Schimel reveals new plan to reduce pharmacy robberies in Wisconsin

DE PERE (WLUK) -- Pharmacy robberies in Wisconsin are happening more often than they are in the nation's biggest states, according to Attorney General, Brad Schimel.

Schimel announced a measure Tuesday to hopefully knock down those numbers.

Wisconsin ranked third in the country when it came to the number of pharmacy robberies in 2015: a total of 45; that's more than California, New York and Florida.

Schimel said, what used to be a robbery on the street for money to buy drugs has now become a robbery at a pharmacy directly for the drug itself.

At Tuesday's news conference at Aurora Health Care, Schimel announced a new training-tool between the Department of Justice and the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin.

"Pointing a weapon at a pharmacist or a pharmacist tech and demanding not money but drugs. Prescription medications they couldn't get on the street, and this is a frightening prospect," Schimel said.

Schimel recommended steps like adding a time-delay safe to hold the drugs, better placement of security cameras, and signs indicating which drugs are not available.

But as for the finer details, Schimel said that will be left for the professionals.

"It's not available to the public because we don't want to broadcast our playbook," he said.

Danielle Laurent of the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin says the increase of pharmacy robberies has made the profession troublesome, "We've definitely heard anecdotally people who've expressed it's very difficult, both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, clerks, who say it's very difficult to return to work after experiencing what can be a very traumatic event."

The robbery prevention training is voluntary for professionals in the pharmacy field, but given what's at stake, Schimel said it could prove to be a valuable tool.

"We also have a very serious responsibility to keep safe those who work in our pharmacies and the customers who shop there," he said.

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