The Retail Crime Investigations and Partnerships Seminar was a joint effort between the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County and the Walker County District Attorney’s Office. Officials with both groups said more than 150 people, from as far away as Tennessee, attended the forum.
“I’m overwhelmed by the turnout,” District Attorney Bill Adair said. “I feel like today was a tremendous success.”
Adair said he spoke with several business owners who were appreciative of the seminar.
“I had one store manager to tell me that this was something they would have expected to see in a large city like Birmingham or Nashville,” he said. “That’s a huge compliment.”
One of the more interactive sessions of the seminar was when retailers had the opportunity to ask questions of a former booster, someone whose sole purpose is to resell stolen merchandise.
“I think the businesses who were here took a lot of knowledge home with them,” Chamber President Linda Lewis said. “The professionals who led the sessions did a tremendous job of keeping everyone engaged.”
Sessions were taught by members of the Regional Organized Crime Information Center and the Secret Service. Training topics included organized retail crime foundations, loss prevention/asset protection concepts and practices, concealment methods, shoplifting legal updates, relationships between loss prevention and law enforcement and counterfeit currency and illegal credit card use.
The seminar also had breakout sessions exclusive to members of law enforcement. Those sessions detailed retail crime cases from start to finish.
“This is the third year in a row that our office has provided training to members of law enforcement,” Adair said. “It’s something that I feel we need to do each year.”
Adair and Lewis said they expect to continue to grow the relationship between the chamber and the DA’s office.
“Linda was already asking what we could do next,” Adair said. “The chamber does an outstanding job and is a great benefit to all of Walker County and Jasper. I appreciate the relationship we have with the chamber and expect we will continue to work together to put on events like today’s seminar.”