But there was one thing two robbers didn’t anticipate when they barged into a Benton Township Walgreens drugstore early Sunday and tried to march workers into the back room: A worker already in back carried a handgun and knew how to use it.
Township police Lt. Delmar Lange said the worker fired multiple shots at one of the bandits, forcing the men to flee.
“He could see the hostage situation developing,” Lange said. “He could not retreat any farther. He was in the back room. If it was me, I would have done the same thing.”
And how did Walgreens respond to an employee that very well may have saved the lives of himself and multiple other employees?
The Herald Palladium reports that the national chain fired 35 year old Jeremy Hoven, a licensed conceal and carry gun owner. Walgreens wouldn’t comment on the firing of Hoven…
I e-mailed them this morning informing them that I was not pleased with their decision:
My family and I have been loyal customers of Walgreens for many, many years.
That ends today.
An employee is a hero. Potentially saves the lives of himself and every other employee in that store, is lauded by the police for his actions….and you reward him by firing him.
Apparently, you would prefer to have several employees brutally murdered by armed assailants than have one of them violate company policy (I assume that’s going to be your excuse for firing him) by daring to be prepared to defend himself when working for an employer who so obviously doesn’t give two hoots about his well-being and that of his co-workers.
Of course, you are completely within your rights as an employer to set the terms of employment. You are completely within your rights to enforce a “no self defense” policy and abandon your employees to their fates.
And I’m within my rights to never set foot in your stores again; as I’m within my rights to be sure that everyone I know is aware of this situation so that they can make an informed decision for themselves. To that end, I’m cc’ing this e-mail to everyone I know who may be a customer of Walgreens and I’m going to be posting about it on my blog.
If you respond, I reserve the right to publish any response on my blog as well.
The bottom line is, unless you publicly rescind this policy, hire back the employee who was fired as well as giving him back pay for the time he missed, a bonus for the inconvenience and a raise for being a hero in the first place, I’m done with Walgreens.
Happily, there are plenty of alternatives.
Here is their response:
May 26, 2011
Thank you for taking your time to contact our Corporate Offices. We appreciate hearing from our customers and value all comments received.
Thank you for contacting Walgreens regarding this matter. Our policies in this area are designed to maintain the maximum safety of our customers and employees.Store employees receive comprehensive training on our company’s robbery procedures and how to react and respond to a potential robbery situation. In past incidents, employees have told us they’ve found this training effective.These policies and training programs are endorsed by law enforcement, which strongly advises against confrontation of crime suspects.Compliance is safer than confrontation. Through this practice, we have been able to maintain an exemplary record of safety.We’ve made significant investments in security technology in recent years, including increasing the number of digital surveillance cameras at our stores.With upgrades to security technology, we are able to provide police with high-resolution photographs and video of crime suspects.We continue to invest in state-of-the-art security measures and high-definition surveillance equipment and hope that the apprehension of robbery suspects in the Benton Harbor area will prevent future crimes. Thank you for contacting Walgreens to share your comments.
Again, thank you for contacting our corporate office. We truly appreciate you taking the time to share your comments.
Consumer Response Representative
I do not deign to try to tell others what to do, but I’ll not be darkening the door of a Walgreens again, and I’ll be telling everyone I know why, so that they can at least make an informed decision.
Hat Tip to The Clue Meter