QuikTrip to add armed work­ers

The Oklahoman - - NEWS - BY ANNA CODUTTI Tulsa World anna.codutti @tul­saworld.com

TULSA — Off-duty po­lice of­fi­cers and se­cu­rity guards are com­mon sights at many QuikTrips, but soon the com­pany hopes to hire “hy­brid em­ploy­ees” who can work at the con­ve­nience store while armed to de­ter crime and help cus­tomers feel safe.

QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thorn­brugh said the need for in­creased se­cu­rity is a re­sult of the high vol­ume of crimes re­ported at QT lo­ca­tions.

“We have a lot of stores, and not just Tulsa, where we have had and still will have off-duty po­lice of­fi­cers help­ing out, and a lot have full-time out­side se­cu­rity,” he said. “I wish we didn’t have to, but that’s the world we live in.”

The hy­brid em­ployee pro­gram would not re­place the need for those of­fi­cers, Thorn­brugh said, but is the “next step” for the com­pany that takes safety se­ri­ously. He noted that ev­ery QuikTrip has 24-hour mon­i­tor­ing, as well as the lat­est and best sur­veil­lance equip­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to Thorn­brugh, QuikTrip has been test­ing the hy­brid em­ployee pro­gram for six months at a few lo­ca­tions in Wi­chita, Kansas. There are vis­ual cues that make it easy to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween reg­u­lar QT work­ers and the hy­brid em­ploy­ees, who are armed, he said.

“Our em­ploy­ees like it, cus­tomers re­ally like it, and we’re see­ing all kinds of (se­cu­rity and crimere­lated) in­ci­dents just plum­met,” Thorn­brugh said. “Cus­tomers re­ally like it that we’re try­ing some­thing that’s mak­ing a dif­fer­ence.”

QuikTrip be­gan ad­ver­tis­ing early this month for the new po­si­tion, which pays about $35 an hour but re­quires a spe­cific kind of job can­di­date.

Thorn­brugh said it was a chal­lenge re­cruit­ing in Wi­chita for the job.

He said few peo­ple with weapons cer­ti­fi­ca­tions and law en­force­ment train­ing may be in­ter­ested in do­ing the daily work of a con­ve­nience store, but “there’s the right per­son for this job, and we’re pa­tient.” When asked about a time­frame for hir­ing the first hy­brid em­ploy­ees, Thorn­brugh said there was noth­ing set in stone, but it would be “sooner rather than later.”

[PHOTO BY DOUG HOKE, THE OK­LA­HOMAN]

U.S. Rep-elect Ken­dra Horn is in­ter­viewed Fri­day at the of­fice of The Ok­la­homan.

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