Businesses invited to new Crime-Free program - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Businesses invited to new Crime-Free program

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - The Iowa City, Coralville and Cedar Rapids police departments are joining a new initiative to make local businesses safer. The Crime-Free Business Program is an effort to help stores that are susceptible to robberies and violence. Any business can take part, free of cost. The program is based on research being done by the University of Iowa.

"It's all about keeping not only the employees and employers safe, but citizens and customers safe as well," said Iowa City police officer Jorey Bailey.

Officer Bailey says the Crime-Free Business program begins with an on-site survey of a business. Bailey will look at several factors, which contribute to a building's overall safety.

"Lighting, funneling people and customers through one door...making the cash register visible from the outside and allowing that natural surveillance."

From there, he'll present the business with set of guidelines, that if followed, allow it to be certified "crime-free."

"We want to help them bring in customers and make it a clean, safe place for everybody."

A training kit for managers and employees comes free of charge. It offers tips on making sure entrances and locks are safe and secure. Bailey says cash management is also a key part of crime-free certification.

"Criminals do their research as well, and they know the businesses that keep a lot of cash on-hand." Bailey do check-backs at three months and one year to make sure the business is following up on the program's guidelines.

Only a half-dozen cities in the nation are participating in this program so far. If your business to take part, you can contact the Iowa City, Coralville or Cedar Rapids police departments.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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