Spokane business uses high-pitched beeping sound as loitering deterrent


SPOKANE, Wash. -If you're near 2nd and Division in downtown Spokane, you may hear something unpleasant. It's a high pitched beeping sound coming from the nearby 7-Eleven. 

"It works great sometimes in crowd dispersal applications...the military's used it...so it is a useful tool," said Officer Josh Laiva of the Spokane Police Department.

The business is hoping this sound will make a difference. The area is a hot spot for crime. We are 142 days into 2018 and so far this year, police have responded to calls at the 7-Eleven 138 times, nearly once a day. Officer Laiva all the calls are a draw on resources.

 "When they've got those people loitering there, doing bad things, they're going to shoplift from their store and stuff like that. It makes normal people who would want to go there, not want to go there because they see this," Laiva said. "So it'll help their business in the long run as well."

After labeling the 7-Eleven a nuisance property, the Spokane Police Department worked with the business to come up with answers. They improved lighting, made changes to the landscaping, and added speakers around the building playing the beeping sound.

Employees in the store say they've seen a significant change over the last few months.

They say customers are more comfortable coming into their store.

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