Krystal Cogswell wears a holstered pistol on her hip while pulling espresso at Jitterz Java in Northwest Spokane.
“I figure if they can see it, maybe it will be a deterrent, apparently being a girl isn’t enough,” the 24-year-old said.
Robbers have struck Jitterz Java twice in February. On Sunday, a man who appeared to be armed ran off after a barista grabbed her gun and called police.
The recent string of violence has owner Sara Chapel fed up. “The way I’ve been scheduling the girls is that at least one girl who carries a gun is always on shift,” she said. The women will carry their own personal handguns that they’ve been trained to use.
Chapel has encouraged all of her employees to seek firearms training.
The police wouldn’t comment on Chapel’s decision to encourage armed baristas, said Spokane Police Department spokeswoman Monique Cotton. “We would encourage anyone in any situation to call us. We have excellent response times.”
The police arrived on scene in three minutes on Feb. 18 and 28 and in four minutes on March 16.
“We are specifically trained to put ourselves between the public and a dangerous situation, so the best thing to do is call police as soon as possible,” Cotton said.