Pharmacists have hashed out a strategy they hope will put an end to a rash of robberies in the past few months.
With the help of police, pharmacists plan to teach each other how to identify when they're being cased out by would-be robbers. They also plan to take steps to improve store layouts to deter the attacks.
The ideas came from a meeting Thursday evening between police and members of the Essex County Pharmacists Association.
Association president Heather Foley praised the meeting and the outcome.
"You expect things to, hopefully, go OK and we knocked it out of the park," she said. "Last night set a real foundation for how this is going to be an incredibly valuable relationship."
More long-term solutions include installing time-delay safes in stores.
Other pharmacists stressed the importance of improving pharmacist safety. Former association president Peter Dumo agreed pharmacists need more education.
"There is virtually no safety training, very little thought to the safety of the pharmacy staff," he said. "Now that we're seeing more and more robberies ... we need to start thinking about safety."
Foley likes the larger solutions, such as time-delayed safes, but recognizes those will take more time.
"We need to make sure we're doing all the basics before we get into these more bigger-picture strategies," she said.