EDITORIAL: Wasted resources at Walmart

If you’re a regular reader of the Kearny Police Blotter in this newspaper — and we know many of you are — you could almost guarantee one thing will be in it each and every week — an entry or three about shoplifting incidents at the Walmart.

Week after week, there are criminals out there who, for whatever the reason, truly believe they’re going to get away with … stuffing their pants with shrimp, scanning one out of every six items on the self-checkout lane, walking right out of the store without having seen a cashier … and so on and on and on.

Week after week, there are criminals out there who, for whatever the reason, truly believe they’ll be the ones who outsmart the loss-prevention agents whose only responsibility is to ensure everyone pays for their merchandise.

Week after week, these criminals, many of whom come from out of town, are most guilty of “stealing” vital police resources, in the form of patrol officers who are forced to go to Walmart, transport the accused to headquarters, fingerprint the fools and fill out reports, all while they could be on the streets where they should be, fighting much larger and more serious crimes.

As this problem grows, it’s becoming more and more obvious that this store is not doing enough to self-police. Whether it’s in the form of visible security (if they’re there, it’s hard to see them) or in any number of potential deterrents, this business that no question has been a great tax ratable for Kearny for a decade-plus has become much more of a drain than it has anything else.

It was just recently that the Kearny Police Department approached proper staffing numbers as prescribed by the Table of Organization — but that table does not take into account all the resources that continue to be used for Walmart.

Here’s the bottom line — Walmart has got to do better than this. The men and women of the Kearny PD are all expertly trained to fight crime. But when they have to constantly waste hours upon hours of each shift heading to the Newark-Jersey City Turnpike because some numskull decides he wants surf and turf for dinner that night — but doesn’t want to pay for it — it couldn’t be more clear something has to be done to fix this.

And it should not be the responsibility of the KPD, Chief George King and its members. Instead, Walmart, it’s time to wake up, smell the rotten eggs (across the street at the Keegan) and do something about it.

Enough is enough already. Let the KPD do what they’re supposed to be doing.

Stop wasting valuable resources that should be pointed elsewhere.

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.