C.D. Peacock’s Northbrook Court jewelry store chose to beef up its holiday security Friday and Saturday with an armed guard complete with a hand gun and a bullet proof vest.
At the same time, uniformed Northbrook Court security guards carried no weapons and were not equipped with handcuffs. Tiffany’s had no noticeable security guard at all Saturday though the store was full of last minute holiday shoppers.
The Peacock's guard refused to give his name to Patch or answer when queried Saturday. Store manager Sally Salcena refused to comment directing inquiries to Operations Vice President Sharon Thomson.
Thomson failed to return calls to Patch. It was later learned she is out of town this week. No one from Peacock management returned calls though four messages were left. There was no silence from executives at Northbrook Court or local elected officials.
The contrast between Peacock’s and Tiffany’s, where there was a lack of visible security a few doors to the south, aroused the curiosity of state Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Lake Forest).
“If a store like Tiffany’s does not see the need (for armed security) at this time of year it is up to Peacock’s to explain why they would need this. Peacock’s has to explain if it is taking the law into its own hands.”
State Rep. Karen May (D-Highland Park) was less concerned than Garrett. “I’m not troubled by it if they have all the clearances and have met all the requirements,” she said.
Northbrook Court spokesperson David Keating explained the shopping center’s uniformed security personnel do not carry weapons. He further said Peacock’s personnel were acting inside the store and not in the mall’s common area.
“I have to refer you to C.D. Peacock’s because this is a retailer within the store’s space,” Keating said.
Northbrook Village President Sandy Frum said her village’s police department knew about the situation.
“This is something our police department is aware of,” Frum said. “They (Peacock) do it from time to time and they usually use off duty police. None of them are ours,” she added referring to Northbrook officers.
A spokesperson for the police department said there are levels of security guards who are permitted to carry firearms while working.