Hy-Vee stores in the Iowa City area debuted new armed guards in their stores this week, according to the Iowa City Press-Citizen. A guard was seen at the Hy-Vee store on 1st Ave. in Iowa City on Tuesday. The guard appeared to be armed with both a stun gun and a firearm, according to the Press-Citizen.

Hy-Vee announced late last year that they would be creating their own retail security team with its own trained officers in their stores. The Press-Citizen reports that Hy-Vee never stated how many stores would end up having armed guards or when they would be stationed inside. At the Iowa City stores, guards are not visible during all hours. The Press-Citizen questioned Hy-Vee on which Johnson County stores would have the guards but did not receive an answer. Employees at Hy-Vee stores at 1st Ave., Waterfront Drive, and North Dodge Street, also refused to comment.

The presence of the guards has not been pleasing to some Hy-Vee customers. Johnson County Supervisor Jon Green took to Twitter to voice his displeasure.

told the Press-Citizen

I feel more unsafe than I did before. When you see something on him, like a bulletproof vest, it scares me and I think it scares a lot more people.

Sohek went on to state that while he understands Hy-Vee is hoping to deter people from committing crimes, he thinks it could be a big turnoff to regular customers. Another customer told the Press-Citizen that she is normally not comfortable with firearms, but since Hy-Vee guards are trained, she didn't mind it.

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