Raytown Walmart racks up police calls

Posted at 3:23 PM, Sep 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-28 18:37:19-04

RAYTOWN, Mo. — As the city faces a financial crisis, some Raytown leaders are looking to the store they think put them in the red.

In 2008, the city cut a $40 million bond deal with Walmart, but that wasn't the end of Raytown resources being used at the store.

Data obtained by 41 Action News shows police were called to Walmart 939 times in 2016 alone. Officers also made 480 arrests at the store on 350 Highway.

The frequent police presence at Walmart led Alderman Eric Teeman to ask at a board meeting on Tuesday whether or not the store could be deemed a public nuisance.

"The question is, is it excessive?" Teeman asked of the calls.

Such a declaration would force Walmart to pay for the police officers they so frequently call. 

"I'm just trying to flip over all the stones I can find to help our revenue problem," Teeman said of his remarks.

Raytown City Administrator Tom Cole told 41 Action News an attorney looked at the city's code and found the crimes being reported at Walmart do not fall under the definition of a public nuisance. Still, Teeman said it's worth taking a closer look at whether or not there's excessive crime at the store.

"That's something we have to ask and look into," he said.

A spokesman with Walmart said the company is aware of the high volume of calls at the Raytown location. He argued the figures show Walmart's loss prevention policies are working since criminals are being caught. The company is also making an effort to increase employee presence near the front doors of stores, as well as adding additional security cameras.