One of the cries of Brown County leadership concerns a new jail. The thought is that bringing Wal-Mart to town will generate enough tax monies for the county to build that jail.
Sadly, they’ll need a new jail should Wal-Mart take up county residence. Why? Because Wal-Mart stores boast a scary amount of crime:
- The average Wal-Mart in Ohio reported 188.5 police incidents per year in 2004.
- Police costs alone average $77.50 per incident, totaling an average of $14,608.75 per store in Ohio. (The average cost for moving those offenders through the county legal system, which has not been tracked, is certainly much higher.)
- Worse, most police departments find they must add an extra officer just to handle the increased crime generated by the Wal-Mart. That cost? $80,600 for an additional officer, which includes salary, benefits, training, and equipment.
But any large retail store creates a temptation to crime, right? True, but not all retailers are created equal crime-wise. An independent study conducted in 2005 compared Wal-Mart stores with Target stores located near each other. The results are shocking:
- The average Wal-Mart store generated nearly 5 times the crime of its neighbor Target store.
- Customers and employees were 6 times as likely to be assaulted at Wal-Mart than Target.
- Customers and employees had their vehicles stolen from Wal-Mart parking lots at 10 times the rate of the Target.
Clearly, Wal-Mart has a serious security issue.
The neighborhoods Wal-Mart populates automatically become less safe. Worse, Wal-Mart sees far more crime per store than other large, retail stores.
Higher taxes and more crime—suddenly, that smiling Wal-Mart happy face seems out of place.
As for all those business taxes Wal-Mart will be giving Brown County to operate within its borders (money earmarked to build that ironic, new jail), just ask the State of Illinois what happened to $26.4 million in tax money Wal-Mart managed to avoid paying them.
But that’s fodder for another post…