Merchant Safety Tips

These Safety Tips for business owners and merchants are offered to create a safe environment and to strengthen their businesses and our commercial districts. In cooperation with the Cleveland Heights Police Department, the merchant groups and City Hall, we believe these tips and suggestions can make a difference.

Print out a Merchant Safety Tips flyer (PDF).

Practice Active Management

  • Have every prospective employee fill out an application.
  • Background checks should be initiated for every prospective employee (sometimes a merchant group will come together and use the same company as a way to bring down the cost). Be sure that the application indicates that you will do a background check.
  • Be sure that your prospective employee knows exactly what is expected of them
  • Respect and enforce your own rules, so that you are in control of your business and your employees.

Be Smart / Security

  • Never completely cover your store windows; have your business be accessible for patrons, but also clear of obstructions for your employees.
  • Make sure your doors and windows are secure; do not leave doors open for deliveries.
  • When depositing money, call the police to provide transport.
  • All employees should know the contact numbers for the building owner and his dedicated building manager.
  • Every employee should know where the emergency contact numbers are located, i.e., your number, police emergency numbers.
  • Discuss with your building owner security systems and alarms that may be available.

Prevent Fraud

  • Always ask for a piece of primary identification (i.e., driver’s license) when accepting payment.
  • Check for expiration dates on credit cards and check the signature on the card to match the primary identification.
  • To prevent credit card numbers and names being used to create fake cards, always destroy copies after bookkeeping is completed.
  • Personal checks should have the address and bank routing number; always limit the check to the amount of the purchase.
  • Make your refund policy clear to customers by putting a notice by the register; issue cash refunds only with the original receipt.
  • Establish computer guidelines - have a secure login to your computer that only authorized users can access; minimize after hour access to the computer; monitor employee computer access.

Community Building

  • Make a point of getting to know business owners in your area, join the merchant group, attend SID meetings. Nobody knows the complexities of running a business like another merchant. You can learn from each other.
  • Make an effort to build relationships with your regular customers and residents from the neighborhood. Get involved with the community.
  • Support your colleagues and Buy Local whenever possible.

Important Numbers

Cleveland Heights Police Department

  • In an emergency, every employee should know to call 9-1-1.
  • Email the police with any questions or concerns you have on immediate issues.
  • Call the police desk at 216-321-1234 and ask for the officer in charge.
  • Cleveland Heights Police Investigator Quintero Mack is responsible for outreach in the commercial districts. Contact him at 216-291-4225. Bike patrol officers are also in the commercial districts.

Meet Your Police

  • Meet Your Police every Thursday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. Meet Your Police allows you to talk in an informal setting on any topic with a ranking member of the Police Department.
  • The first Thursday of every month, the Police Department will meet you at the Police Academy:
  • 2595 Noble Road
    Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
  • The other Thursdays, Meet Your Police will be held on the lower level of City Hall:
    40 Severance Circle
    Cleveland Heights, OH 44118