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Indianapolis Starbucks Closure Over Safety Concerns Puzzles Local Police

  • Starbucks is closing a store in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana over safety concerns.
  • But puzzled police say they weren’t aware of any safety problems and were rarely called to the area.
  • Starbucks has closed more than a dozen other locations since July, citing safety concerns.

Starbucks is closing a store in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana over safety concerns, joining more than a dozen other locations that the company has closed since July for the same reasons.

A spokesperson told Fox 59 that the coffee chain routinely reviews its stores and closes them “when necessary.”

“Our first priority is to make sure our partners are safe at work,” the spokesperson added. The store, on Monument Circle, is set to close on October 28.

But local police and business owners are puzzled by the announcement, telling Fox 59 that the area is safe.

“We were not made aware of any type of safety concerns,” Phil Burton, commander of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s Downtown District, told the outlet.

He said that officers aren’t often called to the businesses on Monument Circle and that in 2022 police have only been called specifically to that store once so far, which was for a report of theft and battery of an employee and led to an arrest.

“Downtown is very safe,” Burton told WRTV.

Officers visit local businesses and speak to managers to see if they have any concerns, and adjust their daily patrol plan based on this information, Burton told Fox 59. He said that Starbucks hadn’t expressed its concerns and spoken to police about the decision to close prior to the announcement being made.

“We’re doing everything that we can to ensure the safety of those that actually live, work, and visit downtown, so it really comes as an unfortunate incident, Starbucks not reaching out to myself as the commander, let alone my community relations sergeant or any officer for that matter, “he said.

Burton added that Starbucks hadn’t signed a trespass agreement that IMPD offers which enables officers to arrest people for criminal trespassing.

Kim Nething, owner of the candy store Rocket Fizz which is located just a few doors down from the Starbucks store, told Fox 59 that police officers come in every morning “just to say hi and see how we’re doing” and that she didn ‘t have concerns about her safety or her staff’s safety.

“I don’t feel unsafe,” Chrystal Chadwick, a manager at the nearby soup shop Soupremacy, added.

“I’ve been working in downtown on the circle for over 15 years and I’ve never thought it was dangerous or unsafe,” Kristina Tressler, co-owner of the South Bend Chocolate Company Monument Circle, told WRTV.

Taylor Schaffer, the president and CEO of Downtown Indy, called the announcement “disappointing.”

“Data indicates that Downtown continues to be the safest district in Indianapolis, accounting for less than 5% of overall crime,” she told Fox 59.

Starbucks closed 16 stores in July and two more in August due to safety issues, including some in Washington State and California.

“After careful consideration, we are closing some stores in locations that have experienced a high volume of challenging incidents that make it unsafe to continue to operate, to open new locations with safer conditions,” a Starbucks spokesperson previously told Insider.

Insider’s Mary Meisenzahl spoke to workers at stores that closed, with some saying they’d witnessed overdoses and had to regularly clean up blood and needles, while others said their stores didn’t have major safety concerns.

Starbucks said that employees at the Indianapolis store will be able to transfer to other stores nearby.

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