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Coming soon to a Hy-Vee near you: security guards armed with a gun and Taser. 

Hy-Vee announced the new security measures Wednesday, though a press release doesn't flat out say the guards will be armed with weapons. But Hy-Vee Vice President of Security Jamie Sipes confirmed to Missouri television station KY3 the armed security officers will essentially serve as a "visual deterrent to criminal activity and violence." 

The press release says many of the security guards will come from a law enforcement background and "are specifically trained to defuse situations and equipped to protect the safety of both Hy-Vee customers and employees. All of the officers will go through extensive training designed by Hy-Vee retail security leaders. 

“Hy-Vee has a strong history of doing anything for our customers, and these officers will be held to that same standard,” said Jeremy Gosch, Hy-Vee’s president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. “These officers will help provide another layer of safety and security for our customers, and will work alongside our store employees to deliver the same helpful smiles and outstanding service everyone expects at their local store.”

A spokesperson for Hy-Vee told KSTP-TV that there haven't ben an increase in criminal incidents in their stores.

There is no specific timeline for when Hy-Vee stores will feature the new security teams, though some stores already have them in place. It's unclear if every store will ultimately wind up with armed security, but Sipes told KY3 the implementation process will begin with stores that currently employ security through third-party vendors. 

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Hy-Vee stores are located throughout southern Minnesota, in addition to an expanding network in the Twin Cities with stores in Brooklyn Park, Cottage Grove, Eagan, Lakeville, Maple Grove, Maplewood, New Hope, Oakdale, Plymouth, Robbinsdale, Savage, Shakopee and Spring Lake Park. 

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