Digital Media Center
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Gate 61
920 Paul Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0370
(800) 654-4262

© 2024 Alabama Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Opelika city Taskforce reduces retail crime with mobile security units

LiveView Technologies

The city of Opelika has seen a 10% decrease in crime during a task force aimed to reduce the number of incidents in the city that sees a higher than average crime rate.

The Access TaskForce was a collaboration between the city of Opelika, LiveView Technologies and a number of major retailers in the area. The team worked to collect data before, during and after the task force to accurately measure its effectiveness.

LiveView Technologies is the leading force behind the project’s success. The software company deployed 17 mobile security units in the parking lots of different retailers across the city. These security units were used to stop crime before it happened.

Matt Kelley, the head of retail at LVT, believes that the collaboration of teamwork along with the use of the security units worked to send a message to potential shoplifters.

“It’s really about creating an impression of control in that community,” said Kelley. “[It’s] Letting the ‘bad actors’ know that the retailers and the local governments and police department are really making an investment to mitigate their likelihood of crime happening in those communities.”

A report from the ACCESS TaskForce states that there was a 40% decrease in shoplifting. There were over 130 incidents in the six months prior to the security units and 82 incidents in the six months after the units were removed.

“We really are doing a scientific study. So, you need to see what the data was telling you before you had the treatment deployed during the time that the units are on site and then you need to remove them to see what the overall impact is,” said Kelley.

As of now, LVT has packed up their security units. Kelley said that the effort was put in place to collect data but there could be future where these units are used both in and outside of retail in a more permanent setting.

“A version two may look something like that, where we give the option to the retailers to keep the units on site,” said Kelley. “It’s not just for retailers … A version two of this could probably be in partnership with local law enforcement and communities and people outside of the retail space."

Hannah Holcombe is a student intern at the Alabama Public Radio newsroom. She is a Sophomore at the University of Alabama and is studying news media. She has a love for plants, dogs and writing. She hopes to pursue a career as a reporter.
News from Alabama Public Radio is a public service in association with the University of Alabama. We depend on your help to keep our programming on the air and online. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.