Not every incident happens on your property, but your security may still have a critical role to play in order to keep everyone safe. It was a fairly busy Sunday morning in November for Officer Raven Brown. She began her shift at a grocery store in New Orleans, where most shoppers consisted of older patrons and folks that had just attended church. All seemed like an ordinary day and everyone was busily going about their business selecting food and groceries. Officer Brown moved casually from the back of the store to the front, conducting a regular rove, making her presence known and greeting shoppers as they entered. Store Manager Sholanda Reynolds was in the back also going about her normal routine. As customary, Officer Brown eventually positioned herself at the front of the store facing the registers while observing customers and employees with her back to parking lot.
As she stood watching the two cashiers assisting customers, loud gunfire unexpectedly interrupted the casual atmosphere. The exploding noises startled everyone including Officer Brown. Responding quickly, she immediately acted to protect the patrons and employees by directing everyone to get down — and stay there! As the gunfire continued, Officer Brown contacted law enforcement to report the situation. At the time of her call, it wasn’t immediately apparent where exactly it had originated or if anyone in the store had been injured.
When the gunfire ended, Officer Brown was still securing the scene and keeping everyone calm and safe as they lay low on the ground. A few long minutes passed and then several patrol units arrived. By this time Officer Brown learned the gunfire had come from outside in the front parking lot. It was later discovered through witness accounts at least two men had been shooting at each other without regard to where stray bullets might land. Some shots had hit the windows of the store and at least one was revealed to have come through an open door in the front landing in the meat department near an elderly gentleman and his young daughter.
This incident was handled with the utmost professionalism and care by Officer Brown. Thanks to her bravery, training, and lightning fast response no one at the store sustained injuries. When asked to comment on the situation, she simply stated, “It was terrifying, but I had a job to do, which was to protect the employees and customers. I did what I had to do to keep everyone safe.” Since this incident Officer Brown hasn’t missed a beat, she remains undeterred in her sense of duty to provide protection. Therefore, it is no surprise that she is nominated for Champion’s employee of the month.