Investigation: Walmarts Abuse Local Police Force Resources

An investigation by the Tampa Bay Times finds Walmart stores treating local police forces like their own personal security forces.

May 13, 2016, 2:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


K2 images / Shutterstock

Zachary T. Sampson, Laura C. Morel, and Eli Murray summarize the results of an investigation by the Tampa Bay Times: "Law enforcement logged nearly 16,800 calls in one year to Walmarts in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties…" Do that math and that equals "two calls an hour, every hour, every day."

The problem with all those calls placed to the cops: it's costing taxpayer's money, at the expense of public safety in other parts of those communities, at a much higher rate than other retail centers.

When it comes to calling the cops, Walmart is such an outlier compared with its competitors that experts criticized the corporate giant for shifting too much of its security burden onto taxpayers. Several local law enforcement officers also emphasized that all the hours spent at Walmart cut into how often they can patrol other neighborhoods and prevent other crimes.

The article offers a feature-length examination of the Times analysis of thousands of records and dozens of interviews, investigating the impact on local policing of 53 Walmarts in the Tampa region. Tons of statistics and expert commentary on the findings are included.

Friday, May 13, 2016 in Tampa Bay Times

A group of people gather in front of a row of small homes.

Georgia's First Tiny Home Village Now Open, and Sold Out

Eight single-family houses on a half-acre of land.

July 25, 2021 - Urbanize Atlanta

Adams Morgan pedestrian zone during COVID-19 pandemic

The Most Complete Map of U.S. Pedestrian Risk Yet

New research published by the Journal of Transport and Land Use analyzes tens of thousands of pedestrian fatalities over 16 years in the United States.

July 20, 2021 - Streetsblog USA

Tall buildings in Downtown Phoenix.

Arizona's Tallest Building Will Soon Be Vacant

The tallest building in the Grand Canyon State will enter a new era.

July 21, 2021 - KJZZ

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.