3 Midwestern Grocers Boost Active-Shooter Preparedness, Response Training

FMI and TPOP have teamed to improve industry safety and security
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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Buffalo Tops Flowers Main Image
Flowers left by grieving community members after the racially motivated shooting at a Tops Markets store in Buffalo, N.Y., this past May.

FMI – The Food Industry Association and The Power of Preparedness (TPOP), an online training platform specializing in active-shooter preparedness and de-escalation techniques, have revealed partnerships with three Midwestern food retail chains: Dierbergs Markets, Heinen’s Grocery Store and Schnucks Markets. With the introduction of TPOP training, management and employees at these companies are receiving customized e-learning that will improve their preparedness for potential incidents of workplace violence, including active-shooter events. 

“While mass shooting incidents are on the rise across our country, the recent increase in active-shooter events in grocery stores has the entire industry exploring security and risk mitigation training,” noted Dan Stechow, president and CEO of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based TPOP. “During COVID, food retailers have been on the front line supporting their communities. Unfortunately, they have also experienced a steady increase in workplace violence, some of it deadly. With the help of our partners at FMI, we’re pleased to bring TPOP’s expert online training to these household names in food retail in order to enhance their employee safety and preparedness.” 

Added Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based FMI: “Supermarkets are a critical part of every thriving community. Protecting their employee teams in the face of increasing threats is paramount, and The Power of Preparedness gives them the resources to exercise their muscle memory if they are ever faced with an unimaginable crisis situation. We are pleased to see our members taking advantage of the program and the associated member discount.”

“Every U.S. food retailer is looking for ways to mitigate risk and protect its staff,” said Tim Larouere, director of loss prevention at Chesterfield, Mo.-based Dierbergs. “TPOP’s ability to provide us with a customized version for food retail really met our needs.” 

“For our organization, TPOP’s customization capabilities for the grocery industry and our organization were the deciding factor in choosing the content,” observed Cliff Gerbick, safety manager at Cleveland, Ohio-based Heinen’s. “Having access to relevant learning specific to all our facilities – including our retail stores, warehouses, manufacturing and main offices – has provided our associates with realistic expectations for how to react to an active-shooter situation. Not only that, but our associates have informed us that they appreciate that the content was provided in meaningful ways.”  

“At Schnucks, we prioritize safety as we put our customers first, and our team deserves the very best preparedness training available,” said Matthew Redmond, director of security at the St. Louis-based grocer, which is No. 64 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. “TPOP’s course helped us support our teammates by addressing the challenges we face in grocery retail through succinct, easily digestible training.”

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