’t forget your internal shrink. Your employees should feel that you are watching. Make it abundantly clear accountability is part of the company culture.

These displays of security stand out to a criminal just as product displays stand out to customers. Except those displays are to attract buyers; your security displays are to deter criminals. Both are appealing to a sense of opportunity. That is the key.

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