An Indianapolis, Indiana, Starbucks location in the city’s downtown is the latest to close due to public safety concerns, which has confused some business owners and community members who claim not to have had any problems with crime.
“We have not been made aware of any type of security issue,” Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Downtown District Commander Phil Burton told Fox 59. “We are doing everything we can. to ensure the safety of those who live, work, and visit downtown, so this is truly an unfortunate incident, Starbucks not reaching out to me as a commander, let alone my community relations sergeant or any officer by the way.
The Monument Circle location will close from October 28, according to local reports. A Starbucks spokesperson confirmed the closure of Fox 59, explaining that “the company’s first priority is to ensure that our partners are safe on the job.”
“We regularly review the partner and customer experience in our stores to see if the store is thriving, if partners (employees) feel supported and if we are meeting customer needs. Our local leaders are, and have always been , empowered to use the many resources at their disposal to change how stores operate and create the best experience for our communities. But if necessary, we will make the decision to close a store,” the spokesperson said.
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“Our first priority is to make sure our partners are safe at work. We will continue to work to ensure partners can focus on making great drinks and bonding in a safe, warm and welcoming environment. “
Burton called the closure “unfortunate” and lamented that the chain did not speak to police about any concerns before a closure decision was made. A call was made to Starbucks police in 2022, according to Fox 59, for a report of theft and assault by an employee. The suspect has been arrested in the case.
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“Yeah, downtown is very safe,” Burton told WRTV. “Downtown crime is only about 5% of all crime in the city of Indianapolis.”
Business owners who operate near Starbucks’ location expressed shock at the closure, saying they weren’t concerned about crime.
“I have police officers who come, not only as customers, but they come every morning every day just to say hello and see how we are. For me, I have no worries with my safety or that of my staff because we have protocols in place,” Kim Nething, owner of candy and soda store Rocket Fizz, told the outlet.
The manager of the nearby soup shop, Soupremacy, echoed Nething saying she too had no safety concerns for her staff.
“I don’t feel in danger. I think you know, we have a lot of homeless people here, but they’re staying pretty much alone,” Chrystal Chadwick said. “We don’t have a lot of people asking to use the toilet. If they do, they buy something, I let them use the toilet.”
“I personally just got off the streets not too long ago, so I know what it’s like to be out there,” Chadwick explained.
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Republican members of the city council, however, sounded the alarm after the announcement, calling on city leaders to tackle crime problems before they potentially soar.
“For years we’ve said this city needs to take public safety seriously, and now businesses are closing on Monument Circle because we can’t keep it safe. It’s time for the district attorney, mayor and council to stand up. come together to try to address this issue before it escalates. We look forward to action,” Indianapolis-Marion County City Councilman Brian Mowery wrote in a statement on his behalf and on behalf of of four other Republican council members, according to local outlet WISH.
Starbucks officials announced in July that 16 stores across the country were closing for safety reasons.
Workers “see firsthand the challenges facing our communities – personal safety, racism, lack of access to health care, a growing mental health crisis, rising drug use, etc.,” the workers said in July. senior vice presidents of US operations at Starbucks. .
Acting Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz warned that the initial closures were “just the beginning” and that more permanent closures were planned.
“We’re starting to close stores” for safety reasons, Schultz said in a video posted to social media in July. “This is just the beginning. There will be many more.”
Another site was closed in New Orleans earlier this month due to security concerns. New Orleans became the nation’s murder capital from September, toppling St. Louis as murders rose to 52 homicides per 100,000 population.
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Starbucks did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment Sunday morning. Employees at the Monument Circle location will have the option of relocating to a nearby Starbucks location, according to Fox 59.
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