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QuikTrip Hiring Armed Employees for Some Tulsa-Area Stores

11th and Utica Quik Trip from the gas pumps.
KWGS News File Photo
11th and Utica Quik Trip from the gas pumps.

QuikTrip is moving to boost security at some Tulsa stores by hiring armed employees.

Spokesman Mike Thornbrugh saidthey already monitor stores 24-seven and recently upgraded surveillance systems.

"The next element is that we’re going to be hiring people that are QuikTrip employees that will kind of be a hybrid, if you will, where they’re still going to perform tasks in the store, but they’re also going to serve as the official security force for us," Thornbrugh said.

Those armed QT employees will be required to have appropriate state certification to carry a gun and undergo a background check. Thornbrugh said property crimes are happening more often at QT stores since voters reclassified many of them from felonies to misdemeanors two years ago.

"It doesn’t matter if it’s a school, it’s a church. I mean, those crimes just continue to escalate because there’s really no consequences anymore. So, you know, instead of whining about it, QuikTrip’s going to go ahead and be proactive and do something about it ourselves," Thornbrugh said.

QT is already using armed employees at a Wichita store.

"And it’s working. I mean, our employees are happier, our customers are happier, and we’re seeing incidents — be it somebody pandering, loitering or just stealing — going way, way down," Thornbrugh said.

The hiring process has started, but the number of QT stores with armed employees and when they’ll be there is up in the air.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.