Starbucks CEO says security concerns are ‘acute’, blasts police ‘response time’ in leaked video of internal meeting

In a recently revealed internal meeting with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, Schulz admitted that safety and security concerns inside Starbucks stores is a “completely new phenomenon” that he was “unaware of” until recently.

Speaking in the internal meeting, video of which was obtained by The Post Millennial’s Ari Hoffman, Schultz responded to a question from the crowd regarding how the company is addressing security measures inside Starbucks stores across the country.

“Walking through and listening in the co-creation sessions, and hearing about safety and security for our partners is a completely new phenomenon that I was unaware of. Now, certainly coming back on April 4, I had not really understood the fragile nature of the issue,” said Schultz, who added that security concerns have been heightened following recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo, and Highland Park.

“When you think about — Starbucks is involved in every community in America, 100 million people coming through our stores. God forbid something could happen inside a Starbucks store,” said Shultz.

Shultz said that he’s taking issues raised in relation to store security very seriously, but added that this is a “work in process.”

“We’re just trying to understand what we need to do,” said Schultz.

“As an example, just think about the thought that we are going to have to provide training. Think about this. We’re going to provide training and understanding of what do we do inside a store God forbid someone shows up with a gun,” said Schultz. “Not talking about a robbery, that’s something else entirely. I’m talking about a shooter.”

“That’s how serious and fragile and concerning this is.”

Schultz said that he has heard that young female employees are scared to open Starbucks stores early in the morning by themselves, or “I’m afraid to close the store, because I’m not sure in the person who I was concerned about has left the bathroom.”

In concluding his response to the question, Schultz said that the issue of security in stores is an “acute” one for the company.

“We’ve got to put this at the front of everything we’re doing to ensure as much as possible that our people are safe, feel safe, and that the environment and the local police and municipality understands that we are a significant member of this community and we need response time.”

In regards to response time, Schultz recounted a recent incident at a San Antonio store where the police were called four times, with officers not showing up until two hours later.

“And San Antonio is not an anomaly,” said Schultz.

In the following question, Schultz was asked to publicly make a statement in regards to the company’s stance on gun legislation following the Uvalde school shooting as well as others in recent months.

“Let me try and explain this in real terms that I think are different today than they ever have been,” Schultz began. “It’s not only the polarization of our politics, but it’s the changing nature of the culture of the country, and specifically social media and how that could affect the safety of our people, that’s what I want to address.”

“I no longer can say something that I believe to be absolutely important for — to express the views of myself and the company as it related to gun legislation, or Roe vs Wade, as an example, without worrying about some other person or persons who believe exactly the opposite, and God forbid, is going to walk into our store.”

“That’s what at stake here. I just don’t know that anything I could say could incite someone in the country who is dealing with mental illness or whatever, and walks into a Starbucks store.

“So I’m trying to thread the needle, about what the company should stand for and say and what I should stand for and say, both as a private citizen, and the CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company, but there’s so much at stake here, and it’s such a fragile time that I’m worried that I don’t want to do anything that would just create tension,” he said.

Schultz continued on to say that there are partners in the company that support Donald Trump, support the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and that there shouldn’t be any change to gun legislation, “and so I’m trying to take all that into consideration and balance what I think is important.”

Schultz’s statements from the internal meeting come after it was revealed that 16 stores across the US would be closing down for security reasons associated with high levels of crime, mental health issues, and homelessness, with Schultz lamenting “what happens in our bathrooms.”

The stores that are set to be closed include five in Seattle, one in Everett, six in the Los Angeles area, and two in Portland, Oregon, along with locations in Philadelphia and Washington, DC.

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