TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- QuikTrip has hired 11 full-time employees to fill a new role providing armed security. These hybrid employees help out where they are needed in stores across the city and protect them.
“It’s made a big difference,” said Mike Thornbrugh, spokesman for QuikTrip. “We love it.”
He said the employees are part of QuikTrip’s push to keep crime and the people who cause it away.
“When they see our folks inside the stores, they literally will walk in and bee line and take off,” he said.
QuikTrip used to hire off-duty law enforcement or security guards to work part-time.
He said there are many things that have contributed to QuikTrip stores becoming targets, especially here in Tulsa. He recently told Channel 8 that Tulsa had the highest amount of crime at their stores.
“There’s no question a lot of people are down on their luck,” he said. “There’s no question there’s more homelessness. There’s substance abuse issues out there, and yes, some of the changes that were made in regards to penalties for some of the crimes has added to it as well.”
Thornbrugh said they aren’t releasing percentage wise how much crime has gone down, but they do track it.
“Theft is down,” he said. “Less people are loitering around and panhandling, and so, it’s working and the customers from this point who we’ve heard from, they like it, the proactive stance that we’ve taken, and our employees absolutely are thrilled with it.”
Jeanne Pierce with Tulsa police said they’ve noticed the difference.
“We actually have seen a decrease in crime, especially armed robberies,” she said.
It’s also helping out their officers to focus on helping more people.
“Our detectives that mostly investigate larcenies from convenient stores, stuff like that, they do other crimes also like go assaults and hit-and-runs, so now they can focus on other crimes," she said.
Thornbrugh said these new employees are exceeding expectations, which is why they will be hiring more people in the future.
“We’re pleased,” he said.
Right now, QuikTrip isn’t announcing which QuikTrips these employees are working at but say they are placing them where they are needed.
Applicants must have weapons, first aid and other certifications to apply for this job. QuikTrip is also requiring experience as a peace officer, reserve officer, armed security guard or military service.