Experience Pays Off

Sep 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Michael Fickes


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The program works this way: The receiver documents any shortages and enters the shortage into an RS software application designed to track receiving shortages. By manipulating data stored in the application, security can look for common denominators. “Suppose a particular delivery person continually shows up without a full load at a particular store,” Urrea says. “We can check other deliveries from this person and find out if it is always the same store or certain stores or all of the stores he delivers to. We can do this driver by driver, store by store, district by district and vendor by vendor.”

When a short delivery goes into the RS system, Stater Brothers will deduct the shortage from the invoice. That generally causes the vendor to look into the problem. But sometimes nothing changes, and when a trail of evidence calls for it, a Stater Brothers security officer visits the driver's boss at the vendor's offices and lays out the case showing both data and any surveillance video that may exist.

Over his 18-year tenure as security director, Urrea has methodically worked through Stater Brothers' operations looking for ways to prevent theft by employees and customers alike. He has also carried out executive protection duties when necessary and provided security for special events such as Route 66, a four-day car event sponsored by the company.

He has developed training programs that certify the company's security officers in CPR and first aid.

Cooperating with law enforcement

Urrea has developed working relationships with the FBI for the sake of the company's in-store banks, the Secret Service, which looks into counterfeiting crimes, as well as local police departments and the sheriff's departments in the county in which the company's new corporate offices are located.

He has provided detailed schematics of the headquarters campus to the regional SWAT teams as part of preparing to deal with potential workplace violence incidents. He has also conducted physical tours of the property for the SWAT teams.

Finally, he has placed a priority on attending and participating in monthly meetings with the Inland Robbery Homicide Investigators Association, whose members have apprehended suspects in robberies of Stater Brothers stores.

In his spare time

Urrea doesn't work all the time. He also serves on the Stater Brothers Charities Board of Directors, which contributes to charities such as the Loma Linda Children's Hospital and The Medal of Honor Society.

He has coached several Amateur Softball Association (ASA) championship softball teams and mentors and counsels young female players about life issues and playing competitive softball.

He has made time to coach or to help coach teams on which his children have played over the years. “First came my son, but he's in college now,” Urrea says. “Now it's my daughter. She's 13, going on 23 and she plays club and recreational soccer, in addition to ASA softball.”

And he still puts in his time for the Sheriff's Reserve every month.

All of which points to the moral of the story: if you're searching for a security director who knows your company as well as security, it is probably wise to look far and wide. At the same time, you should never overlook the local talent: people that have been with you for years, know the operation and have the capacity to learn and grow.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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