QuikTrip hiring `hybrid employees'
They would be allowed to be armed and placed to help deter crimes His book, `Serving Our Country,' includes the stories of 65 veterans
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
Meeting the men and women who served in World War II and telling their stories in the Tulsa World's “Veterans Remember” series has shown reporter Tim Stanley how truly remarkable “The Greatest Generation” is.
“Maybe the most heroic thing about them was not so much that they fought this war, but what they did afterward: They came back home and lived their lives,” Stanley says.
“Although they'd been witness to — many of them firsthand — the worst that humanity could do, they didn't use that as an excuse to
had and still will have offduty 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. 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 crime-related) 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.
“We can find people with the qualifications and credentials (at the law enforcement-level), but they also have to buy into the QuikTrip culture and beliefs,” Thornbrugh said.
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.”
“To us, it's kind of like community policing,” Thornbrugh said. “A lot of times when you see an individual and talk to them, it'll stop them from doing something foolish. Sometimes it won't, and that's when law enforcement comes in.”