The Starbucks location in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the latest to be closed due to public safety concerns, leading to confusion among some business owners and community members who say they saw no crime concerns.
“We have not been informed of any kind of safety concern,” Commander Phil Burton of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department told Fox 59. We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of those already living, working, and visiting downtown, so it really comes as an unfortunate incident that Starbucks has not approached myself as a leader, let alone a community relations sergeant or any officer for that matter.”
The location at Monument Circle will be closed starting October 28, according to local reports. A Starbucks spokesperson confirmed the closure of Fox 59, stating that “the company’s number one priority is to ensure the safety of our business partners.”
“We routinely review the partner and customer experience in our stores to see if the store is thriving, the partners (employees) feel supported, and that we meet the needs of customers. Our local leaders have, and always have, the ability to use the many resources at their disposal to tweak store operations and create the best experience to our communities. But when necessary, we will make a decision to close a store,” the spokesperson said.
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“Our number one priority is making sure our partners are safe to operate. We will continue to work to make sure that partners can focus on making great drinks and creating connections in a safe, warm and welcoming environment.”
Burton described the closure as “unfortunate” and lamented that the chain had not spoken with police about any concerns before the decision to close was made. One police call was made from Starbucks in the whole of 2022, according to Fox 59, to report an employee and battery theft. The suspect in the case has been arrested.
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“Yes, downtown is very safe,” Burton told WRTV. “Downtown crime accounts for only about 5% of all crime across the city of Indianapolis.”
Business owners who operate near the Starbucks location have expressed shock at the closure, saying they have no concerns about crime.
“I have police who come in, not just as customers, but they come every morning every day just to say hi and see how we are doing. For me, I have no concerns about my safety or the safety of my employees because you have your protocols.
The manager of the soup shop next door, Soupremacy, echoed Nething that she also has no safety concerns for her employees.
“I don’t feel insecure,” said Crystal Chadwick. “I think we have a lot of homeless here, but they’re pretty much on their own.” “We don’t have a lot of people who come in to claim to use the restroom. If they do, they buy something; I let them use the restroom.”
“I personally just got off the streets myself not too long ago, so I know what it feels like to be there,” Chadwick said.
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However, Republican city council members sounded the alarm after the announcement, calling on city leaders to address crime issues before they escalate.
“For years, we’ve been saying this city needs to get serious about public safety, and now businesses are closing in Monument Circle because we can’t keep them safe. It’s time for the attorney general, the mayor, and the council to work together and try to fix this problem before it gets worse. We can’t wait to act,” Indianapolis-Marion County Councilman Brian Morey wrote in a statement on behalf of himself and four other members of the Republican Council, according to local outlet WISH.
Starbucks officials announced in July that 16 stores nationwide would be closing due to safety concerns.
Starbucks’ vice presidents of US operations said last July that workers “see firsthand the challenges facing our communities — personal safety, racism, lack of access to health care, a growing mental health crisis, substance abuse, and more.” .
Starbucks’ interim CEO Howard Schultz warned that the initial shutdowns were “just the beginning” and that more permanent shutdowns are expected.
“We started closing stores” due to safety issues, Schultz said in a video posted to social media in July. “This is just the beginning. There will be more.”
Another location in New Orleans closed earlier this month due to safety concerns. New Orleans became the nation’s homicide capital as of September overthrowing St. Louis, with homicides ballooning to 52 murders per 100,000 residents.
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Starbucks did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment Sunday morning. Monument Circle employees will have the opportunity to relocate to a location near Starbucks, according to Fox 59.
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