Starbucks’ latest closure over safety concerns leaves the Indiana community in shock

A Starbucks Indianapolis, Indiana location in the city center is the latest to close due to public safety concerns, causing confusion among some business owners and community members who say they haven’t seen any crime issues.

“We have not been notified of any kind of security issue,” Commander Phil Burton of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s Downtown District told Fox 59. “We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of those who actually live, work, and visit the center, so it really is an unfortunate accident, Starbucks does not address myself as commander, let alone my sergeant for relations with. the community or any officer for that matter. “

The Monument Circle venue will close on October 28, according to local reports. A Starbucks spokesperson confirmed the closure of Fox 59, explaining that “the company’s first priority is making sure our partners are safe at work.”

“We regularly review the partner and customer experience in our stores to see if the store is thriving, the partners (employees) are feeling supported and if we are meeting customer needs. Our local leaders are, and always have been, authorized to use the many resources at their disposal to modify store operations and create the best experience for our communities. But when necessary, we will make the decision to close a store, “the spokesperson said.

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Google Maps screen of Starbucks in Monument Circle in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Google Maps )

“Our first priority is ensuring that our partners are safe at work. We will continue to work to ensure that partners can focus on creating exquisite beverages and making connections in a safe, warm and welcoming environment.”

Burton called the closure “unfortunate” and complained that the chain did not speak to police about any concerns before the decision to close was made. A call was made to police by Starbucks throughout 2022, according to Fox 59, over a report of employee theft and beatings. The suspect was arrested in the case.

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“Yes, the center is very safe,” Burton told WRTV. “Downtown crime accounts for only about 5 percent of all total crime in the entire city of Indianapolis.”

Business owners operating near the Starbucks headquarters have expressed shock at the closure, saying they have no concerns about crime.

“I have the police coming in, not just as customers, but they come every morning every day just to say hello and see how we are. For me, I have no problem with my safety or that of my staff because we have protocols in place”, Kim Nething, the owner of the Rocket Fizz candy and soda shop, told the outlet.

Starbucks logo

File photo of the mermaid logo on a sign outside the Starbucks coffee shop, Monday March 14, 2022, in Londonderry, NH PepsiCo initiated a voluntary product recall on select batches of Starbucks Tripleshot Energy Vanilla. (AP Photo / Charles Krupa / AP Press Room)

The manager of the nearby soup shop, Soupremacy, echoed Nething by saying that she too has no safety concerns for her staff.

“I don’t feel in danger. I think you know, we have a lot of homeless people down here, but they’re basically on their own,” said Chrystal Chadwick. “We don’t have many people who come and ask to use the bathroom. If they do, they buy something; I let them use the bathroom.”

“I personally went off the streets on my own not long ago, so I know what it’s like to be out there,” shared Chadwick.

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Republican city council members, however, sounded the alarm after the announcement, urging city leaders to address crime-related issues before they could explode.

“We’ve been saying for years that this city needs to take public safety seriously, and now businesses are closing down on Monument Circle because we can’t keep it safe. It’s time for the prosecutor, the mayor and the council to join together to look to solve this problem before it gets worse. We look forward to action, “wrote Brian Mowery, a member of the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council, in a statement on his behalf and four other Republican council members, according to local outlet WISH.

Starbucks officials announced in July that 16 stores across the country were closing due to security concerns.

Workers “experience firsthand the challenges facing our communities: personal safety, racism, lack of access to healthcare, a growing mental health crisis, increasing drug use and more,” they said in July. the senior vice presidents of US operations for Starbucks.

The photo shows the skyline of Indianapolis, Indiana

Train tracks pass in front of hotels in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, USA on Thursday, December 2, 2021. Approximately $ 8.8 billion of the $ 1.2 trillion federal infrastructure package is expected to head to Indiana over the next five years. to improve the crumbling highways, (Cheney Orr / Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Starbucks interim CEO Howard Schultz warned that initial closures were “just the beginning” and more permanent closures were planned.

“We are starting to close shops” due to safety concerns, Schultz said in a video posted on social media in July. “This is just the beginning. There will be many more.”

Another location was closed in New Orleans earlier this month for security reasons. New Orleans became the homicide capital of the country starting in September, ousting St. Louis as homicides increased to 52 homicides per 100,000 residents.

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Starbucks did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on Sunday morning. According to Fox 59, employees at the Monument Circle location will have the opportunity to move to a nearby Starbucks location.

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