Retail Valor: A Tale of Grit Behind Store Lines

Jim Lunsford

Reflecting on my journey through the criminal justice system, I recall an encounter that remains vividly imprinted in my memory, not just for the confrontation it entailed but for the profound lessons it imparted. My name is Jim Lunsford, and though my tenure as a Loss Prevention Officer now lies in the rearview mirror of my career, the echoes of those early days continue to shape my path. With nearly a decade spent navigating the complexities of criminal justice, my mission has been unwavering—to confront evil and serve justice.

The incident with Winston Drake marks a significant chapter in my story, a testament to the challenges and stakes in upholding the law. On that day, Drake, captured by our CCTV as he meandered through the deli section and later concealed merchandise within his attire, became more than just a shoplifter; he became a catalyst for a series of events that tested my resolve.

Upon observing his actions, I stepped outside with the weight of my duty as a guardian of the establishment heavy on my shoulders. I confronted Drake, identifying myself as a Loss Prevention Officer, a role I held with pride. The air was tense, charged with the anticipation of conflict. My request for him to return inside was met with defiance; his shove was not just a physical act but a challenge to the order I was sworn to protect.

The altercation that ensued was swift yet significant. Drake’s resistance was palpable, and his determination to evade accountability manifested in every action. The struggle was physical and symbolic, representing the ongoing battle between right and wrong that defines our society.

The real test, however, came within the confines of the Loss Prevention Office. The atmosphere was thick with tension, the space a battleground for what was to come. Drake’s demeanor was unpredictable, his aggression escalating. As he stood up, his movements hinted at impending violence, prompting an immediate response. My role transitioned from enforcer to protector, ensuring the safety of everyone present.

In the process of subduing him, the physical toll became apparent. The confrontation left me with a knee injury, a painful reminder of the encounter, and a cut on my hand, each mark telling a story of sacrifice and commitment. Though these injuries have healed over time, they occasionally resurface as tangible reminders of the day’s events.

Today, as I reflect on my career and the evolution from those early days in loss prevention, the encounter with Drake remains a defining moment. It was more than an apprehension; it was a lesson in the complexities of human behavior, the challenges of maintaining order, and the personal sacrifices inherent in the pursuit of justice.

My journey through the criminal justice system has taken me down various paths, each offering insights and challenges. Yet, the core values instilled in me as a Loss Prevention Officer—the commitment to confront wrongdoing and the dedication to serve and protect—remain integral to my professional ethos.

The memory of that day, the confrontation, and the subsequent altercation in the Loss Prevention Office continue to resonate. They underscore the importance of resilience, the necessity of steadfastness in adversity, and the enduring commitment required to serve justice.

Author: Jim Lunsford

Jim Lunsford is a dedicated family man, community servant, and advocate for resilience. With a career in criminal justice and roles as a certified life coach, fitness trainer, and diet and nutrition coach, Jim empowers others to overcome adversity through discipline and unwavering strength.