Real Talk with CJ: Tom Jones Regional LP Director

Real Talk with CJ

Tue Nov 16, 2010
2:00 pm - 3:00pm
CJ Cafe (CJava)

In his first month on the job as a loss prevention manager in a tough store in downtown Detroit, Tom Jones had identified and sent 10 associates to jail for theft. But what Jones did not count on catching in Detroit was a wife, one of the witnesses to the crimes."By this time it was known 'When Mr. Jones was in the store, somebody was going to jail in handcuffs,'" Jones said. "I was preparing to conduct another interview (interrogation)…While waiting I struck up a conversation with my female witness who was equally nervous being in the room with a person with my reputation. The interview went as expected and the subject exited the store in cuffs, but this year the witness and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary."

Jones is a Regional Loss Prevention Director with JC Penney Company Inc. His responsibilities include 230 stores in the Southwest United States, including California, Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah. His team encompasses more than 600 Loss Prevention (LP) Officers, 55 LP Supervisors, 69 LP Mangers and 14 District LP Managers.

Jones will discuss private sector security and retail loss prevention. That career path encompasses many areas, including employee theft, organized retail crime, crisis response, risk management, inventory shrinkage, physical security, financial fraud, and industry resources. Jones also will discuss industry resources available to someone interested in exploring this career path. Jones will stress leadership development in the field and the various careers available in loss prevention.

Jewelry heist in California

Jewelry heist at a store in California

Inventory shrinkage, the unwanted loss of inventory through theft, fraud, loss. damage, error and deterioration, costs U.S. retailers $35 billion a year. For every theft that occurs, 46 others go undetected. Every dollar lost from shrinkage cost $11 to $15 in profit.

Retail is the largest private segment of the U.S. economy, with one of every eight people being employed in the industry. This provides a lot of job opportunities in Retail Loss Prevention.

"Entry level pay is comparable to or exceeds the base salary of nearly every major city police department and quickly exceeds the public sector as you move up," said Jones, who leads the region’s College Relations and Internship initiatives for Loss Prevention. "The industry also allows CJ students to put into practice many of the concepts they learn in class (law, sociology, investigations, etc.) At the same time, they learn about leadership, finance, accounting and human resource applications."

Jones will discuss many aspects of the job, such as organized retail crime, which often has ties to back to drugs and terrorism, and the tactics used by offenders, such boosters, credit fraud and refund fraud. To combat this rising crime trend, there have been many local, state and federal initiatives, including civil recovery statutes.

Employee theft, which can include cash, merchandise, credit fraud, and discounts, also is a big problem, costing retailers $14.4 billion a year. In addition to recovering the product, many retailers seek restitution from the offenders.

Fire in a Phoenix Store
Fire in a Phoenix store

Jones also will address crisis management in retail during such emergencies as natural disasters, workplace violence, civil unrest, fires and robberies. He also plans to discuss risk management and look at trends and frauds in the areas of general liability and workers compensation.

Jones graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso, where he majored in Finance. Before joining JC Penney in 2007, Jones held store and multiple-unit positions with several others national retailers, including The Home Depot, Target Stores, Sears and Montgomery Ward.

Jones is a member of several professional trade organizations, including the National Retail Federation, The Retail Industry Leadership Association and the International Association of Black Security Executives. He is certified in Advanced Interview and Interrogation Techniques and is a Certified Forensic Interviewer.

Member of The Texas State University System