Read Mean Jean's Country Club Plaza Open Letter: Will Her Plan Curb Rising Crime???

A seemingly desperate holiday note doesn't offer much hope to struggling merchants. 

Here's the text highlight that offers more insight into an idea that we talked about last month:

Dear Country Club Plaza associate:

The Jackson County Prosecutor's Office in recent months has spoken with employees, managers, security, and owners of the Plaza. These conversations were to better understand the problems facing the Plaza and to find solutions. While retail theft is on the rise nationally, we have found ourselves in a better position than many other shopping districts around the country. While that is positive news, it is not sufficient to address crime. We wanted to develop more specific plans to help managers and employees have a sense of safety at their place of employment and reduce crime.

Through a partnership of Plaza Security, our office will create a more expedient and direct path to the Prosecutor's Office for information regarding thefts or other disturbances. Plaza Security will send video surveillance directly to our office for immediate review to determine if sufficient evidence exists for a criminal investigation for organized thefts or those believed to be habitual offenders of retail theft. This direct communication will move potential cases forward more expediently to my office. After review by Jackson County prosecutors, investigations will be forwarded to the Kansas City, MO Police Department for further investigation. We also will coordinate with Municipal Court, which also handles theft cases.

Further, my office will issue charges with the assistance of businesses against those who carry weapons illegally. For those who post signs conducive with Missouri law that "weapons are not allowed" inside the business, we will examine that conduct for a law violation. Missouri law authorizes charges for those who bring weapons inside a store where signage is posted. We will work with Plaza Security regarding the procedures and training for store managers and employees who request it for this effort.

These types of prosecutor-retailer partnerships are a growing effort here and around the nation. Our office recently initiated a successful partnership with other entertainment districts to reduce theft and other crimes in the area. The National District Attorneys Association has offered support through a national partnership to reduce retail crime, focusing on direct communication between prosecutors and retailers to deter retail crime.

We know that partnership and collaboration can produce surprising and positive results. I believe we can produce a safer city for all if we partner together for all.

Jean Peters Baker

Read more via link . . .

Jackson County prosecutor targets retail theft on Country Club Plaza with new approach

In a National Retail Federation survey, the problem of retail shrinkage (theft) cost nearly $100 billion for the industry, twice the $45.2 billion reported in 2015.