After seeing the successful launch of Wal-Mart EMS, Winn city officials have contracted with the mega-store Costco for the day-to-day operations of the police department. The 22 man department will retain its officers for now, but as officers leave by attrition they will be replaced by Costco hired employees. The current chief, Reginal Aaron has told this reporter; “They (Costco) will supply the people on a rotating basis, we will train them to our standards. As more employees are trained, there is a larger reserve pool of officers. If there is a riot, standoff, or just a disaster, we could possibly close down the Costco and put those trained employees in uniform and on the street. And as needed officers have access to Costco for supplies in a disaster situation.”
Costco PR spokeswoman Natalie Caldwell said; “This is an exciting move for Costco. We try and serve out community by having items they need at low membership prices. Now we can truly serve the community of Wynn by Protecting and Serving. Also we can supply needed law enforcement items like, pens, printers, gun ammo and other munitions right from our stores. In addition, members will be safer while shopping and walking to and from their cars; criminals will not know what employees are trained cops or just regular employees.”
Winn city officials are pleased with this partnership, one official spoke to me as long as I did not post her name as she is not cleared to speak with the press, saying, “This is a great way for us to make budget. The much lower wages we pay for a Costco officer than our current contract will save us millions over the next decade. I mean just think of the children…”
I spoke with several Costco Members; the majority are pleased with the cities move. Many were hoping for tax breaks with the reduction in city operating costs. All were pleased with the fact that many of the employees would be certified police officers and felt shopping would be safer at Costco.
Chief Aaron also said, “The best part is I don’t have to pay membership costs anymore.”
On the city counsel’s agenda in two weeks is contracting out Fire and Rescue services also.