Video Highlights Retail Security and Police Cooperation

MIAMI TWP., Montgomery County - The relationship between Miami Twp. police and Dayton Mall security will be highlighted on a training video that will be distributed nationwide.

"It's quite the compliment, not only to Miami Twp. police, but also to the Dayton Mall," Maj. John DiPietro said.

The video is being produced by the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation, a nonprofit group based in Richmond, Va. The VCPI is funded through the U.S. Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Services office.

The 30-minute video will be free to law enforcement agencies and private security companies across the country. It will focus on police/ private security relationships.

The Miami Twp. segment, shot Oct. 11, features interviews with DiPietro, Chief Chris Krug and Michael Minns, general manager of the Dayton Mall. Other segments were shot at Dover International Speedway in Delaware and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, according to a letter the VCPI sent to DiPietro.

The VCPI heard about the Miami Twp. police/mall relationship from a community oriented policing think tank in Cincinnati, DiPietro said.

Using homeland security grant money, police have updated communications equipment, enabling them to talk to both mall security and guards at the anchor stores. This makes it easier to make quick arrests for routine crimes, but also helps prepare for a major event, such as natural disaster or terrorism attack, DiPietro said.

This is important because as private security companies have grown, their employees are often providing the first line of defense.

"In a lot of cases, it's security guards and security companies instead of police officers," DiPietro said.