Friday, May 20, 2011

Saying No To Self-Protection

Saying no to self-protection seems to the modus operandi within corporate America. I put this down to risk managers making the calculation that it is cheaper to pay a death claim on a murdered employee than it to defend a lawsuit filed by a personal injury lawyer on behalf of a criminal.

The latest case involves the Walgreen's chain of pharmacies.

Jeremy Hoven was the night shift pharmacist at the Benton Township, Michigan Walgreens. I say "was" because he was fired by Walgreens after he stopped an armed robbery by firing his 3-4 shots from his revolver at the criminals. Mr. Hoven holds a Michigan concealed carry permit and was one of four employees in the store when the attempted robbery took place. According to his interview with the Herald-Palladium of Southwest Michigan,
Hoven said his first hint something was wrong was seeing a manager run into a storeroom on the building's west side. Seconds later he saw a man brandishing a handgun, guiding the second manager around the shelf at the northeast corner.

"The first thing I tried to do was dial 911 but I couldn't get it done," Hoven said. "Within seconds he was over the counter. And I'm looking at the wrong end of a 9-millimeter (gun). He was holding it gangster-style" - sideways.

The robber had jumped over the counter, leaving the manager in the aisle. The robber came within a few feet of Hoven.

Hoven said the only thing behind the attacker was a cinder block wall. Thus he pulled his gun and fired three or four shots.

"I was creating a safe zone for myself," he said.

The attacker tried to fire back, but his gun either malfunctioned or the safety had been left on, Hoven said.
Mr. Hoven says he would do it again because he knows he did the right thing in protecting himself and his fellow employees.

As to Walgreens, on this past Monday they informed him by e-mail that he was fired. Frankly, I do not plan to give my patronage to a store that (a) cares so little about their employees' safety and (b) has so little class that they fire the guy by e-mail.

H/T Brian


  1. Their response to my complaint about firing Mr. Hoven:

    May 19, 2011
    Dear PT
    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.
    Rori R
    Consumer Response Representative
    Ref # 3084601

  2. Just lower your head, and shuffle to the train.

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