Beginning in early 2014, Wal-Mart and the Amherst Police Department began discussions regarding the installation of a Police Field Office within the WalMart Superstore. The concept was rooted in accomplishing two primary goals: increasing police visibility at WalMart, and improving police operational efficiency. Wal-Mart Store Manager, Tony Tiner, was eager to move the concept forward and quickly gained corporate approval for the project. Manager Tiner and his Wal-Mart team have worked closely and generously with the Amherst Police Department over the years, and this project was no exception. In fact, the installation of this Field Office represents the culmination of that longstanding partnership.
The new Field Office provides officers and investigators with an alternate location to complete reports, make follow-up phone calls, hold meetings, and process low-risk criminal offenders who are detained for shoplifting or other offenses on store grounds. The random use of this office will add increased police visibility at Wal-Mart and is intended to help provide a measure of deterrence to criminal activity at the store. From a police operational standpoint, the Field Office allows officers assigned to the southern district of Amherst to complete their administrative duties without the need to return to the police station in the center of town. Instead of responding from headquarters to a call for service, officers are able respond more efficiently from the Field Office which is located directly within their patrol sector.
Wal-Mart Store Manager Tiner allocated a 300+ square foot area for the project which is situated along the storefront and within direct view of the main parking lot. Manager Tiner then provided the necessary materials and labor to enclose the area for office use, and installed a door and observation window which provide direct access to the store. Additional security cameras were then installed to increase 24/7 coverage of the parking lot, lobby, and store entrance points. Without Manager Tiner’s enthusiasm and dedication, the installation of this Field Office would not have been possible.
The Amherst Police Department next teamed up with long-time Amherst resident, Jack Reed, of JBR Associates. JBR Associates is a construction firm based in Amherst that specializes in the construction and renovation of commercial buildings. Since the company’s founding by Jack and his wife Barbara in 2004, JBR Associates has undertaken development projects with companies such as TD Bank, Citizens National Bank, Granite State Credit Union, Public Service of NH, as well as several other commercial enterprises. Mr. Reed generously donated not only his time and design expertise to this project, but also the materials and labor necessary to complete the office interior, along with enough office furniture to outfit the facility.
The Amherst Police Department recognizes the generosity and community spirit put forth by WalMart and JBR Associates, and thanks these two outstanding organizations and their respective leaders for helping our agency realize the core value inherent within our Mission Statement – that of achieving goals through partnership with the community. –Chief Reams