Residents voice concern about Kroger security changes -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Residents voice concern about Kroger security changes

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Some residents worry armed security guards may disappear from their area Kroger.

"I worked here back when I was in high school, and we had security guards, and they were armed," said Hermitage resident Heath Robinson. "I think it's ridiculous. What's the point in having security guards if they're not armed? You might as well put a security uniform on a cashier. It's the same thing."

10 TV in Columbus, OH has acquired a letter sent from the US Protection Service to their guards saying employees will carry "no weapons (including knives and guns), no handcuffs, no chemical repellent, no baton. A black belt should replace your duty belt while working at Kroger."

"We have numerous means to provide security in our stores," said Kroger spokesperson Melissa Eads.

Eads declined to say whether local security guards would continue to be armed, adding the company doesn't share specific security plans. She did say Kroger recently decided to make changes to security, though the changes vary from store to store based on what's happened there the past three years.

"We do an analysis of our security plans in each store. And we did recently conduct one of those studies," said Eads. "One of the things we looked at are the crime index around each store as well as our own store incident reports."

Security has been a concern of some area shoppers, with the East Thompson Lane Kroger the site of a fatal shooting in 2011, and a fatal stabbing in 2007. The most recent violence was a double shooting at the Mount View Road Kroger in July.

"After this recent study, we've actually added hours in this area as far as security is concerned," said Eads. "The safety and security of our customers and our associates is our top priority, always has been and will continue to be."

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