QUINCY — Several Quincy businesses took steps Monday to barricade their buildings after closing to the public. Measures varied from parking a delivery van to stacking wooden pallets in front of entrances.
The actions were taken in anticipation of possible looting, which occurred in several cities across the country after protests over the death of George Floyd last week as he was being arrested by Minneapolis Police officers.
Deputy Chief of Administration Services Adam Yates with the Quincy Police Department said that any businesses taking additional precautions to secure their property are doing so on their own or at the direction of a corporate office.
"The Quincy Police Department is not by any means requiring anyone to board up, to close early, to take any other precautions other than just to maybe keep an eye out for any suspicious activity," Yates said.
The department also released a statement on Facebook late Monday to quell rumors about local disruptions.
"There's a lot of rumors that are going around — social media and word of mouth — and we have no credible information whatsoever that anything specific is coming here," Yates said.
Several businesses — mainly on East Broadway — had entrances barricaded, including Hy-Vee Wine and Spirits, Wine on Broadway, Home Depot and Walmart.
Hy-Vee stores in Quincy closed early.
Christina Gayman, director of public relations, said the grocery store chain is not anticipating any issues, but is taking the steps as a precautionary measure.
"For early closures, because our employees live in various parts of the community and the region, we want to make sure that everyone is safe and able to take care of family members this evening," Gayman said. "Some of those closures have been regional decisions that also help us manage our supply chain. If some stores in the region are closing early and it's going to affect store deliveries, then we are making some of those changes at neighboring community stores."
Yates said patrols had already been increased partially because of COVID-19, as well as activity seen in other communities.
"Basically just keeping a closer eye on the east end business district and specific stores that have been targeted in other areas," he said. "We're just making sure we're just watching parking lots and responding to any reports that people say they're seeing something suspicious. Thankfully, nothing has turned out to be anything as of yet."
Yates said protests held over the weekend in Quincy were held without incident.
"We had officers at both, and as a department we just can't commend them enough for their professionalism, doing everything the right way, and I mean even to the point of making their voices heard stepping into traffic in concert with the traffic lights and not causing any issues whatsoever," he said. "They've done a phenomenal job."