An innovative asset protection/security professional with over 25 years of experience, Joseph LaRocca is a nationally recognized leader and public speaker on loss prevention, organized retail crime and emerging technologies.
As the former Director of Loss Prevention, for The Disney Stores, the Walt Disney Company’s Retail Division, LaRocca directed strategic and tactical loss prevention, crisis management and business continuity programs. Internally these programs were consistently recognized by leadership and his team twice received the President’s Award and separately the Team Excellence Award, for their efforts to improve company profits through innovative programs, keeping people safe and maintaining the continuity of the revenue stream during crisis events. LaRocca’s input and specialized resources were oftentimes sought and utilized by other divisions of the Walt Disney Company.
In 1998, as a hobby and to better understand the internet, he created LPInformation.com, which quickly grew to become one of the top LP industry networking sites in the U.S. and backbone for several private industry groups. In 2005, the National Retail Federation acquired the system from LaRocca in an effort to compliment their industry database. The website served as NRF’s LP industry portal for over a decade. Stores Magazine, operated by NRF, started a new section of the magazine titled LPInformation, specifically dedicated to loss prevention, featuring an article by LaRocca each edition.
LaRocca was first invited to speak at the NRF LP Conference in 1998 about exception reporting, then invited back each year thru 2004, on topics ranging from computer investigations to disaster response protocols. Additionally, he was invited to speak at the NRF Tech Conference in San Diego and the ANTAD conference in Mexico City. He served as an active member on the NRF LP Advisory Council from 1999 until he joined the organization six years later.
When he formally joined the NRF in 2005, LaRocca was given the opportunity to collaborate with retailers and law enforcement partners on a variety of industry issues. LaRocca was oftentimes served as the face of the industry’s fight against ORC and e-Fencing activity, using newly created industry research; relationships with the media; new and existing law enforcement resources; and legislative pressure at the state and federal levels.
In partnership with government partners, LaRocca had a direct role in a number of important initiatives. Through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, he initiated the publication of the national Active Shooter program, still in use today. He was a founding member of the DHS Commercial Facilities Sector Coordinating Council; private sector advisor to the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) development team; and successfully obtained Secret clearances, HSIN.gov and LEO.gov access for key retail executives. Working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), he was a founding member of the Seizing Earnings and Assets from Retail Crime Heists (S.E.A.R.C.H.) program.
In his role at NRF, LaRocca served as an industry spokesperson regarding retail crime matters and public-private sector partnerships. He has conducted hundreds of television, print and radio interviews with a global reach. While talking about industry research and cases comes with the territory, LaRocca frequently assists producers and writers to draw out the critical details of an issue. His work has been used to create several long-format television segments about retail loss prevention; and he has contributed to numerous publications and books about the industry.
In May 2006, LaRocca testified before the U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Committee at the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, regarding House Report 109-522, ‘The Cyber-Security Enhancement and Consumer Data Protection Act of 2006’. In September 2008, he testified before the U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, on H.R. 6491, the `Organized Retail Crime Act of 2008’ and H.R. 6713, the `E-fencing Enforcement Act of 2008′. At the state level, LaRocca’s testimony has been used in California, Maryland, Colorado, Vermont, and in conjunction with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL).
LaRocca’s work has been recognized by his peers and industry partners. In 2006 he was awarded the retail industry honored Chain Store, Age 40 Under 40 Award. In 2005, 2006 and 2010, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recognized him for outstanding assistance to the Bureau in connection with its investigative efforts and for exceptional service in the interest of public safety. His partnership efforts have been formally recognized by many associations, government agencies and retailers.
Many research efforts were developed in conjunction with the LP Advisory Council, several of them are considered institutional and highly cited by experts and media including the Return Fraud Survey; Organized Retail Crime Survey; Background Screening Survey; Crowd Management Survey/Program; Flash Mob Survey; and Gift Card Survey.
The following committees were established with Advisory Council partners and utilized as needed: Homeland Security Committee; LP Legislative Committee with model legislation; LP Executive Summit; Joint Organized Retail Crime Task Force; LERPnet Steering Committee; LP Gift Card Working Group and LP Education Committee. Finally, he fostered the development of the NRF Investigator’s Network from a small group of interested parties into one of the largest NRF committees across the country.
During his career LaRocca passionately supported the creation of award and recognition programs. He supported the creation of the Law Enforcement Retail Partnership Award, LP Case Of The Year, Volunteers In Action and Ring of Excellence Award.
He is a Volunteer Reserve with the Los Angeles Police Department; Founding Member of the Los Angeles Area Organized Retail Crime Association (LAAORCA); and former Advisor to the Southern California Chapter of the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI); and coach to several industry leaders.