Last night, as I played duck and dodge with the rest of the shopping sheeple at Walmart on the way to my “guaranteed-in-stock” cheap TV, I saw two familiar faces in the aisle between the peppermint swirl ice cream and the pallets of invisi-hoop indoor basketball games.
They were Sioux Falls cops. I recognized them both as representatives of Sioux Falls’ finest, although I don’t know either of them by name. One of them was wearing the dark blue SFPD uniform, as I recall. The other had a shirt with an embroidered badge on it.
Which made me wonder: Does the SFPD patrol inside stores during Black Friday? I mean, there is danger to be dealt with any time a lot of people cram into a place looking for stuff. For examples, see here, here, here and here.
As it turns out, there are a few police officers doing security for Black Friday, but not as police. Sgt. Tim Hagen, who’s filling in for our friend Sam Clemens as the Public Information Officer today, says there are plenty of cops who sign on for security, but when they do, they work for the retailers.
Police, as it turns out, could use an extra couple bucks just like the rest of us.
It’s important to point out, Hagen said, that these cops are not working under the color of law. They don’t use Sioux Falls Police-issued weapons or equipment, Hagen said.
Which means the officer I saw in a uniform was not working for Walmart. Frankly, I’m not sure they were even working security. I just saw their faces and the outfits and started to wonder.
So there’s one mystery of Black Friday solved.
Here’s another one: Did this lady win this shirt at a doorbuster sale, or did she make it herself in honor of the occasion? I would have asked her, but I didn’t want to lose my place in line.