Catching shoplifters and handling parking incidents is the norm when running a security shift at Walmart.
Discovering a potential bomb is not.
Luckily, Security Officer Markeishe Smith of Signal 88 Security of Nashville knew just what to do when she found a metal box with a digital timer counting backward while patrolling outside her Walmart store.
“I was concerned about the safety for everyone and myself. I just wanted to be cautious more than anything. When you see anything suspicious like that, you need to be cautious,” Smith said, saying she fell back on her security training. “I was just mainly thinking about safety.”
Smith notified Walmart store officials, and then called the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, who advised her to keep her distance but to keep eyes on the box. The Metro Bomb Squad also arrived, and using photos that Smith had taken of the device, were able to determine whether it was a threat while conducting an investigation from a safe distance away. Looming large in everyone’s minds was the bombing of a Nashville city block just nine days earlier on Christmas Day that had injured three people.
Thankfully, the device Smith discovered was determined to be from a blasting site nearby, and not a bomb, although it has not been determined how it came to be left or planted at the Walmart site.
Thanks to her quick actions and training, Officer Smith has been awarded the January 2021 Hero of the Month. Smith’s superiors had nothing but praise for her performance on January 4.
“Markeishe definitely had a great eye and fast response on this! Everyone in the store was very thankful she noticed the object when she did, and action was taken promptly, especially the customer[s]! In today’s current climate, you definitely have to be prepared for anything, able to think on your toes, and ALWAYS expect the unexpected. We are very thrilled to have her on our team,” wrote Heather Herron, Director of Operations for Signal 88 Security of Nashville, in an email.
“Officer Smith’s professionalism, fearless dedication to duty and valor bring credit to herself, the security industry, and Signal 88,” wrote Signal 88 Security of Memphis General Manager Robert Betterton.
For Smith, it’s about doing the right thing. “I like helping people,” she said.
Congratulations, Officer Markeishe Smith, for being our January Hero of the Month!