Wyoming’s Laramie County Sheriff Brian Kozak is forming an old-fashioned volunteer “posse” to help retailers keep an eye out for shoplifters and other potential criminals during the upcoming holiday shopping season, he told Newsmax on Tuesday.
“There’s a perception with our retailers that crime has gone up, property loss has gone up, and I think that is because of what’s happening around us – we’re pretty close to Denver, Colorado,” Kozak told “National Report.” “I put a call out to the citizens: Let’s form a posse, like we did in the old West, and let’s do something about this; let’s make sure that crime doesn’t get out of control here in Cheyenne and Laramie County, Wyoming.
“And it’s been overwhelming support. People want to join the posse.”
Kozak said the citizen volunteers for the posse would be trained, have radios, and be in uniform, but would not have the authority to detain or arrest anyone.
“They’re going to be the eyes and the ears of the sheriff’s department and also local law enforcement, the police department here,” he said. “We’re going to deploy them. They’re going to be in uniform, they’re going to have a radio that has a direct link to a sheriff’s deputy that is going to be in the area with them, so that they can call us when they see suspicious activity, or they see a crime happening.
“We are going to work together with the public to make sure these crimes don’t occur here.”
Newsweek reported in August that retail thefts including shoplifting and organized crime rings became a $94.5 billion industry nationwide in 2021 as estimated by the National Retail Federation.
Target reported a loss of $500 million in profit during an earnings call with CEO Brian Cornell in May, calling theft and organized retail crime “increasingly important drivers” for the losses in profit, the report said.
“These civilian volunteers, we’re going to give them training, they are going to have background checks, and they’re not allowed to make arrest or detain people,” Kozak said. “They’re simply going to report to law enforcement when a crime has taken place, or if they see suspicious activity, because we got to leave that up to the professionals to do the dangerous work, which is going to be our police officers and our deputy sheriffs.”
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Charles Kim ✉
Charles Kim, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years in reporting on news and politics.
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