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NJFC Addresses Hometown Security At Conference, Expo

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The New Jersey Food Council, in partnership with the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association and the Delaware Food Industry Council, addressed security issues in the food industry Nov. 2 at the 2022 Mid-Atlantic Loss Prevention Conference and Expo.

Under the theme “Hometown Security,” the annual conference focused on updates about the current threat landscape, security preparedness, situational awareness, best practices and how to best work closely with law enforcement agencies.

Awards were presented to local law enforcement officials and individuals committed to loss prevention. The program was developed with the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.

“This is a critical time to share insight and collaborate with law enforcement in order to shield our shoppers and minimize impact to retailers,” said Linda Doherty, president and CEO, New Jersey Food Council.

“Our comprehensive program on Hometown Security took a deep dive into threat assessments, such as recent tragic supermarket shootings, response capabilities, extremist activities in the workplace, perimeter protection, catastrophic insurance guidelines, grief counseling, homeland security programs and new state concealed carry gun directives. These issues represent all pertinent security issues retailers face today.”

The event offered several presentations, including:

  • Erik Daab and Bob Stemmer from the New Jersey Attorney General’s office discussed concealed carry guidelines now that the courts have loosened longstanding laws.
  • State Police Lt. Pete Mosteller discussed the Real Time Crime Center’s work in homeland security. Mosteller is an 18-year veteran of the state police, assigned as the assistant bureau chief of the Information & Intelligence Analysis Bureau, which oversees the regional crime centers.
  • Extremism in the workplace, crisis intervention and grief counseling were the focus of Steve Crimando, director of training for the department’s disaster and terrorism branch at the New Jersey Department of Human Resources. He was followed by Wendy Chin, an emergency response coordinator, who has been with the branch for more than 10 years.
  • Another important topic of discussion was the New Jersey Shield and the Global Shield Network, presented by Jesse Harnett, an administrative analyst with the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.

Awards were also presented to professionals who design and implement new strategies to combat loss prevention.

The 2022 Mid-Atlantic Loss Prevention Professional Award, honoring people who have advanced the mission of loss prevention, was presented to Mike Nelson, regional director of asset protection at Wegmans Food Markets.

“Mike is an outstanding professional and well-respected leader,” said Tina Pilate of Wegmans, a past honoree. 

“He has mentored numerous members of asset protection leadership to successfully transition into their role. Mike has also developed and maintained numerous valuable contacts with all branches of law enforcement in the tri-state area. Those relationships have helped with many high-level cases over the years that either were criminal in nature or could have been a detriment to human safety on various levels.”

The Loss Prevention Planning Committee honored three law enforcement organizations or people whose work serves as a blueprint for effective public/private partnerships and the building of relationships with the retail community to work toward common goals and public safety.

Winners of the 2022 Retail Law Enforcement Achievement Award include:

  • Mount Laurel Police Detective Joshua Treusch, who helped track and arrest two suspects who had been robbing multiple retailers in the local community.
  • Detective Michael Vining of the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department organized the Hope 1 Van for Narcan training at multiple locations, teaching store employees and community members how to administer Narcan and how to help those facing drug issues.
  • The Medford Township Police Department, represented by Chief Arthur Waterman, Capt. William Dunleavy, Lt. James D’Averso, Lt. George Jackson and Detective Patrick Robey, was also honored. The Medford police presented multiple active shooter trainings for the general public and for Murphy Market’s store management teams.

To read more association news from The Shelby Report, click here.

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