Time-delay safes installed at CVS pharmacies across the state

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In the fight against opioid abuse, time is of the essence. Every second could be the difference in helping slow down an issue feeding the opioid crisis.

“Criminals go to any means necessary to drugs when they’re addicted to them,” said Metro Police Deputy Chief Todd Henry.

CVS Pharmacy introduced what’s called time- delay safes across the state to help prevent pharmacy robberies. Opiates are stored in these safes meant to take longer to access and hopefully stall enough time to stop a robbery and protect employees.

“It requires a pharmacist to enter a code and there’s an extended period of time before that safe is allowed or can be opened by the pharmacist,” explained Rob Hyrmer with CVS Pharmacy.

The technology is already being implemented. It’s been installed in all 169 CVS Pharmacy locations across Tennessee. Out of safety, officials didn’t want to reveal the safes or how long the delay takes, but said there are signs throughout the store to send a warning.

“The hope is that one they will see the warning signs and if not, if they’re told that there will be a time delay that they’ll choose to leave and not continue on with the robbery,” said Henry.

In 2017, there were 16 pharmacy robberies in Davidson County alone. Last year, the number was 11.

CVS Pharmacy first began using time delay safes in 2015 in Indianapolis, and reports a 70 percent decline in pharmacy robberies in an year.

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