Montana :: Member Services :: Public Relations Program

Public Relations Program

Program Overview

What is the Silent Witness Program?

The State Associations have developed a Silent Witness Program for the member marketers. The Silent Witness Program was established to accomplish the following four objectives:

  1. Improve the chances of catching criminals that prey on convenience stores and gas stations
  2. Turn negative media coverage positive with proactive crime stopping methods
  3. Create a deterrent to crime with a zero tolerance policy
  4. Enhance our industry image with the public, law enforcement and the media.

To accomplish these goals, the State Associations have established a fund of money to be utilized if a dangerous crime is committed at a gas station or convenience store. Based on the severity of the crime, State Associations will offer a substantial reward to any private citizen who provides relevant information to law enforcement that leads to the arrest and conviction of the criminal(s).

If a crime is committed at one of your locations, it is important that the information be reported immediately to the police and the State Executive, our program manager, so that he can then inform the local media of the State Association's reward offer. To make the program work, we ask that part of your company's crime prevention protocol include faxing a copy of your clerk's crime report to the State Executive so that all relevant information is available for inclusion in a press release announcing the reward offer.

Attached, is a copy of a sample Suspect ID Form that should be completed by the clerk(s) working at store where a crime is committed. Following standard procedures, the clerk has the responsibility to preserve the crime scene, call the police and fill out the crime report.

When the crime report is sent to the Association office, the State Executive will issue a press release to all the local media, explaining where the crime was committed, that a reward is being offered, and who the investigating officer is that should be called with relevant information. It's that simple.

To help you remind your clerks about safety and crime prevention, we have also included three handouts that provide a basic summary of crime prevention strategies. These flyers should supplement your company's own policies and procedures. Call your State Executive if you have any questions. Help us help you stop criminals from preying on our industry.

If you already have crime prevention measures in place in your retail outlets and you are willing to share them with all our members, please send your company's program ideas or other suggestions to your State Executive so that other marketers may benefit from your good ideas.

Safety & Security Basics

Establish Good Cash Control

  • Follow company policies
  • Keep less than $50 in register; Use drop safe regularly
  • Open unused registers

Maintain High Visibility and Lighting

  • Keep both inside and outside of store well lit
  • Keep store windows clear of signs and other obstructions

Be Aware

  • Who's in your store; don't be caught by surprise
  • Greet customers; ask them if they need help finding something

Stay Active

  • Move about the store when there are no customers
  • Don't stay behind the counter; re-stock shelves, clean up

Call Police if in Doubt

  • Invite police to make your store part of their rounds
  • Inform intimidating or frightening customers that you are calling police

Don't Be a Robbery Victim

Become a Member

Becoming a member is easy. Please download and fill out the application and fax or mail it back to WPMA.

Calendar of Events

Jun 5 - 7, 2018

Montana 2018 Trade Show & Convention
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort
Butte, MT