Evidence-based programs that include employee training, cash handling procedures, safe management, interior lighting, visibility, access control, and signage to indicate safety procedures have shown great success in reducing robbery and violent crime in retail and service settings. These programs are inexpensive to implement, which is important for many small businesses with financial and time constraints. However, most small businesses have implemented very few to none of the program recommendations, and what is implemented is often done so incorrectly. We propose a translational study to identify effective and sustainable methods to disseminate an evidence- based robbery and violence prevention program to small retail and service businesses and translate these methods into effective program implementation. We will work with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Pierce County (WA) Sheriff's Department, and San Ramon (CA) Police Department, each of which serve jurisdictions of varying sizes and business demographics, to accomplish the following aims: """""""" Identify effective methods of reaching businesses at high risk of robbery and violent crime, particularly small businesses, to increase program participation; """""""" Identify effective methods of increasing compliance to program recommendations, and; """""""" Measure robbery and violent crime rates pre- and post- program implementation. The police agencies will disseminate the program using three broad approaches: (1) police-initiated, individual- level approaches (e.g., approaching businesses identified on a daily crime log), (2) police-initiated, community- level approaches (e.g., presenting the program to community and professional groups), and (3) business- initiated approaches (e.g., community partner promotions). A prospective design will be used to follow businesses within the police jurisdictions over a one-year period to assess program compliance and changes in crime. A process evaluation will be conducted to describe how well recruitment strategies reached eligible businesses, which program recommendations were delivered to the businesses, the extent to which businesses implemented program recommendations, and the resources needed by the police to disseminate the program. An outcome evaluation will be conducted to examine the effectiveness of the program in reducing rates of robbery and violent crime. The proposed project is a collaboration between the University of North Carolina, University of Iowa, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, building on an existing pilot, as well as a long history of research that led to the design and evaluation of the program and materials. The proposed work is the critical next step leading to long-term, sustainable efforts to implement robbery and violence prevention programs into high-risk small businesses.
The proposed project will identify effective and sustainable methods to disseminate an evidence-based robbery and violence prevention program to small retail and service businesses and translate these methods into effective program implementation. This is important for small businesses that traditionally lack access and technical assistance to implement and support program recommendations.
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