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Walmart: No plans to increase security after El Paso shooting

Police block a roadway after the mass shooting

Police block a roadway after the mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday. Photo Credit: EPA / Shutterstock / Ivan Pierre Aguirre

Walmart said it has no plans to increase security at its stores following a deadly attack that killed 22 at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart Saturday. Hours later, a shooting in a popular nightlife area in Dayton, Ohio, left nine people dead early Sunday.

While safety is a top priority, “at this time there is no directive to increase security” at the company’s stores, Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said.  

“We plan to continue relying on the programs and measures we currently have in place and will continue to assess the need and deploy additional resources as necessary,” he said Monday.

Security measures at Walmart stores across the country include surveillance cameras, employing “asset protection associates,” who Hargrove said “are tasked with the duty of protecting the retailer’s property, merchandise and staff” but are unarmed, and security guards who patrol the parking lots of some stores.

Some Walmart locations are guarded by armed, uniformed off-duty police officers, he said.

“As of 2015, all Walmart employees must complete an active shooter training program on a quarterly basis,” Hargrove said. “The goal of the program is to train our associates on how they should react and respond if an open fire situation were to take place, with the focus being, of course, on how to get themselves and customers to a safer place.”

New Hyde Park-based shopping center owner Kimco Realty Corp., also said it has no new security measures planned following the deadly weekend.

Tenants at the company’s shopping centers are responsible for security at their individual stores, said David Bujnicki, Kimco senior vice president of investor relations and strategy.

The company owns hundreds of shopping centers across the country, including about 30 on Long Island, including Airport Plaza in East Farmingdale.

“We have a close working relationship with local authorities,” Bujnicki said, “and have on-site security personnel and video surveillance at many of our properties.”

The company increases its security efforts when centers host community events and special activities, he said.

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