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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Convenience store workers in Indiana may feel a greater sense of security on the job following a scheduled summit on ways to improve safety for employees of 24-hour stores. Industry representatives, law enforcement officials and State Rep. Ed DeLaney (D.-Indianapolis) will meet in mid-January to discuss safety and security issues, The Indianapolis Star reported.
The summit was prompted by the shooting of Village Pantry employee Marcella Birnell during a robbery that took place Oct. 21. While working at the c-store chain's 1415 W. 86th St. location, Birnell was shot in the head and is now recovering at a rehabilitation facility. Her family contacted DeLaney for assistance in improving security, according to the report.
"There are preventative measures that can be taken. There are things that can be done to at least reduce the risk to these workers," Birnell's brother, Perry Tole, told WISH-TV Channel 8. On Nov. 29, DeLaney met with Department of Labor Commissioner Lori Torres to discuss safety and security issues.
"During that meeting, Commissioner Torres offered to convene and facilitate a Working Group to examine these issues," said Robert Dittmer, director of public relations for the department. "The Mission of the Working Group will be to examine safety and security issues involving 24-hour convenience stores and make recommendations to the Department of Labor and the convenience store industry on methods to improve worker safety in these facilities."
According to Dittmer, c-store industry representatives attending January's summit will include the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association and the Indiana Retail Council.