TThe Georgia Retailers Organized Crime Alliance (GROC) recently hosted their 9th Annual Retail Crime Training Conference.
The conference was a resounding success as over 400 loss prevention professionals, law enforcement, and solutions providers gathered for a day of education, training, and networking at Atlanta’s Cobb Galleria on Thursday, August 22. “Attendance records were broken, we had a sold-out show, and we’ve received overwhelming positive feedback. It was truly a great event and we are excited to build upon this momentum for 2020” said Chad McManus , CFE, CFI, LPC, Field Loss Prevention Manager for T-Mobile, and Chair of the Georgia Retailers Loss Prevention Council.
The conference kicked off with a “first pitch” from Atlanta Braves Manager Bryan Snitker who welcomed attendees to Atlanta, followed by an opening session with Cobb County Public Safety Director Michael Register. Register recounted surviving a horrific kidnapping and ransom at the age of ten, and how his gratitude for law enforcement led him to a career in public safety. Three additional keynote events were held throughout the day, including a leadership panel featuring Mike Combs, Director of Asset Protection, Organized Retail Crime and Central Investigations for The Home Depot; Peachtree City Police Chief Janet Moon, Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Director Vic Reynolds, and Community Teen Coalition Founder Dominic Stokes. The panel was emceed by John Melvin, Chief of Staff for the GBI. In this interactive session Melvin prompted panelists to give insights and leadership advice to both seasoned and aspiring leaders.
Michelle Stuart of JAG Investigations kept the crowd on their toes in her two-hour open source investigations training session Do You Know What I Know About You? Michelle, a private investigator with over 20 years of experience walked attendees through a series of investigative research methods using advanced internet profiling, and intelligence gathering through online resources. During the closing session, conference goers heard from Dave Thompson, CFI, VP and Partner at Wicklander-Zulawski. Thompson turned attendees into interviewers in his high energy Cognitive Interview training: So What Happened Was…T
his year’s agenda also featured a series of breakout sessions. Douglasville and Dunwoody Police Departments alongside Jayson Nixon, Assets Protection Director for Target, gave an overview of GROC’s recent ORC Blitz operations held in metro Atlanta. Dave Thompson’s Inside the ORC Interview was a popular choice among attendees as well as the Synthetic Identities session presented by Keith Speers of the United States Postal Service.
As always, the tradeshow was the epicenter of this year’s event, and featured more solutions providers than ever before. Attendees enjoyed breakfast, lunch, and breaks in the Solutions Center while networking and exploring the latest in innovation and technology.
There were also a few special presentations in store, Detective Ben Jackson of the Cobb County Police Department was named the 2019 GROC Partner of the Year in recognition of his outstanding leadership and partnership in the fight against organized retail crime in Cobb County. Douglasville Police Department was also recognized for partnering with GROC to host a two-day ORC Blitz Operation that led to multiple arrests and thousands of dollars in recovered merchandise. GROC presented both Detective Jackson and the Douglasville Police Department with plaques in appreciation of their service and dedication to combatting retail crime. The conference wrapped up with remarks from Kevin White, President of QMI Security Solutions, GROC’s longstanding partner and Elite Sponsor.
As a result of a successful conference and silent auction, GROC is proud to announce that $5,000 will be donated to the Community Teen Coalition (CTC), CTC targets underserved youth ages 8-18 tackling important issues such as childhood illiteracy, peer pressure, low self-esteem, homelessness, gangs, and drug prevention. The program is designed to generate the skills and motivation necessary for success in post-secondary education. Learn more about CTC at https://ctc-inc.org/. Planning is already underway for GROC 2020, stay tuned on conference updates, and monthly intel meeting information at www.georgiaroc.org.