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Convenient Store safety measures
ESCAMBIA COUNTY -- Just as you walk into the Nation Food Mart, you may notice the measuring tape at the door, it's just one of many security measures in place the Escambia County Sheriff's Office wants all convenience stores to have.
Would-be criminals breaking in the store, threatening employees at gun point is the harsh reality of what convenience store owners can deal with at a moment's notice.
"A lot of people are after money, they are after convenience stores because they think we've got a lot of money" said Mohammed Aoyad, Convenience store owner.
The Florida Attorney General's Office mandates minimum safety standards for convenience stores as part of the Convenience Business Security Act.
Stores open overnight between the hours of 11pm and 5am should have security measures in place.
Some of the security measures include: a lighted parking lot, security cameras, and height markers at the door.
Owners at the Nation Food Mart like the idea of working with the Sheriff's Office. They say their store has all of those security measures in place and more to protect its employees and its customers.
"They'll call the cops quick or we've got the panic button, we'll just hit the panic button and the cops will come quick you know" said Aoyad.
Linda Warrick is president of the Diamond View Neighborhood Watch. She believes the convenience store in her neighborhood act as an easy target for criminals. She says hopefully beefing up security will make things safer.
"As a little kid we could walk up to the convenience store and go in there with no second thoughts, nothing. Now in this neighborhood, I don't go in there unless I'm in dire need of something and in the daytime only" said Linda Warrick, Neighborhood Watch President.
So far, the Escambia County Sheriff's Office says, it's received a lot of positive feedback from convenience stores participating in the program.