The Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Pine Bluff Police Department for a business safety seminar Dec. 7.


Capt. Denise Richardson informed attendees about the different ways to make a business more secure. Richardson’s suggestions include:


Surveillance — Business owners are encouraged to have cameras inside and outside their businesses. “It is protection for business owners and helpful for the police department,” according to a news release. “Place as many cameras as you can inside your business.”


Lighting — Although it can be costly, it is strongly encouraged that businesses invest in a lot of outdoor lighting, which tends to result in fewer problems, according to the release. Lighting also helps potential “witnesses” see what is going on inside or outside the business if a crime is committed. “Do not cover all your windows with ads. If you do cover your windows with ads and flyers, it is hard for you to see out and for others to see in,” according to the release.


Engage other business owners — “Make contact with surrounding businesses and let them know you are in the area. You can watch out for each other and share information,” according to the release.


Don’t work alone — Try to never be in the business alone or only have one employee working. Businesses with single employees are a target. Hire part-time help to work during the holiday season, according to the release.


Stay alert — Business owners should become familiar with their customers and watch people who frequent their store. “If you always have individuals hanging around your store, have them be on the lookout as well for suspect activity. Trust your instincts and keep your eyes open for individuals ‘scoping’ out your business,” according to the release.


Have an exit plan — “Always have a scenario in your mind on how you would exit your business if something did occur,” according to the release.


Home safety — There were also questions asked at the seminar about home safety. It was suggested that people purchase a home alarm system locally and some type of surveillance system for their house. Attendees were also encouraged to get involved with their Neighborhood Watch to get to know their neighbors and trade information on suspicious activity in the area.


“The Chamber would like to give a huge Thank You to Capt. Denise Richardson and the Pine Bluff Police Department,” according to the release.