Wal-Mart Stays Open During Bomb Scare
This is interesting: A Wal-Mart store in Mitchell, South Dakota receives a bomb threat. The store managers decide not to evacuate while the police search for the bomb. Presumably, they decided that the loss of revenue due to an evacuation was not worth the additional security of an evacuation:
During the nearly two-hour search Wal-Mart officials opted not to evacuated the busy discount store even though police recomended [sic] they do so. Wal-Mart officials said the call was a hoax and not a threat.
I think this is a good sign. It shows that people are thinking rationally about security trade-offs, and not thoughtlessly being terrorized.
Remember, though: security trade-offs are based on agenda. From the perspective of the Wal-Mart managers, the store’s revenues are the most important; most of the risks of the bomb threat are externalities.
Of course, the store employees have a different agenda—there is no upside to staying open, and only a downside due to the additional risk—and they didn’t like the decision:
The incident has family members of Wal-Mart employees criticizing store officials for failing to take police’s recommendation to evacuate.
Voorhees has worked at the Mitchell discount chain since Wal-Mart Supercenter opened in 2001. Her daughter, Charlotte Goode, 36, said Voorhees called her Sunday, crying and upset as she relayed the story.
“It’s right before Christmas. They were swamped with people,” she said. “To me, they endangerd [sic] the community, customers and associates. They put making a buck ahead of public safety.”