Bookstore executes new security policy

By Joelle McGinnis

The Holmes Student Center Bookstore has implemented a new security policy to be used until the installation of the proposed electronic security system, bookstore manager Stanley Shedaker said.

The new policy was created in response to a $68,793 shrinkage in bookstore profits. The shrinkage amount includes shoplifting losses, damage losses and internal losses.

“We’re trying to create an atmosphere where shoplifting is unacceptable,” Shedaker said.

He said the policy was developed through a joint effort of the bookstore, University Legal Counsel and the judicial office in an attempt to reduce theft from the bookstore.

The new security procedures state “concealment of merchandise is considered a violation of NIU Judicial Code.” Students will be stopped by employees for concealment to eliminate the need to follow students suspected of shoplifting, Shedaker said.

He said students who are stopped for concealment will be asked for identification and then asked to return the merchandise. Students will receive a warning for the first offense, he said.

Shedaker said a notice of inappropriate behavior form will be completed by the bookstore if a student is stopped a second time for concealment.

The student will be subject to judicial review “in anticipation that appropriate sanctions will be imposed,” the procedures state.

Depending on the situation the student also might have limited access to the bookstore, Shedaker said.

If the student stopped by an employee “is verbally abusive, refuses to return possibly concealed merchandise, threatens bookstore employees, refuses to produce identification and proceeds to leave the store,” the employee will ask the individual to come to the manager’s office to fill out an “immediate formal writeup,” the procedures state.

If the student refuses to cooperate, University Police will be called in for assistance.

Shedaker said oversized purses, briefcases, backpacks and book bags are not permitted in the store and must be left in the bookdrops or coin lockers. If brought in to the bookstore, such bags will be subject to examination by bookstore employees, the procedures state.

The procedures will apply to NIU students only, Shedaker said. Non-students are subject to state and local laws and will be treated accordingly.

Student Center Director Marlin Tenboer said the procedures will be posted until the electronic system is in operation. The procedures will be reviewed and updated, he said.

James Harder, interim vice president for business and operations, said the request for an electronic security system was made late last year.

Shedaker said bids open for the electronic security system on Feb. 17.